Handmade and homemade: how to do pizza dough bases from scratch

Twenty years ago, I used to buy Napolina pre-cast pizza bases from the supermarket.  I’ve checked and strangely they still exist.  Now if you want to eat glyceryl monostearate, glyceryl distearate (E471), if you want to consume palm oil and glucose, and if you couldn’t care less how your food tasted – go ahead, at 85p per base is cheap.  However, I don’t consider mono and diglycerides of fatty acids to be “food”, glucose has no place in a bread product, and as for palm oil – isn’t that “the hidden ingredient causing ecological disaster“?  Besides oil is not an ingredient in pizza dough, not according to my foodie dogmatism in any case.

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The poolish prior to overnight fermentation

There are plenty of guides as to how to make pizza, I published some tips and tricks last year in my post September pizza from my wood-fired oven – the tricks I’ve learned by trial and error.  I’ll assume you’ve read that if you are reading this, if you haven’t – consider reading that post first!  I’m going to include links to various bits of equipment, but you can substitute anything I recommend with what you already have at home.

But cooking is very much a visual activity, so I’m going to include a few pictures about what things should look like along the way, visual tips so to speak. First off is the poolish.  If you want to make pizza dough that stretches without ripping, and a cornichione (crust) that puffs up nicely with a membrane-like skin that caramelises and chars deliciously, dough needs time.  This doesn’t cost you any time net, but it takes planning.  I make my poolish 48-72 hours in advance.  The poolish will be a mixture of 00 flour and water in equal weights (eg. 200g of each), the water will have been left to stand and “de-gas” with a loose covering for a few hours and will be 24ºC.  You can adjust the water temperature with a dash of boiling water.  If the water is too cold, the yeast’s fermentation will get off to a poor start, which will have downstream consequences, if the water is too hot, you can kill your yeast. I invested £10 in a digital catering thermometer which works just fine.  Good for yoghurt making too!  You are going to mix the flour and water quickly in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, I prefer something like an Araven Polypropylene Mixing Bowl which seems to help insulate my concoctions in my cool kitchen. Once all the flour is mixed in and wet, and there are no big lumps, add a sprinkle of yeast. I use about one quarter teaspoon of Doves Farm Quick Yeast, which is probably one quarter gram. Yes, this is the least scientific thing you’ll see on this blog, and apologies. This yeast doesn’t require any activation step, and there is no need to add sugar. Now mix in your yeast, and cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave it overnight on the kitchen counter.  Ideally, this environment should be above 16ºC.  You can also fridge this ripe poolish for 24-48 hours prior to use.

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Dough balls prior to rising

The next morning you will make the 55% hydration dough, taking into account the weights of water and flour already present in your poolish.  You can let your dough develop for 3-6 hours at room temperature, then form (220g) dough balls which can be let ripen for 2-6 hours.  My experience is that dough balls which have been let ripen for a longer period are easier to work with to generate a really thin pizza base that doesn’t rip.  You can also fridge the developed dough balls and use them in the following days, though the quality of the end product will diminish over time. Use olive oil to prevent them sticking, I like to lightly coast them in olive oil using my hands prior to rising.  I use a cheap plastic BPA-free box for the rise, of the kind you can get in a pound shop,  and keep the lid on tight to stop a dry crust forming on the dough balls.

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Risen dough balls

If you are in an almighty rush you can use the dough balls within an hour, but that is somewhat of a wasted effort. I’ve included a picture of the risen dough balls so you know just how big they get.  The thin sheen of olive oil is helping to prevent them sticking together.  The alternative is stackable pizza dough proofing boxes, which are just a bit big for a domestic kitchen.

In previous posts, I’ve talked about my enhanced pizza sauce, which has been evolving.  Get some tinned  San Marzano tomatoes, and fish just the tomatoes out of the tin with a fork.  I no longer use the juice in my sauce because the product is too watery, and requires heating to cook off the excess moisture, or you end up with a watery pizza. Yuck! Use the tomato juice for something else.  When you mash your tomato fruit, you’ve got the pizza sauce, no heating required.  I sometimes add garlic oil made by lightly frying very thinly sliced garlic, filtering out the garlic with a tea strainer.  The photographs below gives you an idea of what colour the garlic should be, and illustrate the separation of the tomatoes.

