Build a ‘Cob’ oven in 5 minutes to bake delicious pizza and bread

Pizza ready to bake

A convectional cob oven for baking pizzas and loaves of bread is a great addition to sustainable living. However it is quite elaborate and time consuming to build one and requires a huge amount of material such as clay and  bricks. Moreover it is not portable.
We built a ‘cob’ oven from recycled material in less than 5 minutes. How? We used eight recycled bricks and an old barbecue cast iron plate. To create the "oven", we used a barbecue lid, (with a handle attached) the same size as the plate. Stack the bricks on their sides to create a U shaped campfire pit about 25cm in height. Place the BBQ plate on top of bricks then place the lid on top of the plate to cover it. The space between the plate and the lid becomes the pizza oven. That's it!
Set a fire under the plate and you can start baking pizzas within a few minutes, not like in a conventional cob oven which you need to heat up for several hours and burn a lots of firewood. Get the plate to a good temperature, put the pizza on it, cover with the lid and bake for about 10 minutes. To adjust heat intensity you can either add firewood to increase temperature or spray water over the fire with a plastic bottle (with a  small hole in the lid) to reduce its intensity.
Baking time

We also bake bread in our cob oven. To do this use a pizza stone and put it on the hot coals. Cover the oven entrance (with a door made from other bricks) to keep the heat in. Optionally, also set  a fire on top of the plate so it provides extra radiant heat from the top so the bread bakes brownish and nice and crisp on the outside. Bake it for about 30 minutes.
We made a "pizza peel" from a piece of sheet metal (about 25x25cm) with one edge bent up, creating a  handle, to take pizzas to and from the plate. Pizza and bread from the wood fired oven comes out crispy with an extra smokey flavour. People who tasted our home made pizza baked in the cob oven said they have never tasted such delicious pizza.
Cover up with a lid to create "oven"

Easy and quick home made pizza base
(the ingredients for about 4 thin pizza bases)
300g whole meal flour
240 ml of water
1 teaspoon of dry yeast  Mix ingredients in a bowl to make a dough and let is rise for about half an hour. Then take a piece of dough and roll out to about a 25cm diameter pizza base. For a roller, we use a wine bottle. Use extra flour while rolling to avoid dough sticking to the surface it is being rolled on. The base should be very thin, about 2 mm so it's baked quickly and comes out crispy.
Baking bread in our cob oven

Base dough and toppings for a vegie pizza

Final product - delicious crispy pizza

Adding an extra smoky flavour makes the pizza unforgettable

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