When the temperature of the cob oven's back wall reaches 900 degrees or so, the countdown begins. Like other wood-fired oven cooks, Hall follows the order of the heat: Pita breads made from her cornmeal white bread recipe go in first. A three-ounce ball of dough puffs and bakes in 65 to 75 seconds. When her family or a friendly crowd is on hand, Hall will transfer the hot, chewy pillows to a carving board on the table with a dish of butter nearby. The pitas' undersides have bits of char; nobody can eat just one.
Flatbread pizzas and calzones go in next. They take less than two minutes to bake. "I'm not a tomato sauce person," she says, preferring to adorn them with homemade mozzarella, fresh basil and a sparse application of tomato slices, or the olives and mushrooms that Conor prefers.
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