The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

outdoor brick oven

SheGar's picture
SheGar

outdoor brick oven

Has anybody ever build something like this? Would that be interesting for bread or just work for pizza? https://www.homehardware.ca/en/quarry-stone-pizza-oven/p/2727041

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Bread vs pizza: with bread, the oven is cooler. So if it can handle pizza temps, it can handle bread temps.

I have not used a brick oven, but my understanding is that you want it built so that when you seal/close the front opening, you also want to close off the flue/chimney, so the baking chamber keeps in the steam from the dough.  At least that is what I see in the famous Alan Scott design of brick ovens, in The  Bread Builders book.

Pizza is baked with burning coals/flame, so you need both the door and the flue open.

Maybe check youtube to see if anyone has documented their build and use of it, and given a review.

Here's a forum for outdoor brick ovens: https://community.fornobravo.com/

It is sponsored by a manufacturer, but all brands and DIY are welcome.

Good luck. and if you build an oven, from a kit or from scratch, please share the journey with lots of photos.

The Bread Builders book also goes into how the internal flue opening needs to be X% lower than the highest internal height of the baking chamber for proper air circulation for bread.  This is less important for pizza. 

SheGar's picture
SheGar

I guess a bunch more research is in order. I am just worried about collecting all the bits and pieces myself. A kit would be great but I haven't seen one for bread baking specifically.

Why don't they just offer what we need? lol

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

according to that web page, it is a kit with all the pieces. But no reviews so far.  There is a place on the page to ask questions.

I tried to find the price. but you have to select a store first. But the 3 stores I selected, apparently don't stock it, because as soon as i selected a store, it would no longer let me return to the product page!  how silly.

Here is another web page with many links to outdoor and indoor brick ovens.

http://heatkit.com/html/bakeoven.htm

SheGar's picture
SheGar

I'll ask in store or call them to see how pricey this is. I was just curious in general if this is even a good idea before I start counting my pennies.

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Wood burning ovens for bread baking is a whole other level of skill.  And a lot more work. usually takes a few hours if not more to preheat the oven (which is not easy to get the right dome temp you want. then you have to clean it down a bit before you bake. and constantly monitoring temp and moving the loaves around.  I looked into this some years ago and decided that it wasn't for me.  For pizza though, that's a different story.  i would love to do wood burning pizza oven.  bake a neapolitan in under 2 minutes. 

SheGar's picture
SheGar

We are on a farm and I would be around when I do this. Also thinking for later, retirement. Heat, make pizza, let it cool and cook/bake bread while it's cooling. I am just not sure what to really look for yet. But I have time. Retirement is quite a few years away.

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I have baked in wood ovens. Mostly Pizza but also bread and bagels.. 

The point I would add is that with wood fired bread baking you have to consider volume of dough and steam. What I mean by that is if you have a large hearth and bake a single loaf you'll likely be unhappy, rather you need to load a full deck of dough to bake a great deck of bread. If you think of those great videos online where the bead maker is putting in a dozen or more loaves to bake at a time, that's not only efficient given all the wood you had to burn to bring the oven to temp but to create enough steam within the chamber to get a good rise. If you put in a single loaf into a large oven the steam will be lost in all that space from just one loaf. You won't ever get the oven spring you hoped for regardless of how good a dough you developed. So plan to either i) use it for pizza, ii) make it much smaller for just a few loaves, or iii) plan on large bakes.

Good luck..

SheGar's picture
SheGar

I am thinking along the lines of micro bakery as a retirement plan. So yes, definitely multiple loaves. If I only bake one I can use the home oven. My problem is more the limit of the space in a home oven. Rofco would be great but wood fired bread is another level.

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

She:  I have a copy of The Bread Builders by Wing and Scott.  I think it would be good for your research.

https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Builders-Hearth-Loaves-Masonry/dp/1890132055?tag=froglallabout-20

Available new, used, and Kindle format.

Lots of "things to know" sprinkled throughout the case studies.   My take-away is that shortcuts and mistakes  can sabotage the oven, mainly in its ability to survive the thermal expansion/contraction.  The secondary critical factors are in sizing and thicknesses, which relate to efficiency. 

Be sure to read the case-studies, because while they seem mainly "story telling" at first glance, they include some really good strategies on things like firings, temp management, and operation/scheduling.

If you have a cheap/free source of firewood, and can obtain materials at reasonable cost, and provide the labor yourselves, a WFO sounds like a deal.

SheGar's picture
SheGar

I'll check it out. I have looked at Richard Miscovich's book briefly but I think it's time to take a closer look at books like these.