Friday, January 2, 2009

Most Important Resource

If I had to choose one website for the most information about wood-fired bread ovens, then this would be the one:
Spend some time on this site, and follow as many links that interest you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Foundation

To make superlative loaf breads, flat breads and pizzas, here's the foundation:
1 & 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup starter
1 &1/2 t salt
Flour to stir in. Nothing to knead? Of course not. Why bother?
Yield: .5 kilo loaf or multiple pizzas
Factoid: A slack dough makes better bread.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

When contemplating constructing an outdoor bake oven, the most important thing to ask yourself is what the oven will be used for.
If you are going to just be baking pizza and flat breads, you could construct a sleek beauty with little or no insulation and the oven would have a small appetite for wood consumption.
However, if you have serious thoughts about baking multiply loaf breads with multiple bakes from a single firing, then you want to construct a beast. It will be beastly in that you'll need lots of mass for heat retention and lots of insulation to keep the heat from finding its way to China. The beast will require about 8" of mass and about 8" of insulation, and it will have a beastly appetite to consume wood.
A compromise oven might be one with 4" of mass and 4" of insulation. This oven would work for flat breads and you should be able to get one bake of loaf breads before you needed to refire.
The beast can be a beauty, but the beauty cannot be a beast.