The weather has improved so we decided to make pizzas and try to get better control over the heat. We heated up on sticks and some split pine. Once the soot burnt off the inside (40 minutes or so) we kept going for another 20 to make sure that the heat was right into the walls. The coals were still quite fierce when they were pushed back to the rear and the side.
Getting it hot enough definitely payed off. The pizzas themselves taste good too. It is tricky to get the dough cooked through though. Thickness is an issue but I wonder if the floor temperature is too high – giving it a good crust but not getting through the bread before the edge and the topping get over cooked. A good excuse for more practice!