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It’s bank holiday which means I have more time to get in the kitchen + get creating!

I recently bought a mini pizza oven from Aldi, at a steal price of £39.99. So with time on my hands I thought I’d make some pizzas from scratch to test it out. Little did I know (I hadn’t read the instructions beforehand) that you are meant to use it with a gas BBQ so you can control the temperature.

But before I realised that I may not even be able to use my pizza oven I had already dusted off my Franco Manca pizza book and begun making my dough.

The dough needs 18 hours to prove so this was an evening before job. Whilst making my dough I was planning my picnic I had already decided on making flattened focaccia Sandwhiches and had planned just to visit Sainsbury’s to buy it when it occurred to me, I could just make one!

I found a recipe online by Celebrity Bake off baker, Paul Hollywood so thought it must be good. The recipe is as follows (Courtesy of BBC Food):


  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 sachets dried easy blend yeast

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 400ml/14fl oz cold water

  • olive oil, for drizzling

  • fine sea salt


  • Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and 300ml/10½fl oz of the water into a large bowl. Gently stir with your hand or a wooden spoon to form a dough then knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes, gradually adding the remaining water.

  • Stretch the dough by hand in the bowl, tuck the sides into the centre, turn the bowl 80 degrees and repeat the process for about five minutes.

  • Tip the dough onto an oiled work surface and continue kneading for five more minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.

  • Line two large baking sheets with baking paper. Tip the dough out of the bowl and divide into two portions. Flatten each portion onto a baking sheet, pushing to the corners, then leave to prove for one hour.

  • Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Drizzle the loaves with oil, sprinkle with fine sea salt then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. When cooked, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve hot or warm.

My favourite flavour focaccia is Rosemary + sea salt, as I have ample rosemary in the garden this was a perfect last minute choice. So out the Garden scissors came! (These are also available to buy on my online shop)

I also pushed in some garlic cloves to add to the flavour, then it was ready for the oven.

When it first came out as it seemed harder then the shop bought ones so I was a little disappointed, until I tasted it... It turned out to be a winner! Although the recipe says it makes 2 loaves I only managed to make the one, which was still more then enough!

Once cooked I just had to head to the garden and enjoy with a glass of wine, sunshine and olive + balsamic vinegar dip, heaven!

If you are also wondering how the pizza oven worked out I did manage to cook 4 pizzas using it, the only down side of not having a gas BBQ was that the temperature was hard to maintain at a constant temperature fo a long period, but until I need a new BBQ I'll stick with my old one.


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