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Forno Poilane - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



I'm Peter Reinhart! Ask Me Anything! Monday, February 15, 2016 7:00-8:00 pm EST

To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

Ask Me Anything New Forum Feature

You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
- Another thread will be posted for the live AMA. Registered users who are logged in during the live session can interact with the host by asking questions and receiving responses.
- The live thread will remain in the AMA forum to view after the session.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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  • Forno Poilane

    Here are a couple of photos of the oven at Boulangerie Poilane in Paris. There are three different bakeries -- this one is south of the river in St. Germain.

    The oven has a very low dome and it's very rustic, with rolling bricks, exposed mortar, etc. It's a white oven, with the fire below. My French is pretty much non-existent and they weren't very talkative, so I did not learn a great deal. Still, they let me downstairs to photograph the oven, despite the fact that they were extremely busy.

    The floor was large -- probably about 6', and almost square. They had finished baking for the day, and the oven was still warm. I've read that they have a 4PM baking on certain days, and that a line forms to get the warm bread.

    Jim, what do you think?
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Re: Forno Poilane


    Well done; you made it into the inner sanctum of a bread shrine. Poilaine breads are revered around the world. I read that Robert DeNiro has his flown to LA on a daily basis. The oven design is very interesting; I've never seen one so low before. If they're baking at 4 am, that means they're prepping through the night. Can't tell from the manufacturer's plate, but I wonder how old the oven is.

    Did you manage to buy any bread there? If so, what was it like?

    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


    • #3
      Re: Forno Poilane

      The counterweighted vertical door is very cool. That oval cast iron counterweight is a nice touch
      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


      • #4
        Re: Forno Poilane

        ahhhh I need a cigarette now...

        This is "THE" oven for bread as far as I am concerned. everything else pails in comparison. This is an example of the design I have been looking for YEARS.. if anyone has any design info on this or similar ovens please, please get in touch with me.

        I forgot this was a white oven I had it confused with another French design that uses a "Guillard" (probably not correct spelling). The one I was thinking of has a hearth that is slightly inclined toward the back and in the front there is a hole with a collar that the Guillard sits on and directs the flame into the oven, the fire box is directly below this collar. When it is fired it looks like a flame thrower shooting into the oven. the guillard has handles on the side that the baker can hook onto with a pole to direct the flame, after it is fired the guillard is removed and steel plate placed over the hole. the process then returns to standard black oven procedure..heat sink, mopping, etc.
        With this guillard oven you get the black oven ease of build with the advantage of no mess in the chamber and no rake out but you still cannot bake in it while being fired like the Poilane oven.
        EDIT>>>>>WRONG this is the oven I described.....I pulled up some old photos and the collar is clearly visable in the front..bummer my quest continues..
        Last edited by Unofornaio; 07-05-2007, 09:05 AM. Reason: Failing memory???


        • #5
          Re: Forno Poilane


          Nice photo. Did you take that?

          Jim, I will check, but I think it is 4PM -- isn't it still dark at 4AM :-) I was there midday, and the oven was still 4+ mississippi.

          Here is one more photo with a better view of the cooking floor.
          Pizza Ovens
          Outdoor Fireplaces