Just before we left for Melbourne we went back up to visit our super duper, oven making, South African friend Jay for an afternoons oven workshop. First off we lit the fire in the middle of the oven for around 40 minutes to get the floor really piping hot. Jay makes his pizzas super thin and crispy so he runs a floor temperature of around 350 Celsius and an air temperature of between 450 and 500. At this temperature he can make a 10” pizza in around 50-90 seconds. When the oven got to scorching we pushed the fire to the back and swept the oven floor before we started cooking.
Zak started off making the pizzas whilst i worked the oven and then we switched. Jay taught us how to work the peel - sliding the pizza in the oven, rotating it half way through and shimmying it out at the end. He tried his best to distract and pressure us to give an idea of what it would really be like doing all this with waiting, hungry customers. The pizzas cooked so quickly that as rookies we couldn’t really keep up the pace of getting another one in before we took one out, but gradually we both got better. Jay sent us home with lots of tips and tricks, now we’re just itching to give it a go in our own oven.