The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

earth oven - first firing for pizza

shimpiphany's picture

earth oven - first firing for pizza

i finished the earth oven to the insulation layer a week ago, and had the first "dry firing" this weekend.

i've fired it twice to try and dry the insulation layer and track the fuel and heat usage, although i won't get accurate estimates on this until i'm sure the entire oven is dry, at least a few weeks from now.

on saturday, i fired it and made pizza. because of some bad scheduling on my part, i was unable to have any bread ready to bake in it, although we did use the tail end of the heat for potatoes and roasted garlic.

i'll fire it and bake bread this week, hopefully tuesday.

here are some photos:

here i am getting the fire started and losing some eyebrows:

here is the fire once it got going. after the fire got some momentum, it became a lot easier to keep it alive - wood placed in the oven would instantly burst into flames instead of needing to be coaxed. at this point, my infrared thermometer (which reads up to about 1000 degrees F) was off the charts:

the tongue of smoke. smoke means an inefficient fire. efficient firing and use of fuel is a very challenging part of this oven:

another view of the fire:

the infrared thermometer. its max is around 1000 degrees:

the themometer. a very fun tool:

here i am rolling out the pizza. i like the flat crust, so i use a rolling pin (blasphemy, i know):

the pizzas. porcini, homemade sausage and onion; and goat cheese and braised leeks. the sauce and crust are adapted from reinhart's american pie:

i'm experimenting with sizes to see how i can best maximize the floor space: 


my father-in-law wielding the oven door, several 4x4's joined by countersinked (countersunk?) screws, joined to a 1x12 sleeve and mounted with two concrete float replacement handles:

with the door in place:

the finished product:

more to follow once i finally get some bread in there...




SteveB's picture

Shimpiphany, I'm envious!  That is one fine-looking oven and some tasty-looking pizzas.  With temperatures as high as you're getting, I would be tempted to get a hold of some Caputo tipo 00 pizza flour and try my hand at some authentic Neapolitan pizza. 


shimpiphany's picture

i've tried the 00 before, with varying results.  i keep a few pounds around for making pasta, but my experiences with the 00 for dough usually yields a too-soft and unmanagable dough.  i think this may be because i am using recipes for american flour that don't compensate for the 00 soft flour.

do you have any ideas about  adjusting recipes for that?

SteveB's picture

A good place to start would be with the AVPN recipe detailed here:

Have fun!


weavershouse's picture

That looks sooo good. Great job.


I'd LOVE to have an outdoor oven. It looks like you are having fun and eating well.                                                                                                                                                                                weavershouse

kjknits's picture

That pizza looks amazing!  I would love to have an outdoor oven like that!  Nice work. =)

Katie in SC

susanfnp's picture

 Wow, how exciting! That pizza looks just perfect. Looking forward to seeing a lot more from this oven!


LA Baker's picture
LA Baker

...I can't wait to build an oven like that!! HOW FUN!!