Bob is a very special feature at Campden Yurts so he deserves his own blog spot.
Having a Jamie Oliver inspired moment in 2015, Neill headed off onto a 1 day Cob Oven building workshop.
It was led by Matthew LLoyd of the Fabulous Cob Oven Company who runs 1 day and weekend workshops. Matthew quickly became a friend and came to lead a workshop for us at our Cotswold glamping site.
The idea was that I (Jane) would host the weekend, take the bookings and look after the guests. Matthew would teach up to 8 people how to build an oven – and we would get to keep it at the end! Awesome!! 👌
We needed a sturdy base and Neill built one 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 – honest). We needed these bottles as insulation for the base.
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.
The groundsman on the site at the time used his JCB to dig out some clay soil ready to use. This was a really clever move as digging out clay by hand is seriously heavy/laborious work! We used this clay to mix with sand and water and later straw to create the cob.
We achieved the shape of the oven by mounding up the sand into the right shape/height. Once it was right we added a layer of newspaper.
Next came the challenge of making the cob. This is hard work and involved lots of foot/welly work to mix the sand with the clay and water. Our willing helpers danced, stamped and marched that cob into submission so it could be applied to the mound.
It was lovely to see the kids get so involved and 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.
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!
With appreciation and thanks to Matthew Lloyd @cobovenman http://www.coboven.co.uk