The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

mud and silt not available in our neck of woods

crazyknitter's picture

mud and silt not available in our neck of woods

We live in an area that that our ground is MOSTLY bedrock and clay.  The clay is GREAT but, the rocks are soooo abundant that it is not worth it to pick out every bedrock that is in our area.   We live in Missouri.   I'm sure this where the flintstones use to live - bedrock city. 

Ok. with that introduction, we have been trying to figure out a way we could make a nice oven.   I have seen things around the internet of others using a adobe bricks.  I'm for that, but I still have a desire to seal up all the cracks, but most of all to make it look like nice.   

Another reason is because my 17yo son seems to have a passion to learn more about masonry in regards to this.   I would like to somehow help him begin doing something like this (and I might just get my coveted bread oven).    Anyone have any ideas of how we can build one without mud and silt in our area?  Is there a source we can obtain some silt to use with the bricks/rocks that we can find in our area.  

Any food for thought would be appreciative.



Ford's picture

I see that no one has replied yet.  I have no experience with wood fired ovens, but I did a brief search of the internet using this "wood fired oven" as search words.  There is a lot of information out there.  Qiite a few people using the "Fresh Loaf" have used the ovens.


Escopeton's picture

Are there any construction companies that deal in topsoil in your area?  Here we can order dirt that is great for making adobes; sand to clay percentages and such.  Is there any arroyos (gulleys) where you can dig it out yourself, if it is legal.

pmccool's picture

why fret about not having mud or silt?  While clay will crack when it dries out, it will hold together much better than either silt or mud (which contains quite a bit of silt).  Just be sure to use some binder material, such as chopped straw, in the clay mix to minimize the amount of cracking.  And you can plaster over the cracks with a skim of more clay.


crazyknitter's picture

while I would be more than happy to utilize the mud/clay, it is filled with about 75% bedrock of ALL sizes.   It would be VERY labor intensive to get the rocks out.


gary.turner's picture

Historically, clay is dug from river or creek banks, not from the dirt under your feet. Scout out local farmers and ranchers. Explain what you're looking for and ask if they have any clay deposits and would they mind if you dug up and hauled away several hundred pounds of the stuff.

If you're going to work with clay, especially found clay, it's all labor intensive.



JoshuaFinancial's picture

check your local masonry supply yard or pottery supply house

brand available here in philadelphia PA is cedar heights wood fired pizza oven clay

the pottery supplier has an online store, so I include that link for your info

the masonry supply yard had it a slightly higher prices, but closer to our business so it ended up being a wash, price-wise.  but sure did save labor and money vs digging our own clay or using fire bricks for the vault.   we turned the savings into more budget for the oven floor, and so bought more firebricks to set on edge, giving us a 4.5" thermal mass for the floor itself.

crazyknitter's picture

Thanks, everyone.