Friday, August 20, 2010

The mini earth oven

August 18, 2010
Here's what you'll need to make a mini earth oven. You can actually bake pizzas and other flat breads, but very small ones indeed. If you're not sure if you really want to construct a large earth oven, then consider making a mini oven first for practice and you'll get an idea of what could lie ahead. This is the oven that participants in a workshop will be making this fall in Maine.

3/4” plywood-cut 22”X22”
8 red bricks
sand dome 9.5” high, requires 50 pounds of sand 

50 pounds of sand equals about 3/4 of 5 gal. joint compound pail
3:1 mix for dome. 1-1/2 bags of sand. 75 pounds
4-1/2 shovelfuls of clay

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wild Mushrooms

While waiting for the dough to rise, I love to get into the forest and search for wild mushrooms. I've been doing this for a very long time, and it is one of my most satisfying pleasures. Yes, you can use wild mushrooms for toppings on your wood-fired pizza creations.
A few of the wild mushrooms I eat are shown below, but not the very last one

  Black trumpet


 Inky cap

 Sulphur shelf or chicken mushroom

If you're far from field and forest, there is still hope for you. I frequently find lots of inky cap mushrooms right in town.
Get a field guide and use the web for identification. Understand that a few common edible mushrooms can cause an allergic reaction with some people, and poisonous mushrooms can cause a lot worse things than that.
One of my favorite quotes in reference to the edibility of amanita muscaria "though not usually fatal, it is an experience not easily forgotten."

Amanita muscaria