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, 4 September 2010

First pizzas in wood-fired chiminea

Well, first pizza(s) tonight in my new chiminea! (Click here for the first part of the story and here for more recent updates.)

Here’s how it happened:
(I started at 5.41 in the evening – but I’m going to call that 0000. The notes are not as accurate as they could be, as I’m not sure I noted everything down – but they give you a rough idea.)

Colne Valley Yorkshire Bitter (bit slow with the camera - the head had subsided somewhat!)
0000 Poured myself a pint of home-made real ale (thanks, Leo!):
0002 Started the pizza dough – 200g white flour, 1 tsp Marigold stock powder, 1 teaspoon curry powder, 4 large pieces of grilled peppers, chopped small, plus 10g yeast dissolved in 125g lukewarm water and a good glug of sun-dried tomato oil.
0015 Dough finished and proving
0025 Ashes cleared from grate, and kindling placed in position
0026 Lit the fire
0033 Fire well alight, pizzas rolled out
0039 Added a layer of charcoal to the fire – manoeuvred oven shelf into position with my new welder’s gloves
0045 Placed the frying pan on (in the kitchen) with some oven chips

0055 Topping placed on the pizzas – a mixture of vegan pesto, mushroom pate and tomato puree plus slices of tomato and mushrooms
0103 2nd layer of charcoal – spread out
0105 One pizza in bottom oven and one in the top. I used an oven tray to try and block the opening of the bottom oven – but there was still a large gap at the top.
0118 Pizza in bottom oven burned on the bottom, not cooked on top – swapped them over, but the top wouldn't cook
???? Turned the oven on in the kitchen – just the top element. Once it had reached 200C I put one of the pizzas in for four minutes to cook the top. The other I’ve left out – it can go in the freezer and then be cooked for 5 or so minutes.
0152 Sat down to dinner with large glass of home-made red!

Done underneath, but top not quite finished
The chips were well over done, but the pizza was delicious. Even though the bottom was a bit charred it made no matter.

1. I need to light the fire on the shelf, rather than the floor of the oven, and just cook in the top oven. Once I’m happy with that, then I can start experimenting with two shelf cooking.
2. I need to give the charcoal quite a bit longer before I put the stuff in to cook
3. Just need to tweak a few timings - but we're on our way, folks!

I'd like to fire it every day - but there's only so many pizzas you can eat, and I've a freezer full of bread!


  1. Lovely oven Paul, Have many wonderful years of baking in it!

  2. Thanks, Mamta.

    Just noticed your comment - I should check for them more often!

    I fired it again last night - and made my first loaf in there! Plus a pizza.

    And I didn't have to finish them off in the kitchen!

    Cheers, Paul