Yesterday we finally got around to making our very first homemade pizza in the wood fire oven.
Liam made 1kg of pizza dough and a delicious (secret recipe) tomato sauce and so our first pizza trials began.
The oven was lit with some dry brash and a few sticks to warm it up before it was given a heaped load of mixed hardwood wood chunks available from www.woodchunks.co.uk
The wood chunks worked very well and got it up to a steady 300 degrees Centigrade in short order. They quickly turned to glowing embers but, unlike big logs, they were much more maneuverable inside the oven and could be banked up around the edges with ease.
The oven temperature was much more stable than I expected and it was not as difficult to assess and adjust than I had expected.
The base on the first pizza was too thick but that was easily rectified and we quickly got some first class results.
We still need to work on a stand and get a proper prep table sorted out as I don’t think an old cupboard door balanced on the forklift will meet all the hygiene standards.
With the small bit of left over dough we made a few mini ‘soup loaves’ in tiny bread tins. Lovely!
Having made it all the way from Portugal to Hesketh Bank without damage, it was quite exciting to unpack our new brick built outdoor pizza oven. As it weighs about 600kg, the forktruck was definitely needed to carefully lift it out of its packing crate and onto a pallet.
I have been reading up on how to ‘cure’ the oven before any serious firing of the oven. It basically involves lighting a series of small fires on consecutive days to slowly drive out any moisture that remains in the oven after manufacture. Patience is a virtue, but not one of mine. No matter; better to do it properly than have the thing crack in half!
Let’s hope some better weather eventually appears.
Yesterday proved to be quite an attraction for the residents of our coppice with both hens and geese needing to see if anything tasty was being uncovered.
This field was partially planted with ash trees (all grown from seed ourselves) but after news of the breakout of ‘ash die back’ we planted the remainder of the field with a mix of Alder, Birch and Sycamore.
Where possible, the best of the harvested wood is used for a variety of crafts, but the bulk of it gets cut up for fuelling wood fired pizza ovens, wood smokers or logged as a certified Renewable Heat Initiative Biomass for wood boilers.