Some unfinished business for me is weighing exactly how much tomato sauce to put on each pizza.  But we’re talking between about between a one and two ounce ladle, which is 30-60 grammes in metric.  I use the underside of the ladle to gently spread the sauce out, in a circular spiral movement from the centre of the pizza outwards.

A nice touch with fresh mozzarella balls is to drain the mozzarella really early on, and wrap it in four or five layers of kitchen roll.  As it warms up in your kitchen, it will give up more moisture than straight from the fridge.  If I’ve more time, I shred it into 15-20 pieces by hand, and dry it between layers of kitchen roll.  Again, we are limiting the addition of moisture.  I don’t rate supermarket pre-shredded mozzarella, which is supplied very dry, even if you sometimes see a similar product being used in pizzeria videos on YouTube.  You gotta wonder what effect the anti-caking agent (eg. potato starch) will have on your pizza, including flavour effects as the cheese caramelizes.

In terms of cooking, you can either cook your pizza full blast in a domestic oven – yes 260ºC is just fine, or if you have one cook it in a wood-fired brick oven for best results at 310ºC – 500ºC.  For best results use a baking stone which needn’t cost more than £10. The function of the stone is to simulate the pizza oven hearth, which stores so much heat that it can cause a steam burst, which gives you “oven spring”.  The water in the dough gets turned into steam in the first few moments of contact with the cooking surface, causing the dough, and therefore the cornichione to expand rapidly.  The electric pizza ovens in most pizza shops and even artesan pizzerias seem to be set at 310ºC, but  you do get far better results above 450ºC in my opinion.

So let’s take a look at a finished product cooking in my wood-fired oven:

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Then also worthwhile looking at a finished product:

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Happy pizza baking!

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Heating the Mug – The science of achieving the right temperature in mug-brewed tea

Tea-making behaviour has changed in the West, from loose leaf tea brewed in pre-heated pots, to “tea” bags brewed in mugs.  But in this movement to convenience, has the flavour been lost in methodology?

From adverts for brand tea bags to instructive videos on YouTube, self-styled exemplars fail to recognize the essential loss of consistency in the transition between the pre-heated pot to the mug.

Brewing tea is not nothing more than the addition of once boiling water to a location near the tea.  Mass marketing suggesting this method might be adequate contributes to an experience of modern life that is rubbish, meaningless and unsatisfactory – with an £84bn transnational encouraging human beings to irrationally follow a half-wit knitted monkey ted.   “Knat’s piss”, I hear my long-gone grandma call from her dining room table in 1985, deriding the product of a near miss between tea and nearly hot water in her broad Lancashire accent. Do not follow the monkey, though because others do, Unilever’s shares have risen about 4-fold over 15 years.

You must plan to enjoy your tea, and plan to spend the time and effort on making and savouring a good cuppa is a revolutionary act!

Making tea in a china mug is also a scientific endeavour. If you spend 40 minutes drinking tea each day, not uncommon here in the UK – you may spend 3 years of your life engaged in this pursuit. If your method of brewing the cuppa is lacking, this might mean you end up sipping an unsatisfactory beverage for 1000 days of your existence. It might seem like a sentence: but it need not be, and this brief article might just be your get out of jail free card.

Lamenting the lack of flavour in the cups of tea I was drinking at home, compared to at some cafés, I did an experiment with my digital catering thermometer.  A tenner ensures the 3 years of my life spent drinking tea will be more than satisfactory, but a pleasure.

According to Lifehacker, black tea should be steeped at 90.5 – 96ºC. Though the water in your electric kettle may be close to 100ºC at peak, it cools rapidly, and the temperature drops of significantly when poured into a much cooler receptacle like a cup or a mug. The colder and heavier the mug, the larger the thermal mass which will suck the energy from your boiling water, potentially leaving your tea brewing water tepid.  But just how much does the water cool, and will it affect the quality of your cuppa?

The first part of my experiment simulated what happens when I made a cup of tea by simply pouring freshly boiled water onto a tea bag in a cupboard cooled mug, but without the bag: the water was rapidly cooled by the colder mug to 83.5ºC, and fell quickly. However, after allowing the mug to equilibrate with the “boiling” water for 30 seconds, then discarding the hot water, and replacing with another mug full of freshly boiled water – I achieved a temperature of 93ºC. Within 60 seconds, and certainly at 120 seconds, this produces a much more satisfactory cup of tea than tea made in a cupboard-cold mug.  Try it for yourself.

