The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First project with my bro

FreshJay's picture
FreshJay

First project with my bro

Hello The Fresh Loaf forum,

I am here today because my brother and I are wanting to start a new project in the back yard. We are planning to build a wood-fired oven to bake bread and even pizzas on the weekends. There are many online at stores like this http://www.used.forsale/canada/toronto/gas-pizza-oven but building one seems more cost effective and fun. We have been getting into baking just recently coming up with different recipes that we can play with to make unique bread. We believe that the oven is the key to making this bread perfect and it gives us some brotherly time togeather.

My main question would be, Is there any point in building one? I have known people to use pizza ovens and even just a hole in the floor that gets covered up to bake their delicious bread. Which would be cheaper? and which would be more effective in terms of taste? We have never taken on a project like this before or even used a wood-fired oven so we are clueless of everything especially the kind of building costs and hidden costs that we will come across.

Any information that you guys can share with us will be greatly appreciated. We are both open books and very sponge-like when it comes to absorbing information. Really looking forward to speaking with you all and hopefully getting this project on the go.

Thanks 

Wood fired oven

tracker914's picture
tracker914

hi, based on my experience with building several ovens like the one pictured there it will cost between $900 And  $1500 dollars depends on how the exterior is finished, Also depends how much material you can get for free, sometimes people are looking to get rid of used brick, etc. I just recently built a 32 inch oven and the fire brick, cement and a few other items ran up about 500 dollars, it's probably going to be a few more hundred to finish it up. also not sure where your located but firebrick can range widely in price so make sure you shop around. I went to one place and they wanted 2.00 per brick then went to another and got them for 1.20 per brick. For an 32 in dome oven you'll need around 160 bricks. Also this assumes you can do all the work yourselves.

the other thing I would say is its definelty not something easily moved if you ever leave that location, 

if you haven't done so checkout forno bravo, they have a few free pdfs that you can download for building ovens, cooking in them etc.

Goid luck with your build .

Angelo

Colin2's picture
Colin2

Daniel Wing and Alan Scott's book _The Bread Builders_ might be worth reading as you decide whether to commit to this project: it's a comprehensive discussion of building and using masonry ovens.   More advice here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/17083/brick-oven-book-recommendations-please .  There's also an interesting book by Kiko Denzer on making a low-cost mud oven.  

There's no question people do impressive baking in masonry ovens!  But everyone I know who does this is making 8 to 12 loaves at a time, or pizzas for large parties.  You need the same amount of firewood for 2 or 10 loaves, and the same getting up early and building a fire in the rain...    

How much of your interest is pizza and how much is bread?  For pizza, masonry ovens make sense because you can get higher temperatures than standard home ovens.  But for bread, you can get results close to a brick oven using a cast iron pot in a standard oven.  

I would also very gently question whether " the oven is the key to making this bread perfect."  If you and your brother have been baking for only a few months there's a whole lot of technique left to learn.  I might bake my way through Hamelman or Reinhart first and just explore for a while: try stuff, learn new techniques.  There is stunning creativity on this forum if you click around a bit.

bread1965's picture
bread1965

Jay.. I've wanted to build an oven in my backyard for longer than I can remember. I have taken wood fired bread baking courses.. I've made a good friend from one of those classes and he ended up building a great oven in his back yard. I live midtown in a big city, so it's not practical as I'll smoke my neighbours out with the start up smoke and cause problems.. over time, I've focused on simply making bread. What I've come to realize is that I can make some pretty remarkable bread at home in my gas oven - both using a dutch oven and a pizza stone. I don't think that making a bread oven would have been the smart thing to do.. one, because I only bake one to two loaves on a typical weekend and getting the oven warmed up and ready would mean my going through a lot of wood, time and effort and ultimately would my bread really taste THAT much better? It would, I'll agree to that. But I don't think it's enough for me to go through that exercise. Pizza, definitely would be better in a wood fired oven versus my green egg bbq or the oven - but when i get the urge I can go to a great pizza joint in town that has a wood fired oven.. two, the amount of effort and time that goes into making one is a lot.. so there's that too.. and once built, she ain't move'n!! So I'd say, if you're into pizza and bread, just learn to make some for two years with your oven, then give it some thought if it's really worth it.. That said, if I had a cottage, I'd probably go for it... but like my friend, who lives out of the city, I think he fires up his maybe eight times a year.. not sure it's worth all the trouble.. that's just my two cents.. not the right answer, just the answer that's right for me.. bake happy.. bread1965

cholla's picture
cholla

I built a Kiko Denzer design oven in our yard 6-7 years ago, We use it for pizza party's with the neighbors, and I bake bread in it when we have a get together and can use 6-8 loaves. for the weekly baking of 1-2 loaves I just use the oven in the house. I used some old broken concrete for the base and the soil from the footing for the dome. Probably have about $300 into it. Although its not the most practical thing I have done there are some good times to be had around the oven. Depends what your goal is.

 

John

FreshJay's picture
FreshJay

You have all made some very good points here and there is a lot more I have to take into consideration than I originally thought. I am going to check out the links above and have a look at some of the other guy's projects to see how they went and what kind of costs we are looking at, not just to build, but to maintain once built. 

I understand that I might not use it to its full potential every day but at the weekends it will have the opportunity to be fired up and baking away, then through the week it can be a garden feature.#