Cooking in the Earth Oven

We are back home and settled in, though I can't say all our trip laundry is put away... Even though the oven is waiting for its final coat of plaster, I was hoping to try out the oven as soon as we got back. On this past hot and sticky Friday I decided to try to fire it up for the first time. I scraped out the coals too soon though and it was not hot enough to really cook pizza well. I did manage a couple loaves of bread and some roasted veges, but I could tell that we hadn't let the oven fire long enough.

Sunday was cooler, in the low 80s, so Michael fired up the earth oven in the morning. He kept feeding it fallen tree branches and old pallet wood for a good 3-4 hours as I tidied up the backyard and planted some new plants. It was fun to watch the fire. 

The oven got super-hot, but pizza was our goal, so that's what we needed. We scraped out the coals after Laura's family arrived with pizza toppings and in the process burned clear through both the wheels on our Weber grill. Otherwise, the grill worked great for catching the ashes. It was intense to be working so close to something so hot- but I had good boots and leather gloves, so that helped. 

Then I set up a little workstation by the oven (need to build a little counter soon!) and made pizza.

We made 5 all together- 2 white, 1 regular, 1 regular with roasted veges and 2 pesto-

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to slide the pizzas into the oven, I don't have a peel yet but used a cookie sheet. 

Laura helped with ferrying the cooked pizzas into the house and onto everyone's plates, it would have been really hard to do all the steps myself, it was great to have a whole team- from Michael doing the fire building to Laura's cooking help.  

The first couple pizzas cooked in 5 minutes or so, then the last pizza took about 12 minutes. I put a pot of beans in to cook overnight, the oven was still warm in the morning when I took them out. - A very satisfying start to using the oven!