Therefore the remedy for a post-“heated-pot teapot” world is “heating the cup”.  Let this be your manifesto for the moment. Dispense with revolting half-brew. And tea-up for the revolution!

NB. If you are a heretic, and you add the milk to your mug first, an acceptable variation is to microwave the tea bag in the milk for 20 seconds prior to adding the boiling water.  This is a rapid route to “builders” tea, which in addition facilitates the extraction of certain fat soluble flavour compounds from the tea.

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Where can you buy San Marzano Tomatoes in the UK? – Autumn 2015 update

A few readers have pointed out that the most common stockists of canned San Marzano tomatoes in the UK are nearly all marked out of stock.  I believe this is a seasonal issue, and will change over the coming weeks.  But I’m sorry to say – this does look like a drought.

However – if you look hard you can still get them – if you buy bulk or bigger cans. I suspect the most cost-effective outlets will have stock within 2 weeks.

You can buy 24 tins of San Marzanos for £45 from NifeIsLife, or 2.55kg catering tins from Mediterranean Direct (£9). Finally, you can buy double size tins (800g) of Strianese brand San Marzano tomatoes from Lina Stores for £1.75 + delivery.  However they only have 4 cans left in stock as of today.  Wow.

But you should also consider low stock turnover sources, such as your local Italian deli – they may well not run out of stock during late Autumn.  Finally, ask your deli how suitable their tomatoes are for making pizza sauce.  I find the top quality Italian deli tomatoes to be pretty good, even if they are no substitute for the excellence of San Marzano DOP.

News Update: 12th December 2015: Just in time for Christmas, Lupa Foods have both their 12 cases of 400g tins, and single 400g cans of San Marzano tomatoes back in stock! And once again you can also get the 12 x 400g tin case from Amazon. Though Vorrei and others are still; out of stock.

 

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The Dome Gauge (also known as “the indespensable tool”) – Building my First Wood-Fired Oven

There’s a lot written about building a wood-fired brick oven, but possibly the most psychologically difficult barrier to beginning once you’ve built a base – for most of us who haven’t laid a brick before – is the assembly of the 3-dimensional arch which is the dome.

Once you’ve sketched it out, you probably realise the second biggest challenge will be working out how the opening arch (through which the food will pass) meets the dome, and finally – if you do include a chimney in your design, how on Earth you build that on top of your structure without weakening the dome or opening arch – given that there is going to have to be a hole for the smoke to pass through. The number of collapsed chimney arches I discovered in my online research reminded me that enthusiasm and drive will not overcome physics.

If you were building a wall, you’d use a spirit level, but if you are building a hemispheric dome (bread oven), or flattened hemisphere (pizza oven, Naples-style), you need something else to help guide how far each brick must lean inward, in successive layers of brick.

A dome gauge (indispensible tool)

My Dome Gauge

Part of the solution will be creating a dome gauge, which I’ve never seen for sale commercially.  I looked at a lot of online forums, and came up with my own design utilizing things I could get from hardware and DIY stores.  In particular 6mm screw thread rod was integral to the design, inserted through a rotating trolley wheel in which I’d drilled a 7mm hole – secured with wood resin. The dome gauge is held in place in a wooden frame on your brick hearth, the frame being a rigid straight-edged figure of 8 affair, jammed inside the first brick layer.

I used a handful of 6mm steel components, and these have definite names in the trade, the rod being “Steel M6 Threaded Rod” (£2.18 per metre from B&Q), I used two M6 Threaded bars, and a variety of M6 bolts, nuts and washers. It may be worth considering using a serrated flange nut, because the frequent manipulation of the dome guage can cause your nuts to loosen. The right-angle is called an “angle bracket” or corner brace, and this is what will make contact with your half-bricks in your build.  If you are building for a potentially commercial operation baking bread, or community bakery, you might want to build using full bricks, but this is not necessary at all for domestic baking or pizza.

You can also see this dome gauge in use in the photograph below as I added the third layer of dome bricks.  Note: the hearth is protected from the fire mortar with plywood, and no holes have been drilled in the hearth bricks.

