The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brick vs adobe oven

  • Pin It
htc's picture
htc

Brick vs adobe oven

Hi, I'm new to the site and am looking for information on brick and clay ovens. I think I'm interested in building my own but not sure yet. I'm in the very preliminary research phase. I read on this forum that clay ovens require a lot more fuel to heat than brick? Can someone give me more information?

-What are the pros/cons: brick vs. clay adobe oven??

 -Do you use only wood to heat both ovens? (I'm in the city so don't have an abundance of wood easily accessible) Can I use charcoal? Or is that a big no-no?

-Do both ovens really take about 3 hours to heat? How long will the heat last? It this is the case, sounds like it's best to bake a bunch in it at a time, so not to waste energy.

-Can I cook meat in the oven? Or will the fat ruin the oven for bread baking?

-Is it worth building if I use it just for pizza, meat and rolls? I'm not very good at baking artisan style breads.

 Thanks for any thoughts you can give me.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Are you familiar with TraditionalOven.com ? Tons of information and links, including a very detailed FAQ that covers just about all your questions. Also a very interesting writing style - the author's English is excellent but he is clearly not a native speaker!

I just ordered his CD that includes the plans, step-by-step photos, and all the pictures on the site. Very reasonable price.

I think most people who build a masonry oven do so with the idea of making pizza in mind rather than bread. Once yours is done I will come over and show you how to make bread in it!

The usual sequence is

  1. Firing
  2. Pizza
  3. Bread
  4. Roasts / stews
  5. Cooldown & cleanout

as the temperature decreases over the course of the day/night.

 

sPh

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Sunset apparently had a book on building an adobe oven and have published on the web here: Sunset Adobe Oven.

I did a quick search at Traditional Oven and several people reported that they used grocery store charcoal (but NOT coal). Which makes sense, because logs turn into charcoal during the process of burning.

The Build Your Own Earth Oven book (ISBN 096798467X) also has plans for urban sites.

sPh

 

 

htc's picture
htc

Thanks for the links & information!!

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

HTC, this is a sincere question .... Why do you think you'd have to build a masonary oven, wood fired with possibly three-hour heat-up time ?

You say you were "not very good at baking artisan style breads". Maybe you are modest but if that were the case, why not first learn and practice the basics with one of the regular electric or gas ovens. Look around here and you will be certain that you can bake amazingly great breads with conventional ovens and a few tricks, work-arounds and experience.

I'd think unless one goes semi-professional and/or has an ungodly amount of time on his/her hands, this would be an overkill - if not at least for the amount of energy and natural ressources you'd have to bring up to bake a few pizza or two loafs.

I'd also think that since the temperature is quite critical it would take some darn good design and alot of experience to create temperature parameters that can be reliably produced.

 

I know that professional brick ovens produce higher and more stable temperatures and are traditionally with other modern equipment ideal for bread baking. But the bakers who use this equipment bake more than just a few loafs a day ...

 

BROTKUNST

htc's picture
htc

BROTKUNST, I'm a a hard core "gadget" freak which is why I would even entertain the idea of one of these ovens when I'm not good at making artisan bread. :-) I've made one batch that was really good the first day and then next day my bread was hard as a rock. I'm still trying but still have a long way to go. I can see myself using this oven for stuff like pies, pizzas & slow cooking meats.

 As I learn more about both these ovens I'm thinking it might not be practical in my situation. BUT I still haven't ruled it completey out because the ovens are so cool! :-)

 

 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Here is another resource for traditional brick/adobe/mud ovens:

Ovencrafters are an organization that designs and builds brick ovens. They have plans from backyard size up to full production bakery. Their links are also interesting, although their page behaves a bit oddly in Firefox.

And on this page Frankie G has a detailed description w/many pictures of building his oven (looks like a fairly large one).

sPh

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Check out the show room picture  HERE

I've seen some of these at various festivals. 

Mini O