The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Busy day baking

tchism's picture

Busy day baking

Well I had a very busy baking day yesterday! I fired my oven around noon. It was the first firing since I added bricks to the opening and applied the final lime plaster coating to the outside.

Once heated to the point that the walls have burned off the soot, I spread out the coals to even up the temps in the hearth.

With the coals removed and the oven cooled to baking temps, I placed my three loaves in the oven.

This shot was taken mid way through the bake.
Then the final product!

After the bread was done, the oven still had plenty of heat stored in it so we placed a pork loin roast along with some corn and potatoes in to bake for dinner.

One of those potatoes was a sweet potato for me!
Everything turned out great, the oven really performs!

With dinner done, the oven still had some heat left in her so what else can you do but come up with something else to bake!

Oatmeal chocolate chip are a favorite at our house!
One tray in as another is about ready to come out!

Baked to perfection! They went fast!!

After a full day of baking the oven was just under 300F when the last batch of cookies were done. Even at the lower temps the cookies baked as fast as they do in the regular oven set at 350F. It must be the convection heat of the oven!

The only one not happy about the baking for the day was the oven's resident lizard. It was too hot for him to clime to the top of the oven to watch over his territory. The outside of the oven never passed higher than 115F except around the door opening but it must have been too hot for him!

The oven held cooking temps well over 5 hours! Not bad for a little clay oven!!

PetraR's picture

Fantastic looking breads!!!

I might get myself a clay oven when we are in the new house by the end of August.

It is great that you can cook your meat and your bread all together.

tchism's picture

Thanks PetraR,

I try to use as much of the stored heat as possible. This also includes loading the oven with wood after it goes below 300F to dry out the wood for the next firing.


ghazi's picture

What a feast! Looks like you had a wonderful day.

Nothing can beat the taste of wood fire and your oven is spectacular, was that all built on your own?

Yes, the residual heat is something else for slow cooking. Nothing like a bit of nature in our lives. If only I could be tempted to fire up my oven in 45 C heat. Maybe i'll wait till winter

Amazing pictures, very inspiring want 1 of those cookies

Of course bread looks stunning

tchism's picture

Thanks ghazi!

Yes the oven was built over the last year by myself and a little help from a friend and my family! It's been operational since last October but just received the brick face and plaster finish in April.

It was hot here when I fired her up Sunday but only about 40 C. Still, when fully going I stayed back a bit from the opening.

The cookies are simple to make but are one of our favorites.

Cookie recipe

ghazi's picture

Great finishing, really like your oven door! (keep the lizard at bay) .

Thanks for the cookies


BobSponge's picture

Favorite new thing in our pizza oven is yogurt.  When the  floor is around 100-120F, I put a couple mason jars filled with milk and starter in and close the door.  After about 8 hours we have the most wonderful yogurt.   Never really was a fan, but this stuff is the best...

I got the idea here:


tchism's picture

Thanks Bob! I'll have tot give the yogurt a try.



ExperimentalBaker's picture


when you mention starter here, you are referring to store-bought yogurt used as starter right? And not sourdough starter? :P

Stevo's picture

I suspect that there will be many a jealous TFL user (well at least one - me) hoping for an invite to dinner - alas I'm guessing you don't live anywhere near Liverpool, England!

tchism's picture

Thanks Stevo!

No, it wouldn't be a quick trip to my place in Northern California from Liverpool! But let us know if you ever make the trip and we'll light the oven up for you!