The Dome Gauge Tool in Use

The Dome Gauge Tool in Use

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My first Pain Rustique with local flour from my wood-fired oven

I’d been looking for a simple bread to hone my bulk bread making abilities, and as I was leafing through an excellent book about wood-fired baking as a leaving pressie, I came across what looked like a simple candidate recipe for something called Pain Rustique in the excellent book “From the Wood-Fired Oven“.

Having had enough of variable results from whichever flour was available at the supermarket, I’ve taken once again to buying my bread flour from Wessex mill (see photo below).  I’ve been buying rather large

Wessex Mill - Good Flour with Known Provenance

Wessex Mill – Good Flour with Known Provenance

16kg bags of their Strong White Bread Flour picked up at the mill’s tiny front door shop. They do ship nationally.  However, looks like the biggest bags available online are 10kg (just £11), and they ship throughout the UK.  I rather like them, not only because I ate bread my own mother made with their flour when I was little, but because they publish a grist map showing where the wheat they mill comes from – but they also print it on the back of every bag.  This is local to me, so its a bit greener, but the flour is so good I’ve seen it for sale in West Wales.  I have also heart that Shipton Mill flour is very good, but that’s a lot further for the flour to travel, but with any flour bought from the mill – you are getting better flour for around one-third less than the supermarket – which means the baking is relatively economic.

The Pain Rustique formula I followed started with an overnight poolish of 800g strong white bread flour, 800g water (32°C), and one gram of instant active yeast. I mixed it all up mid-afternoon with a wooden spoon in a plastic bowl, cling filmed it, and left it on the worksurface overnight for 17 hours.  Now if you are turning into a mad baker, you need a mad baker’s mixing bowl so get yourself this catering grade 11 litre Araven polypropylene bowl and a small stack of smaller 6 or 7 litre bowls for smaller batches. They seem to be everything-proof, and don’t poison sourdoughs like steel bowls.

The next morning I added 300g more water (32°C), 800g more flour, and 3g of malt powder (dark malt flour from Wessex Mill).  I left my dough to autolyse for an hour then added 1 level teaspoon of instant active yeast (~5g) and 28g of fresh ground rock salt.  My favoured sea salt is Le Guerandais Coarse from Brittany, France – you might want to find out more about their cooperative. My favoured yeast is fresh, but I settled for Doves Farm Instant Yeast which seems to be easier to reseal, and

seems to stay fresh and viable much longer than other packets.  This dough got about 5 minutes at low speed (setting 1), using the steel spiral dough hook mentioned before.  I left the dough in its bowl, clingfilmed for about 90 minutes, giving it two folds every half an hour – try wiping groundnut oil around the rim of the bowl, it really helps get a good seal so your dough doesn’t crust and dry.

Finally, I floured a tea cloth up as a couche, tipped and spread the dough out a little, and cut it into four rustic shapes, each nested in couche – well floured, and proofed for 45 minutes, before transferring into my hot brick oven.  I lost about another 15 minutes clearing the last ashes, and didn’t allow the oven to cool down enough, and neglected to wipe the oven.  The plank you see in the picture is what I use to transfer the uncooked loaves the 100ft from the kitchen to the wood-oven, and back again, dusted with inexpensive NatCo coarse semolina.

Four Pains Rustique from the Wood-Fired Oven

Four Pains Rustique from the Wood-Fired Oven

I should have wiped down the floor of the oven with a wet clean traditional mop, one that won’t melt … keep one that you don’t use for anything else! I should have let the oven equalise and cool, but I didn’t.  Largely – this was due to (lack of) timing, and coordination – if I’m brutally honest!

So here are the results.

They look good – but as the oven floor was too hot, being well over 330°C.  The bread looks nice but the base was burnt in three of four cases.

Result: The Crumb

Result: The Crumb

I’ve also included a cross-section of one of the loaves below.  You can see the nice open crumb structure, upon which I place a lot of value.

Disappointed that I hadn’t achieved perfection, I began the entire process once again, immediately mixing up the poolish for the next day – but the loaves from the following day’s bake were too delicious to survive to camera – so I can’t show you what they looked like.  Happy baking!

