No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Saturday, 20 September 2014


I've done away with the top 'mini-oven' - and I'm cooking my pizzas BBQ style!
As regular readers will know, I've been making pizzas, and tweaking my methods, ever since I bought my chiminea a few years ago.

Here are some previous posts on the subject.

April this year.

August 2010 when I first acquired my new toy.

And there's a few more in between, links in those posts.

So to today!

The whole thrust of my tinkering has been to create enough heat in the top chamber to cook the top of the pizzas properly, for which I built a micro-oven inside the top box. That is, until earlier this year, when I began cooking the pizza tops by flashing the pizzas underneath the firepit.

Unsurprisingly, it's never been a problem cooking the underneath of the pizzas - rather, I've had to invent ways of slowing this down so that the bottom wouldn't be carbonised - not always successfully, it has to be said.

After following the 'flashing' technique more or less all summer, it only recently dawned on me that, if I wasn't worried about cooking the top of the pizza in the top box 'mini-oven', then I could dispense with it altogether!

The firebrick is being used as a wind break on this occasion!
I was making three pizzas, so, each pizza was placed on top of what was now, virtually a barbeque - for 90 seconds to 2 minutes - once the flames had died down. I decided to cook the bases of all three pizzas before moving on to the tops.

(Here's the pizza recipe I more or less followed.)

Once the bases were done, I slid a metal tray underneath all the coals to prevent any cinders falling through, and began cooking the pizza tops. The pizzas were placed on a large wall tile and slid underneath the firepit for around 40-50 seconds. This has to be done with a great deal of care, because there isn't a lot of room to spare. In fact, when assembling the pizzas I have to make sure I don't pile the toppings too high, otherwise they may have been knocked off.

I can only slide about 2/3rd of the pizzas underneath the firepit, so, after one end is done, I need to turn the pizza around and cook the rest. 

The pizza bases were made with curry powder, smoked paprika and bouillon powder. The toppings included mushroom pate (Pateole), Meridian pesto, hummus and a rich tomato sauce, plus sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and beetroot - plus a shaking of nooch and oregano on one of the pizzas.

The pizzas can be ready within 90 minutes of lighting the fire.

(I'm writing this at the end of a fast day - I've had around 200 calories in the last 30 hours - and writing about these pizzas and imagining just how they taste, is making me so hungry! However, I'm planning a repeat again tomorrow - the weather looks OK.)

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