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Neill's Pompeii #10 - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Neill's Pompeii #10

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  • Neill's Pompeii #10

    (I started a new thread because I cannot find my #9 posting and Maver's response. Other posts are on my oven construction are found in Neill's Pompeii #4 and starting in the Pompeii oven construction thread)
    Sunday 17th June.
    It’s up late (what else do you do but sleep in on a Sunday) and make up 2 batches of dough for the family feast of pizza. Repositioned and re-wired the down lights in the oven stainless vent hood and ran the cabling through the hood in heat resistant fiberglass braided tubing. I also packed the back of the lights (especially the wiring), with the offcuts from the thermal blanket. It worked an absolute treat with no excessive heat affecting the power cables and shorting out the lights.
    Just got that job done when Paul “Hendo” arrived to check out the oven and to collect a ‘left over bag’ of fire clay.
    I made another log support out of scrap metal in order to set a larger and wider fire, now, almost the full width of the oven.
    I lit the rather large fire at 4:00 pm, (as I was determined to get it hotter than last night) I continually stoked and loaded it with longer lengths of dry hardwood (Jarrah and gum) and it was ready to cook at 5:30. The whole of the dome was white this time but without the thermocouples and/or the infra red digital thermometer, still not able to check the final temperatures.
    Although we initially used alfoil to cook the pizzas on, the latter pizzas were prepared and cooked bare bottomed. A little salt on the square edged peel had the pizzas sliding beautifully onto the hot hearth, puffing at the edge and cooking wonderfully.
    The whole family was very impressed, with some going back for seconds. I finished the night by cooking two pizzas which I intend to take for ‘show and tell’ tomorrow at work.
    I still need to master the reduction of the dough balls to a thin flat base

    Neill
    Attached Files
    Last edited by nissanneill; 06-18-2007, 03:19 AM.
    Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

    The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


    Neillís Pompeiii #1
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
    Neillís kitchen underway
    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

  • #2
    Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

    Neill, you really have an elegant oven opening design.

    Keep working with those bare bottomed pizzas. Some people have reported a preference for semolina rather than flour to help it slide better. I use flour and it works well, but there is a technique involved. Be sure to give the pizza a small shake when you have it on the peel - hold it horizontally and just get some movement in it prior to sliding it into the oven.

    With those three pizzas in there you don't have as much flame as I usually use while baking pizza - I know you are waiting for temperature measurements but my guess is you could keep a bit more wood on the fire while baking. Have you tried with the fire all to one side instead of in back?
    Marc

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

      Hi Maver
      this was only my second try and still very green when it comes to wood fired oven cooking. This is certainly a science when it comes to the whole deal. It is one thing to build one (relatively easy) but the heat control and use, (making, and baking in one) is quite new to me.
      There were very hot coals but I haven't attempted to keep fire in the oven. The first pizzas cooked in around 3 minutes but could obviously been even hotter. I should get my thermocouples and infra red thermometer for the next firing for a better guide to temperatures.
      I found that salt on the peel helped the easy placement into the oven but I also need to educate the rest of the family not to push the sticky side of the balls onto the board that we use to make up the flattened base and assembled the toppings.
      They don't look the flashest but they certainly taste great.
      I try to refrain from using flour as the forum pointed out that it burns very quickly and easily, spoiling the taste.
      It only goes to prove my point of what I claim to my students, in that "the more I learn, the more I realise how little I know"!

      Neill
      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


      Neillís Pompeiii #1
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
      Neillís kitchen underway
      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

        I disagree with the flour concern - it's what I use, and probably most of us, and it works fine.

        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/10/f...al-1715-4.html

        Some flours burn easier than others. I think at some point everyone ought to try the caputo flour - it really works better. I'd wait until you've made enough to feel like you've worked out the kinks - it doesn't burn as easily and gives a great crust. For now, I suggest you use a blend of cake 25% and a good bread flour (75%) - I liked the fineness of the cake flour and the blend brings you down to the proper protein %.

        How did the salt affect the taste???

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

          I started with the Caputo and will never use anything else. I love the crust, the only other times I had crust similar were the pizzas I ate in Naples...I wonder why. I am starting to play with the hydration and such, but the Caputo is here to stay. As for burning, I think just about anything you may use (Caputo, Semolina, corn meal) can and will burn at the hearth temps we use. Practice makes perfect, you will figure out how much and what temp makes the best pizza for you. Many (myself included) like a little charing on our crust.

          RT

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

            good work Neil....its fun to get to the actual eating part
            If you struggle with the peel, try aluminium trays....I use them with very little (almost no flour) and it helps me get a decent base as the dough soon releases from the tray and then you can whip it out to let it cook the crust on the oven floor.

            I've worked my oven out know where I can get top and bottom cooked consistently within 3minutes. So the more you do the more you will "read" the oven.....

