The Fresh Loaf

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Where is a good source for brick oven recipes?

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Doc Opa's picture
Doc Opa

Where is a good source for brick oven recipes?

Where is a good source for brick oven recipes?  I hope to be able to use my brick oven in a few days or so and am looking for some more recipe sources.  I've found a few like on Forno Bravo's web site.


Thanks,


 


Mark

janij's picture
janij

You can cook anything in a Wood Fire Oven you would cook in a normal oven.  We normally try to cook multiple things when we fire ours.  When the oven if firing I bake flour tortillas in front of the fire.  Then when the fire dies down we do pizza, then we scap it out and let the temp equalize and normally throw in bread or some kind or meat.  You can do a couple chickens, beans, any roast.  Kind of what ever you want.  I am not sure what you are asking for when you ask for recipes.  Do you mean what temp?  I usually go by 100 deg cooler than the wall temp is the air temp.  I hope this helps.  If not, tell me more what you are looking for.

Doc Opa's picture
Doc Opa

Cooking in a brick oven must be different than cooking in a regular oven.  I imagine food cooks faster.  More liquid is needed such as bread doughs with higher hydration or casseroles with more liquid.  Are there any cookbooks dedicated to cooking in a wood oven or websites?


Mark

janij's picture
janij

You should definetly read Bread Buiders if you have not.  It talks about oven management and stuff.  But as for a cookbook or website, not that I know of.  I havenever increased the dough hydration for baking in the oven.  We do put water in the bottom of the roaster pan for chickens and stuff.  Things cook faster if the oven is hotter than you would use inside yes.  But if the oven is the proper temp then things cook at normal time.  ClimbHi is another brick oven guy here.  He built his own and has posted a lot of info on his cooking, fires etc.  I would look up his stuff.

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

Mark,


Mine is a large Allan Scott barrel vault, which I built myself ten years ago on my property in rural Ontario.  I've been baking in it and holding wood fired baking workshops since then.


Truth be told there are not many codified sources for wood fired bread recipes.  The main differences are in hearth temperature, bake times and steam application.  It's really about adapting gas or electric oven recipes to a very different environment. If you found recipes on the Forno Bravo site, it's likely a lot of them were mine if you consulted my basic, free "Wood Fired Bread Book" listed there.


This fairly large hole in the bread canon, and the requests of many students who have come here, led me to write a much more extensive book: Tools Are Made, Born Are Hands: Baking True Artisan Breads in a Wood Fired Oven.  It's available as an e-book on my website, www.marygbread.com. With almost 200 photographs and 300 pages, it's really a book of technique and method to explain how to adapt your favourite bread recipes to a WFO.  It also explores the pluses and minuses of different oven styles, plus contruction techniques.  Far as I know, most of this doesn't exist in one place anywhere else.


I'm working on getting it out as a paper copy on Amazon.


CJ 

ClimbHi's picture
ClimbHi

These two are pretty good:


http://www.amazon.com/Wood-Fired-Cooking-Techniques-Backyard-Fireplace/dp/1580089453/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258037853&sr=8-1


http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Fire-French-Recipes-Woodfire/dp/1604028041/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258037853&sr=8-9


Having said that, what janij says is true -- if you can cook it in your "normal" oven, you can cook it in the WFO. But, the WFO is, in many ways, much more versatile, and in many ways, less versitile than your run-of-the-mill kitchen oven. You have the option of cooking with or without the fire going. You have wonderful dry radiant heat that does wonders for food. But, since a WFO doesn't have a temperature dial, you have to learn how to tweak your oven's temps, and when in your oven's cycle different things work, and plan your WFO meals to fit your own oven's temp profile.


For example, I'll roast peppers, bake potatoes, onions, squash, etc. while the fire is still in the oven. After the oven is up to temp, I'll either maintain a small fire and, e.g., smoke a chicken, and then bake bread, or just rake the fire out and bake whatever I have planned. Then I'll pop in a pie, cookies, brownies, or the like, that will come out just in time for desert. (That always impresses the croud!) After that, if my waistline can bear it, I'll build another small fire just to make a little smoke, and put a couple of pork butts in the oven overnight as the oven falls.


I've never seen any book (and I've looked) that goes into the process of cooking meals (as opposed to dishes) in a WFO. So, you just have to roll up your sleeves, split some wood, and cook. Then post here so we can all learn something! ;-) And feel free to shout out for advice -- I'm happy to share what I've learned. Who knows -- maybe TFL will become the go-to source for WFO cooking.


ClimbHi
Pittsburgh, PA

CanuckJim's picture
CanuckJim

There are really four free e-books available from Forno Bravo: Bread, Pizza, General Cooking, and the Pompeii Oven Plans.  The General Cooking book was a collaborative effort by Forum members from around the world, but the main contributor was Jim Q. from Michigan/Spain.  He' knows more about the subject than anyone I've run into.


CJ

janij's picture
janij

I may have to check those books out as well.  I didn't know there were any, well more that I hadn't found any, or looked that hard.  We have just had fun with the trial and error.  Some things come out good, some bad.  But mostly now they are good.


Doc Opa, I will be interested to hear what you learn.  What kind of oven do you have?

Doc Opa's picture
Doc Opa

Thanks for the info everyone.  Some of these books I have and several I never heard of.  I built a 42" Forno Bravo high ceiling oven but added a 3 1/2" thermal mass cement base under the firebricks and over 4" of Foamglas.  A professional oven builder recommended this to me.  He likes his floors to be 10 to 15 percent thicker than the walls.  Made sense to me at the time, hope I don't regret it. I built a 12' x 16' pavilion over it and am hoping to build the chimney up through the roof today.  I'm going to wrap the dome with a 8 pound ceramic blanket, enclose it with cement board wall and flat roof and fill it with vermiculite.  I'm located in Toledo OH.  Hope to have the walls and insulation up before the chimney mortar cures as well as the steel roof on the pavilion.  I just have to make the oven look nice in the spring by treated the cinder blocks and the cement board walls.  My wife and I haven't agreed yet on the treatment.  Their it is in a nutshell.

dghdctr's picture
dghdctr

http://www.amazon.com/Bread-Builders-Hearth-Loaves-Masonry/dp/1890132055


Alan Scott and Dan Wing's book is the best known for bakers who want to bake in a wood-fired oven.  It is often marketed strictly as an oven-building book, but it goes into Scott's entire bread making philosophy.  I believe this book also explains how to tell when your oven is hot enough to use.


There are also threads here at TFL (searchable with box at upper left) involving discussions about the subject.


In truth, any artisanal hearth bread formula (baguettes, boules, batards made from simple, lean dough) can be baked in a brick oven, but you'll have to experiment a bit to find what times and temps are right for your oven.  So if something burns, or it takes too long, or whatever -- chalk it up to the learning process and keep at it.


--Dan DiMuzio

stylish_chick's picture
stylish_chick

Forno Bravo's site is already a good resource. Another option is to get recipes and techniques from books, as what mentioned the "The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens" by Daniel Wing.


 


I love the baking pizza in my brick oven, that's why I look for variety of pizza recipes from these sources.


 


 


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