 

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September pizza from my wood-fired oven – the tricks I’ve learned by trial and error

I’ve been experimenting with my wood-fired oven for nearly a year, on and off, and in the last few months I’ve been working on my dough.  The key breakthrough was moving away from 70% hydrated dough down to 55% hydration, and my pizza also seemed to improve when I bought a 25kg bag of Amato tipo “00” flour from

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Amato 00 Flour

the local italian deli. I paid just £20 for this sack of flour, not sure I’ll match that again! Most of the recipes for dough in books and on the internet seem to say add 700g water to 1000g flour, I think this is way way too much if you are using “00” flour.  The dough is eminently more stretchable without ripping, and is also easier to handle because it becomes much less sticky.

I’m not adding any other flour, just white “00”.  What really works for me is using the refrigerator.  I let the water I’m adding stand overnight so any dissolved chlorine “goes off”.

Poolish

Poolish

I’m making a poolish (of equal amounts of flour and water, no salt, pinch of yeast) three days before I start, letting it sit on the counter for a few hours, then 48 hours in the fridge.  Then I’m making my dough with that poolish, and letting it sit on the counter for a few hours, then putting in the fridge overnight.  About 07:00 on the day I’m making pizza, I’m taking the dough out. I’m making the dough balls using a method I learned from YouTube about 2-3 hours prior to need to bake them, leaving them to rise at room temperature in an olive-oiled food grade box.  A silicone brush is using to oil stuff as and when needed, mainly because it can go in the dishwasher without disintegrating.

Another improvement came with the purchase of a Kenwood Chef Major, which I adapted with a catering grade stainless steel spiral dough hook. This gets you far better results than the hook that ships with the Kenwood Chef, and it’s dishwashable – and very easy to clean by hand.  My Kenwood cost less than half the cost of the Kenwood Chef Professional, and the only difference seems to be the wire cage, and the on/off switch.  You can mix up around 2.5kg of dough, which also means you are making bread dough you can use an entire 1.5kg packet of flour at 70% hydration, kind of neat.  This dough is a big step up from my hand mixed, and a big step up from Magimixed dough, which used to get too hot and sticky.  With the spiral hook the dough hardly heats up at all.

Since my last post about making pizza sauce over a year ago, I’ve become a heretic – perhaps.  Achieving a less sloppy sauce without cooking it now means that I fish the San

One of pizzas cooking in the wood-fired oven

One of my pizzas cooking in the wood-fired oven

Marzano tomatoes out of the can (using a fork, rather than a rod and line!), and use only the tomatoes in the sauce.  This also makes me a feel a little better about BPA, which was brought up by a reader.  I’m also taking my mozzarella balls out several hours early, draining them, squeezing excess moisture out, and wrapping them in several layers of kitchen paper – so they are dryer and at room temperature when I’m using them. Other modifications include adding a pinch of sweet paprika to the crushed tomato sauce, and a pinch of sugar as well as a splash of red wine vinegar. I’m using a one measure of a 40-year old 2 ounce ladle to measure and spread out the sauce per pizza, which holds about 65 grammes of water according to the scales, you can get one from a catering supplier!  I’m starting cooking when the oven walls are 450-475 degrees Celsius.  My research showed a really good commercial wood-fired pizza restaurant in London was cooking at just 315 degrees Celsius, which although it may be commercially viable, does not produce the product I am looking for – my product reminds my better of pizza I’ve eaten in Naples.

I’ve also stopped using excess flour to lubricate the dough ball, from ball to stretch,

Result: Black Olive and Stilton Pizza - Wood-fired

Result: Black Olive and Stilton Pizza – Wood-fired

stretched dough lubricated with coarse semolina, this really helps get the pizza on the peel. The other ingredients are now drained, so the black olives used on this pizza were drained in colander, squeezed by hand, then let drain on kitchen paper.  The flour burns more readily on the oven hearth, which can leave a more bitter flavour whereas the semolina aromas actually add to the flavour. And here is the result.  This was four of five – none lasted no longer than 120 seconds, in terms of the time until all the slices were removed from the plate, at my local street party last weekend.

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Building my Wood-Fired Brick Oven – Part 2 – Laying the Foundation Slab

This is the second part of my “Building my Wood-Fired Brick Oven” post series, which is all about laying the foundation slab.  The first post was about digging the hole. I’m including descriptions of the materials, and links to the exact products (or best matches if discontinued) which those in the UK can use to do what I did without too much guesswork.  I’m not one for uncertainty.

