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Chicken and cibatta bread baking in our pizza oven

Simple pizza appetizer: tomato, mozzarella, anchovies and home cured olives. Simple pizza. It’s now Autumn here and we’ve just enjoyed a happy and successful day of fun with our oven (building progress). Family were coming over for lunch so I started the fire at around 8.15 in the morning. Because of the fairly large amount of mass to heat it does take a while for the soot to disappear from the inside of the oven. Possibly I was not adding enough mass of wood. A note on firewood. I have been using very dry Yellow Box Eucalypt which is very dense and gives very good heat. Belinda had been busy making dough and by midday we were ready to make some pizza. This is one of the first times we’ve cooked in the oven and it was even more delicious than it looked. The temp according to the cheap thermometer was around the 600C mark and the pizza was done in a couple of minutes. Pizza oven with rendered walls. The one illustrated here was tomato, mozzarella, anchovies and home cured olives. The dough puffed up nicely with a good crunch on the cornice.

In the courtyard, rendered oven with the wall. We made three pizzas as appetizers. This is the still unfinished courtyard. We’ll be finishing the render then paving and planting. I’m going to extend the chimney as you can see. That’s Sam on the left, my rendering son. Others are Anton and my daughter Allie relaxing on the sitting wall.

Improvised brush for pizza oven. Here’s Belinda checking progress. How do you like my improvised brush? Still need to get a proper one but this did the job (sort of).

Raking tool handle for pizza oven. Here’s a close up of the beautiful handle of the raking tool made for me by my neighbour Paul.

Culinary art with chicken and cauliflower. Culinary arts with chicken and cauliflower. Next course was a butterfly chicken with a mix of parsley, sage, garlic and olive oil under the skin. In front is cauliflower with paprika, garlic and oil.

Chook meat and culinary art. The chicken cooked in about half an hour and was juicy and tender. I rotated it from time to time and it had alfoil over it for most of the time.

Baked cibatta bread in wood fired oven. Then later on we baked some cibatta after raking out the coals and cleaning the floor of the oven.

Culinary arts with pumpkin risotto. Finally for the meal tonight I made a pumpkin risotto in the oven, have a look at those details on this photo; it is so (absolutely) amazing how also the rice gets perfectly cooked in these brilliant ovens.

Tomorrow morning the oven will still have plenty of heat so I’ll think of something to cook then! Culinary art of preparing a fine pumpkin risotto.

– Keith

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