Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Backyard Wood Oven Pizza Party

My brother likes buying things.

Like most males, he doesn’t buy a lot of things but when he does shop, he buys big-ticket items. A windsurfer. A vintage electric keyboard or guitar. A top-of-the-range bicycle. A wood-fire pizza oven.

When he and his then flatmates went in for a $1200 wood-fire pizza oven six years ago my parents and I shook our heads. How often would they use it? It was one of those indulgent purchases you make when you are on a good salary and unburdened with the expense of kids or a mortgage.

But then he invited us over for a pizza party and we saw the light.

Yes, the cost per usage ratio is high. Realistically, it only gets an outing a handful of times a year, making the pizzas the most expensive ones we’ve ever eaten.

But on those rare occasions when my brother fires up the wood oven, those invited experience pizza nirvana.

We were lucky enough to experience it a couple of weekends go, when my brother and his wife decided to throw a pre-Christmas pizza party for 60 friends and  family.

In the lead up, my heavily pregnant sister in law made 28 pizza bases and all the toppings from scratch. That’s right – from scratch. The fact that she did so with her usual good humour, grace and lack of hysterics just shows you the type of amazing woman she is.

(My brother is lucky to have her. We are lucky to have her.)

During the party, my brother and his friend Andrew took turns cooking the pizzas and garlic bread.

Here are the results. First up, a Garlic Bread appetizer:

Salami, Cherry Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella and Fresh Basil:

Mushrooms Two Ways, Taleggio and Fresh Basil:

Ham & Pineapple:

My favourite: Marinated King Prawns, Spanish Onion, Lemon and Chilli:

What are your favourite pizza making tips and toppings? Would you buy a wood-fire pizza oven?

Dayle’s Pizza


Based on various pizza recipes and techniques from Jeff VarasanoRussell’s Wood-Fired Pizza Recipe on SBS Food and Pizza Modo Mio by John Lanzafame


Use a mixer with a dough hook if possible. You can do the same thing buy hand… but it’s hard work.



This post is dedicated to Andrew, pizza lover and IT gun. With thanks and love to Dayle.

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