            In regards to the Caputo, has anyone here in Australia tried getting it? Is it cost effective?.......would be really keen to try it.
            I currently have tried "pizza dough" flour from a couple local bread bake shops....that can vary in price and quality.
            Cheers
            Damon

            Build #1

            Build #2 (Current)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Neill's Pompeii #11 - Oven illumination

              Monday 18th June
              Just catching up on the great feedback from other forum members and I thought that I should share my oven light set-up which works fantastically.
              I initially wired up two 240volt normal non adjustable domestic household downlights with a couple of short extension cords but the heat entering the vent cooked the cables and shorted them out on Saturday's pizza test session. I then rewired them on Sunday running the cabled through the stainless hood using extra high temperature fibreglass braided tube and keeping the same short extension leads away from the hot hood (especially since I had twice the fire on Sunday night's cook-up). I also packed the back of the light's stainless mounts with offcut and left over thermal blanket and on checking the heat of the hood surrounding the cabling exit points, found them only warm - nowhere hot enough to cause trouble during pizza baking.
              See the pics to see how I cut and shaped the thinner stainless and tack welded them to the hood ensuring that they were aimed across the openning and well into the oven.
              It is almost impossible to see what you are doing without them as my family experienced when I turned them off, even with a 100 watt floodlight mounted under the house eaves directly behind the 'chef'.

              To Maver, RTflorida and Bacterium,
              thank you for your input and I will take them all on board together with further experimentation.

              Neill
              Attached Files
              Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

              The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


              Neillís Pompeiii #1
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
              Neillís kitchen underway
              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

                Hey Neill,

                One more thing. I moved your posting on your first pizzas here to the pizza category. I thought it would add a lot of good information there. That's where your #9 got to.

                Take a look.
                James

                http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f10/...html#post11553
                Pizza Ovens
                Outdoor Fireplaces

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

                  a couple things to add about lighting (I'm a licensed sparky)....from an Oz point of view

                  The ELV downlights are a safer option (240Volt goes to a transformer which on the others side comes out as 12v and goes down to the globe as that.) in comparison to the LV (240 Volt only - all the way to the globe - no transformer)

                  With some ELV downlight types (eg. Clipsal dual head units) the leads from the transformer to the 12v globe is over a meter. Which means you can then put the transformer(and mains lead which is 240v) further away from your heat source .....also the globes are usually cheaper (about AUS$4 each)

                  Having said all that.... if you use LV (240Volt) downlights make sure the earth is good - and that it is fed off of a circuit from your safety switch (to reduce the risk of electric shock.

                  Looking at your setup Neil has got me thinking about something for mine tho
                  Cheers
                  Damon

                  Build #1

                  Build #2 (Current)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

                    Neil,

                    Your lights are very cool. Nice job. It really puts a lot of light in the oven opening. Does it also light up the inside of the oven pretty well? Very nice work.

                    Are they going to get a little sooty over time? I guess you can just clean them ocassionally.

                    James
                    Pizza Ovens
                    Outdoor Fireplaces

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

                      Hi James,
                      the lights are set directly behind the front arch facia bricks and are aimed diagonally across the oven door frame onto the floor on the opposite side. They are mounted as low as possible without beng visible from the front and out of harms way. With one aimed on each side of the oven floor, they put heaps of light onto and into the oven exactly where you do all of the baking/cooking and because of their low angle reflect quite a lot of light to fill the oven proper. In fact they cover the whole of the oven floor beautifully. Very easy to see everything as it happens. It is very easy to see all of the dome brick detail and makes working within the oven a treat. Being downlights, they are designed to get very hot, we have had a few houses catch fire here in Adelaide from poorly fitted downlights, they are made of glass so will be easy to clean (well the lenses at least), the white surrounds will eventually go black but who cares! You only need to ensure that the cabling is of the high temp variety and that it is protected from the heat as much as possible. As mentioned previously, I used left over heat blanket insulation and offcuts to pack behind the lights and to offer protection for the wiring. I also exited the wiring directly behind the lamps so only 60mm of cable (which is of the hight temperature material)is subjected to the heat. That is 350mm drom the oven outlet and is cooler than directly over the oven arch.
                      These are 240 volt lights left over from a major renovation but there is no reason why the 12V variety wouldn't work just as well, only need to fit the transformer away from the heat. Mine cost me $5 each when I bought 35 of them and am very pleased with the results.If you like,
                      I can pull the vent out to get a better photograph for fellow members and visitors to see. It is very hard to get into the oven for a picture back out into the vent because if I am in the vent, the there isl no room for the camera, let alone seeing the lights!

