The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A Whole Lotta eYe Candy

DavidAplin's picture

A Whole Lotta eYe Candy

Hi Everyone, My wife and I just did a big bread bake this past weekend in our wood fired outdoor oven. I think it was about 100 loaves of various varieties. Come a take a look...

Happy Baking!

Atropine's picture

Excellent!  Thank you for the pics/vid.


Did you make these for a specific event or a storefront or just because?  How long will those loaves last without going stale or mouldy?


I bet that snow makes being in front of the stove a lot nicer!

staff of life's picture
staff of life

You wrote that your scale is one of your two pieces of equipment--is a mixer the other or do you knead by hand?  How long does it take from start to finish to make the bread?  How many loaves can you bake at one time?  I've visited your site a few times before--great stuff!


cnlindon's picture

Thanks for the pix...I envy your woodfired oven.



DavidAplin's picture

Thanks to everyone for the kind comments. I will anwers a few of your questions...

1. The breads are all orders. We send an email around to a list of people in our neighbourhood and folks reply with their requests. We make up the doughs the day before, generally, and fire the beast.

2. The entire cycle is more than 24 hours, firing, mixing by hand, bulk fermenting, scaling, shaping, arguing, then baking. It's brutal, a glorified version of digging a ditch, but strangely fulfilling.  Normally we bake between 100 and 150 loaves, all on a single (but massive) firing

3. I was being a little "funny" about the lack of equipment. But truthfully there is the oven and that damn scale and that's about it. I long for the day when there is spiral or diving arm mixer, and that day will come, but in the meantime my arms are in the process of serious gradual onset carpal tunnel syndrome. That ain't funny.

4. To Chad, don't envy...BUILD one. It's what I did after clicking around on the net and realizing that it would be a worthy project.

Cheers all, David 

breadnerd's picture

Thanks for sharing--It's a very cool setup. As for equipment--got enough peels there? ha ha!

I like your comment on " glorified version of digging a ditch, but strangely fulfilling" It's a good description. When I get done with an all day bake in my humble mud oven, it feels the same way. It's definitely a lot easier to bake indoors with a oven with a on/off switch, but it's not as rewarding either.

Last winter I baked most months, but this year we had 100+ inches of snow and it just didn't happen! We are planning on firing it up on Friday, so this is an inspiraton to get my plans in gear and my sourdough fed :)

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I have a small commercial set-up, providing our local farmers' market and 2 shops with bread.  I have a 20 qt planetary mixer, I do mostly boules, I don't make rolls, and 2 years into it, I have carpal tunnel syndrome.  There are stretches I do daily, and I roll Chinese medicine balls around in my palms, both which help.  I have an occupational therapist I see; before too terribly long I'll need surgery, but because we'll get it before it gets too bad, it should be an easy and full recovery.  I hope you take care of yourself, because I'm sure your customers love your good bread!


Oldcampcook's picture

David, I went to your site and drooled all over my keyboard.  Would you mind explaining the technique for the decorated breads?

I went to my yahoo sourdough group and alerted them to your site, so you might be getting a lot of hits.

For the ones who are selling their breads, how do you get away with it, not having a "commerical" kitchen?  Right now I am giving my breads away because the Oklahoma Health Department wants you to have a food handler's license and a certified kitchen in order to "sell".

People are bringing me flour and yeast and I provide them bread.  I have them all "hooked" here at work and need to figure out a way around our regulations.  Any suggestions?



PaddyL's picture

My brother lives in the Eastern Townships in Quebec and is thinking of building a brick oven on his property in the country.  Any instructions I could pass on?  Your bread is very impressive!

DavidAplin's picture

Hello Bakers, More questions. I will answer as best as I can.

1. Yes I built the oven. I purchased plans from Alan Scott at

2. I am sure I will be facing a visit from some sort of municipal inspector in the near future. No license, no certification. In this locale I think you need to have the same type of license as a church or camp kitchen, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. We use our downstairs kitchen and keep it as clean and flour-free as possible in case of any surprise visits. I am sure that we are not doing things in adherance to the code, there are all kinds of wooden boards used for proofing, linen couches with flour all over them. But we keep all of the ingredients in proper bins with lids and we have never had any problems with insects or other beasts.

3. My arms and wrists are taking a beating and it is definitley time to get a mixer. I'm picky and snobbish about using a planetary. At my regular bakery job we use an 80 quart Hobart and while it's great of cookie doughs, batters, icings, etc. it generates way too much friction to do justice to some of the types of doughs that I like to make. I'm on the hunt for an Artofex diving arm mixer. Rare but not impossible to find. If anyone gets wind of one please contact me here.

Thanks, Happy Baking everyone.