The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I ran into Kiko Denzer today

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JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I ran into Kiko Denzer today

This morning, I bicyled down to the Corvallis Winter Market (which is a lot of fun -- it's amazing what local farmers harvest here during thw winter -- greens of all sorts, leeks, potatoes, onions, squashes, spinach, sunchokes, beets, turnips, fresh eggs, stew hens ... it's fun), and I saw a booth with Kiko Denzer's books, among other things, for sale. Kiko's book, Build Your Own Earth Oven is a guide to building a cheap and easy wood fired oven out of cob. In fact, he's built his entire home from cob.

I asked the woman behind the table whether Kiko was teaching any classes, and she said, "Well, you can ask him. That's him behind you!" And so it was!

He's a very nice man, quiet, with the look of a college professor. He had an oven on display that was about the size of a small shipping box. He said it's big enough to bake in, though it's difficult to get the fire really roiling inside, due to the small size. But he got me thinking, "No need to build a big oven. I could just build a small earth oven, big enough for a pizza and a couple of loaves.

So, maybe I will. Anyway, it was fun meeting someone I'd admired from afar for quite some time.

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Very cool, JMonkey, I wish I had a farmer's market in my hometown with the likes of Mr. Denzer at a booth! I love that book too, and although I never did get around to building a mud oven like breadnerd's, I still hope to. Did Kiko indicate a schedule for 2009?


I can't believe you were able to "cycle" down to the farmer's market in January, you Oregonians are so lucky to have that kind of climate. It got down to -12F here last night and up to high of a balmy 9F today. Since I also love to garden, I have always envied Oregon's perfect climate for so many of my favorite perennial plants, shrubs, and trees (lavender, holly, rhododendron). Great that you are enjoying all that Corvallis and surrounds has to offer!

alconnell's picture
alconnell

I bought Kiko's book and built an oven two years ago.  It is a lot of fun to experiment with, though I haven't used it as much as I'd like.  I built mine fairly good sized - 36" diameter, because I wanted to be able to cook a few pizzas at a time.  It does require a good amount of wood to fire it due to its size.  It was a great family project and the kids love playing in the mud!  It must have been great to meet him.  He seems like a great guy.

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Would love to see photos of your oven somtime, alconnell! Susan has some good ones of her oven here too.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

MountainDog, the climate is nice, actually. And this year, we've been lucky (??) to have very little rain in January. Of course, along with the warm rains we had earlier this month, which melted a lot of snow, that means we may have some water problems this summer.


But it's temperate, that's for sure. Quite a difference from my old digs in Boston, where it's been barely out of the single digits this week. And Corvallis is a great town for bicycling. Even the stoplights that are weight activated have special bike weights, so you don't wait and wait and wait and wait if there are no cars around.


When the rain acts like it's supposed to, though, life gets pretty dreary right about February. Grey, drippy and dreary.


Sounds cozy in upstate NY!