Bob the Cob Pizza Oven at Campden Yurts

Flames inside the cob pizza oven and girl toasting marshmallows

Bob the Cob Pizza Oven

Bob is a very special feature at Campden Yurts so he deserves his own blog spot.

He has been a great feature for our glamping site and many guests have enjoyed making and cooking their own pizzas. I love that everyone, of all ages can get in on the action unlike a bbq where young children can’t get hands on because of the heat. At a pizza party if you can wheel a rolling pin and reach the table (using a step if necessary), you can be part of the fun. 

The inspiration

In 2015, inspired after watching Jamie Oliver using his pizza oven to cook up some lovely meals,  Neill headed off onto a 1 day Cob Oven building workshop in Herefordshire.

It was led by Matthew LLoyd of the Fabulous Cob Oven Company who runs 1 day and weekend workshops for schools, community groups or individuals wanting to learn how to make their own cob pizza oven. 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!! 👌

The oven base

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.

Building Bob

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.

Adding the cob to the sand mound

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.

Cob oven building

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 we got to cook the first of many awesome, delicious pizzas in him! Since then, Bob has cooked well over a 1,000 pizzas for our guests and family!

With appreciation and thanks to Matthew Lloyd @cobovenman

If you come to stay and want a pizza party – just let Jane know. I need at least a days notice as I make the dough early in the morning so it has all day to prove.

There will be enough dough for 2 pizzas each and the sauce is also provided – just remember to bring you own toppings. 

Glamping site host Jane running pizza parties for young people in Bob the Cob Pizza Oven
Jane the host cooking pizzas in Bob the Cob Pizza Oven