Given that what I was about to build weighs in the region of 5,000 lb, and took a couple of years to complete (in my case) running a small business and bringing up young kids left me 2-3 hours some weekends, I thought pretty long and hard about the project before a started to lay the foundation.  I wasn’t going to be able to afford the time for re-runs if it all went pear shaped.

Pea Shingle in the Frame

Pea Shingle in the Frame

In order to create a draining and even surface on which to lay my slab, on which in effect it can float, I used around 10 bags of pea shingle from Wickes. I raked this into place using a stiff rake.  The ground in our yard can get quite damp in the Winter months, and it does go below freezing during the middle of Winter where we are – and the climate might well be important to the type of concrete you choose.

I free poured the pea shingle into my square wooden form, described in Part 1.  This hard gravel isn’t going to get crushed later under the compression from the masonry that’s going to get build on top of it, and it is easy to level.  I bought about 12 units of “Pea Shingle Major Bags” which cost me about £2.40 from Wickes. The closest product is from Wickes is now 10mm gravel, and now costs just £1.79.  Bonus – it’s got cheaper.

I then laid a 6-8 inch deep concrete foundation slab, on another two weekends, in two layers. You should think about what this layer of concrete has to do: it has to take quite an enormous weight, but it is sitting on a layer of shingle which supports it, which in turn lays on the ground.

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The Concrete Foundation Slab

I decided against including rebar mesh inside my concrete slab, but if I had, I would have used 6mm rebar mesh cut to size with a small cheap angle grinder (155m), however, I later used rebar mesh to support a concrete table on which I built the oven – I’ll cover that later.  Because my slab won’t encounter temperatures significantly below freezing for very long periods, I didn’t think reinforced steel bar (“rebar”) mesh was necessary.  I might think different if I was in Canada, New England or lived further North in Europe.

Another consideration was whether to lay polythene under the concrete foundation as a vapor barrier. I decided against this, as the shingle would stop water from my slab being sucked into the soil – so it would cure well in any case. As I planned only to use the slab as a foundation for the oven table, and to store wood – a vapor barrier would be overkill.

The first couple of inches of concrete slab was from around 8 x 25kg bags of Blue Circle Slablayer (20kg bags, £5.49 per bag), which is normally used to provide a basis for laying paving stones. Technically, this was an error – though it is stronger than top soil.

My further layer was concrete, made from premix dry multipurpose concrete from Wickes. I think around 12 bags sufficed in my case.  Use an online calculator to calculate how much you need, and think about getting a delivery – I had to replace the suspension on my car after overusing it to transport building materials!  I mixed my concrete up in a damaged Chad Valley Blue Sand and Water Pit, basically a paddling pool. Later in the project, when I was mixing up my own concrete I used a 1.5m square MDF sheet which was waste from a building site (with permission), this proved very durable and decent to mix on – and much easier than the paddling pool!  I used a value shovel for most hand-mixing, but switched later in the project when the shovel’s weight (of caked on concrete) grew too large.

Wickes don’t seem to sell their own brand multipurpose concrete anymore, probably a good thing as it was packaged in very low quality paper bags which ripped when you handled them. The current equivalent is probably Hanson Instant Concrete Maxi 20kg. These currently cost £5.99, and you want more not less.

Each time I laid a layer, I let the concrete cure underneath a well pegged out tarpaulin. These are up to £10 for a relatively large tarp (3.6 x 5.5m) from Amazon. Don’t splurge and get a good quality tarp, you will probably badly ruin your tarp during in your build.  A major challenge was transport of all these materials… my advice is to calculate what you need, add 25% – then book a massive delivery to your house.

Half the challenge was – in my opinion – calculating the mass of each substance needed – and scheduling a delivery, and then failing to control my enthusiasm for the project by taking the car to Wickes to get stuff early so I could get ahead in what little time I had. As a consequence the suspension on the car was replaced at a later service. Your standard family car will not like a 500kg addition to the boot – which can produce interesting steering effects.

If you happen to live in the Home Counties, AWBS Landscaping Oxford supplied the hydrated lime used later in the project (£11.08), which was one of the most difficult to obtain materials.

Later in the project, I opted to mix my own concrete. This was partly because of cost, but mostly so I could determine the mixture of the components, and therefore control the strength. Finally, once you are pouring the slab – it is time to order hollow concrete block and get mortar components or premix.

In Part 3, I will write about laying the concrete block on which I poured the concrete table.

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