Bob the Cob Pizza Oven
Bob the Cob Oven
Bob is a very special feature at our Glamping site so he deserves his own blog spot.
Having been inspired by watching Jamie Oliver cooking in his outside oven, I dispatched Neill to beautiful Herefordshire on a 1 day Cob Oven building workshop. It was led by Matthew LLoyd of the Fabulous Cob Oven Company. The day was a great success and we got to know Matthew who – upon hearing about our venture to start a glamping site – offered to come and lead a workshop for us at our Cotswold site. The plan was hatched that I would host the day, take the bookings and all that jazz and he would teach 8 people how to build an oven – and we got to keep it at the end! Awesome.
So in May 2015 we hosted a weekend workshop for 8 people including children. Some came with their family and stayed in our yurts, some stayed locally and others were local. We had a great time and learnt a lot, laughed a lot and ate quite a lot too.
I was rather clever and had saved us a lot of heavy work by asking the groundsman (installing the treatment plant) to use his JCB to dig out and keep a pile of clay soil ready for using (clever eh, as digging out clay by hand is seriously laborious work!) We used this clay to mix with sand and water and later straw to create the cob.
It all started with building the base out of old telegraph poles and planks. Then I went down to the local hotels/pubs asking for about 50 empty wine bottles (didn’t feel daft at all scrabbling through their recycling bins – honest) which we used as insulation for the base. The shape of the oven was achieved by mounding up the building sand into the right shape/height and adding a layer of newspaper. Next came the challenge of making the cob and this involved lots of foot/welly work to mix the sand with the clay and water. We had a few willing helpers who danced, stamped and marched that cob into submission so it could be applied to the mound. It was lovely to see the kids getting stuck in at every stage.
On day 2 the mound was finished, the internal sand removed and the final shaping done. And then…drum roll…we got to light him. This helped to dry out the cob and teach us how to light/maintain the oven. Then we finally got to cook the first of many awesome, delicious pizzas in him!
Since then, Bob has cooked about a 1,000 pizzas for our guests and family!
*** We are hosting another course on Sat 12 – Sun 13 May 2018***
***Contact Jane on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Glamping available! ***