                      Damon,
                      although I have only temporarily wired in the lights, they are well eartherd with the mounts welded to to stainless vent, a direct earth onto the metal structure is well secured and more than appropriate. I am sourcing a couple of ceramic connectors and will be running higher temp cabling from the power swithing (which will be on the side of the front facia archway) to the lights. The cabling will then be buried in a thick layer of cermiculite cement insulaion which will hold and seal the vent to the brickwork.

                      Neill
                      Last edited by nissanneill; 09-02-2008, 03:20 PM.
                      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                      Neillís Pompeiii #1
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                      Neillís kitchen underway
                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

                        cool, I think downlights are probably the best choice for mains wired lighting. Compact yet bright lighting.

                        I like your flue chamber setup, I'm guessing it would draw well.

                        Its great to see you are now at the cooking stage.....it gets addictive ..... I have fired mine every weekend for 6 weeks.......I might have this weekend off and finish the insulating bit

                        how was the response at your work with the pizza you took in?
                        Cheers
                        Damon

                        Build #1

                        Build #2 (Current)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Neill's Pompeii #10

                          Bacterium,
                          I have temporarily put the galvanised chimney flue (just lying around doing nothing), in to get the smoke up a little but am planning on 2 lengths of 8" stainless flue. When I have this, I will weld a flange onto the top of the vent chamber, screw and seal the flues in place. Yes it does draw exceptionally well. Very pleased with it's performance.

                          Then it is only to make the doors and tile the outside dome.

                          As for the work show and tell, well around the lunch table, rather I am envied and the crew would like me to arrange special "friends cook-up". They have had a smell and a few a taste of the finished (but reheated) product. I plan on cooking all of the left over dough and feasting on them when home alone at night and also the occasional lunchtime or school evening meal.
                          Looking up the bread information at present and will try a batch of loaves, rolls etc. this week end after the pizzas.
                          Nothing ventured, nothing gained they say.
                          Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                          The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                          Neillís Pompeiii #1
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                          Neillís kitchen underway
                          http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Neill's Pompeii #12

                            Sunday 1st July
                            another lousy day, the wife is over in Sydney and I have the place to myself, so I decided to get into the pattern for the cast iron oven doors and components for the hinges.
                            Thought it best to leave the two doors as a single pattern to cast and then cut the casting with one of those magical 1mm cutting disks. At least the doors should meet perfectly by doing it this way. Made the hinge brackets and screwed them into place on the customwood leaving sufficient clearence angle for removing the pattern from the sand mould.
                            The pics show the various components with a brass latch assembly (still to decide on the knob which will have to be heat resistant) and adjustable off-centre brass hinge bushes that will be inserted into the holes drilled into the door castings.
                            The steel frame brackets will be welded to the oven door frame once the doors are made and ready for fitting. The brass off centre bushes will allow me to adjust the door so that it will seal on the fibreglass rope seal already installed into the frame.
                            I decided not to incorporate sliding vents into the doors as I figured that when the doors are closed to seal the oven, then no fire should/will be in there and I woild not need the doors closed whilst the fire is burning vigorously preheating the oven.
                            I also got a little lazy and have decided on rather plain rather than decorated castings. Is it really worth the extra effort, as my oven is designed to work well rather than being a showpiece?
                            I need to paint it in reaadiness for the foundry this week.
                            I went looking for 2" mosaic tiles yesterday and none are available. They are all 3-4" today so I guess I'll have to keep looking or simply put some oxide into some render and put a stucco finish on it.

                            Neill
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by nissanneill; 07-01-2007, 03:32 PM.
                            Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                            The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                            Neillís Pompeiii #1
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                            Neillís kitchen underway
                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Neill's Pompeii #13

                              I dropped the pattern for my oven doors into the foundry to find that they no longer do jobbing work as they are too busy to make the mold, but sent me to a foundry that I used earlier in the year to cast 2 plaques for my folks burial plots. This foundry estimated that polished cast brass doors would cost Aus$260 and only Aus$60-80 for aluminium. They cast their ally at 650įC but I plan on screwing a folded steel frame behind each door which will contain a 1" thermal blanket for insulation. I am aware that the oven will reach 500įC but that is for Pizzas and the doors will not be used. They should be fine at the lower temps when they will be used. If all fails, I still have the pattern and can get them to make the mold and then have them cast in iron.
                              I might even give them a call first thing Monday as they are taking other patterns around to the cast iron foundry for iron casting and to include my doors.
                              I could not get 8" stainles chimney so had to settle for galvanised. This will do for a few years and will keep my eyes open for the stainless. I will add these two to the one that I already have which will raise the height to around 10 feet.
                              Will post pics when I have the final result.

                              Neill
                              Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

                              The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know


                              Neillís Pompeiii #1
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f8/n...-1-a-2005.html
                              Neillís kitchen underway
                              http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f35/...rway-4591.html

                              Comment

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