Roast Pumpkin Pizza June 13 2014, 0 Comments
Roast Pumpkin Pizza
by Andrew Hopgood
We’ve talked about building an oven for a long time and I always thought it would cost too much until my mum and dad bought me the book Back Yard Ovens for my birthday. After reading it about
47 times I felt I was ready to attempt building my own oven.
I chose a suitable position in the garden, poured a slab, bought 1200 bricks and some bluestone for $140 from e-bay and built the base. My neighbour just happened to have a 6mm steel plate which fit like a glove on top of my bricks as a base ready for the mud to go on.
I used a metre long piece of bluestone as the mantle and after nearly giving myself a hernia, lifted that into place. Then I collected enough empty beer bottles (from my brothers new years eve party) and laid them into a bed of mud as suggested in the book.
From there I laid some fire bricks for the floor of the oven and then built the brick arch. A brick sand mould covered with newspaper came next and then the mud stomping began. Three layers and about ten inches thick. A week or two to dry out a bit and away we went.
We had some large cracks appear at first but after a bit of repair work they seem to have disappeared
We’ve only had it going four times but each time we try something different and last weekend we came up with one we thought worthy for sharing. We provide bowls of various ingredients and then invite friends to come and create their own pizzas for us all to share (and judge).
We’ve found that less is more when it comes to piling your ingredients onto your base. The kids love your basic tomato/basil base, cheese, olives and bacon whereas we love to experiment with
pickled octopus, chili prawns, smoked salmon, roasted vegies etc.
The Roast Pumpkin Pizza created by our friend Mel has been our favourite to date and this is how it goes:
Roast pumpkin pieces, roast capsicum, roast eggplant, grated beetroot, sliced mushroom, finely sliced red onion, mozzarella cheese, tomato/basil puree, (prosciutto optional).
Make the dough about two hours before you cook.
It’s your basic dough recipe:
1 tspn dried yeast,
1 tspn salt, 100ml warm water, a splash of good olive oil and about 150g of plain sifted flour.
Whisk up the yeast, salt, oil and water in a bowl and leave for 15 minutes.
Add flour and knead for 10-15 minutes. Place it in a large bowl greased with olive oil, cover and let sit for an hour and a half. Push it down flat, cover again and leave it for another fifteen minutes.
Now you’re ready to roll it out.
For the toppings we dice some pumpkin (1cm chunks) and roast it in the wood fired oven with rosemary and garlic in a baking tray. A splash of your good olive oil over the top first.
We also roast some eggplant and capsicum separately.
Spread the base with a tomato/basil puree and then scatter the pumpkin pieces around.
Sprinkle with grated beetroot, sliced fresh mushrooms, roasted capsicum and eggplant, finely sliced red onion.
Sprinkle some mozarella cheese over the top (not too much) and bake in a hot oven (about 4 minutes should do it).
Kick back with a glass of wine and enjoy (or make another one with prosciutto on top - also very good).
We scoop out the coals when we’re done and throw them in the fire pit located next to the oven, and spend the rest of the evening round the campfire. Bewdafool.