The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Problems with little dirt crumbles

varda's picture
varda

Problems with little dirt crumbles

After getting some great advice in this forum, I built a Denzer style mud oven, and started baking in it a few weeks ago.   As I get more and more experience with it,  and add features and equipment, I have been able to make better and better bread, as well as cooking with the retained heat after I am done baking.   But I am having some trouble with little spritzes of dirt falling down from the ceiling.   Which I don't mind except when I have bread baking inside.   I am not worried about the structure.   The dome is over 4 inches thick and I have put on a new coat or two here and there.   I have taken to covering the top of my bread with parchment paper to protect it from getting dirty while it's cooking.   I haven't seen any references to this on this list or elsewhere.   Has anyone had his problem, and if so what did you do?  Thanks! -Varda

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Hi Vhaimo


Usually when heating your wood fire oven  you will notice a blackening of the chamber  with a soot or carbon, at a certain temperature the soot will also burn off  leaving a clean chamber.


Do you use a scuff for sweeping the floor clean? it can be made by using a broom handle and either a piece of hessian or and old tea towl  attached to the pole by a piece of wire. Wet it and ring it out  and set up a swinging circular motion which will flickout any cinders or debris from the fire it can also help if you need to bring the temp down a bit.


Regards Yozza 

varda's picture
varda

Yozza,   Thanks for your answer.  I think that if I were to try to wipe down the dome itself, I would get more crumbling.   The dome does get black and then cleans off as you say, but if I for instance touch the side with a cleaning tool or a log, I will get a little clay debris.   It isn't enough to compromise the structure, but it isn't entirely smooth and hard either.   If I were to wipe the outside of the dome (gently) I don't think it would crumble, but somehow the inside does a bit.   I put another couple of layers of mud on the outside just to make sure I had enough thickness, but I'm not sure why the inside is unstable.   I wonder if it is just the clay mixture I used - I ran Denzer's recommended tests and got good results, but I didn't have anyone who knew looking over my shoulder to tell me if it was right or not. 

yozzause's picture
yozzause

The oven we have is a barrel vault of fire bricks and you are correct we dont actually touch the vault it just burns off the carbon.


when the oven is cold and you can touch the inner dome does the clay crumble ? it will certainly add a bit of crunch to the crust.


yozza