“Cooking from scratch”

Our cob oven (pizza oven) at Beelarong Community Farm brings new meaning to the term “cooking from scratch”.  First build your oven.

Mix a bucket full of clay – and continue to do so until you are completely surrounded by buckets of clay.

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Then you throw the clay on the ground and you stamp on it to mix it with straw. Even better if you can find a friend to hang on to.

stamping

Bill decides to go it alone.

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Pat decided to keep her ‘wellies’ on.

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Then it’s back to childhood again as you shape the clay into ‘cobs’, sausage shaped bricks.

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Then you slap it all together and you build an oven. (Well, doesn’t everybody!)

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You congratulate yourself on a job well done.

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And then you wait for three weeks for it to dry out.   Waiting, waiting, waiting ……..

Then every so often you get together and you make pizzas.  Out of the oven and onto your wooden board. Sprinkle with a few Sweet Basil leaves from the community garden.

pizza

Find a few friends.  Start eating.

Neighbour Day photogaph taken by Jon, James' work colleague

No wonder I have a smile on my face. This, folks, is where I have my allotment.

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Happy Gardening.

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Cob Oven Cooking workshop down at the farm

Down at the farm where I keep my allotment they are always running workshops and on Friday I helped with the “Cob Oven Cooking” workshop. Great fun.

John came along at 8:30am to light the wood fire in the cob oven so that it would be ready to cook an hour and a half later.

The cob oven

Participants arrived at 9:30 and got straight into making the dough. We had decided to go with a no-yeast recipe, and using yoghurt, which I thought would be a little different.

Pizza Dough (with no yeast)

Yield: 2 pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt (approximately)

Method:

  • Measure dry ingredients into a bowl
  • Add yoghurt and mix but don’t overdo it
  • Gather dough together and press into a ball, then divide dough in half
  • On lightly floured surface roll each half into a 13-inch (33cm) circle
  • Place on pizza tins
  • Cover base with passata (tomato paste)
  • Add toppings of your choice and bake for 20-25 minutes until it looks done

For toppings we harvested herbs and green leafed vegetables from the farm’s community garden to add to the chopped ham, then topped it all off with a layer of grated cheese.

Making the dough, chopping the topping

While the pizzas were cooking we made a tour of the farm’s community garden and the allotments, paying particular attention to the array of herbs that we grow there and at the same time working up an appetite. Here is the first pizza coming out of the oven.

The first pizza comes out of the oven

I’ve been dying to say it,  “this is one I prepared earlier!”  Actually, it was prepared earlier, a lot earlier.  I forgot to take a photo of the cooked pizza when it hit the table – but this is a photo I took at an earlier workshop. the variety of toppings is endless. All cooked in our cob oven.

This is one I prepared earlier!

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