OK, a few weeks in and I have had three or four attempts and starting to get the hang of it of my not so new wood-fired pizza oven. No question that each result has been better than the last (and the kids assure me that it’s “MUCH better than before, dad”).

Lighting the fire
Kindling is best, nothing thicker than an inch or so. I criss-cross the timber with space underneath into which I sequentially loosely jam lit newspaper until the timber has caught. It smokes like buggery for about 15 minutes and then calms down. Takes about an hour to get to the right temp. About half a bag does the trick for a few pizzas.

A few watch-outs as you learn to judge the heat of the oven:
- undercook the base by not waiting long enough for the oven to warm-up. Result: Burnt topping
- overcook the base by not allowing the heat to calm down enough: Result: Burnt dough
- get patchy burns by allowing the pizza too close to embers or live flame (most common).

All pretty obvious stuff really!


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