#11  
Old 02-15-2008, 07:26 PM
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Location: Longview, WA
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

Dave,
I'm not saying your brick is bad or good. It just seems to have different qualities. I sure as heck don't care what it is either. I'd love to retain heat like you do, even if it took a bit more wood. I find it interesting, and possibly useful to these potential builders. Remember, I used 2 - 4 inches of insulating blankets, and inch of vermicrete over the blanket. Now I've got a minimum of an inch of stucco base coat over that. My oven is down to 250 - 275 degrees 12 hours later. Something's different.
Hang in there bud. I love ya! (can I have some of your Miller Light?)
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2008, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

Wait a minute! That last post came up while I was typing. Feeding a 1000 people? Probably one of each type of oven. That's a baking nightmare in my book. I'd start with the barrel vault first, then add a pizza oven later if that doesn't suit your needs entirely, especially if you have masons available. I think they could make pretty quick work of both types.
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2008, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

1000 people does sound like a large number, and we do not expect to reach that number for quite some time. We just want to make sure that what we build won't become too small too fast. Right now, we average about 400 people at our Saturday evening service on our main campus. This is the main focus for our bread, but we also prepare enough food on Saturday during the afternoon to serve at noon and in the evening on Sunday at our two other locations. Last week we served chili with corn bread, and tomorrow night we are making ravioli and Italian bread. It's a gas making food for so many people, so the addition of a bread oven has started a buzz within the church. While we will more than likely make pizza for the Saturday evening service every 5 or 6 weeks, the main intent is to make bread. Don't want to be redundant with respect to the previous posts I've made, but I just want to make sure that we build the correct unit - at least initially. It is beginning to sound like we are going to have a ton of fun with this project!
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2008, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

McLane,

I, too, have The Bread Builders. The section on bread is interesting but hardly exhaustive. You might want to download the free Wood Fired Bread e-book from the main FB site, as well as the other titles. They have a lot more depth. Most home oven bread formulas can be adapted to WFO baking with a couple of provisos covered in the e-book. I would be quite willing to guide you here, if required. Let me know if you want a list of the bread books I use.

I purchased plans for my 4'x3' oven from Alan Scott at ovencrafters.net. They're pretty basic, though, and you'll need the interpretation of your bricklaying associates to carry it off if that's the way you want to go. The schematics and photographs need a lot of work, and the text should be revised and edited.

Point with an AS oven is that you will need a fair bit of cladding so it will retain heat for a long time; lots of insulation is a must, above and below. Cladding thickness translates into longer firing times. It might take me six hours to fire my oven from cold, but I can get 10 bakes out of it after that. You could haul bread out of such an oven all day long. Too, you can fire it overnight, so the oven will not need a long firing on bake day. If it's used a lot, it will never really cool down to room temp.

Pompeii style ovens typically come to pizza temps in an hour or so, but will not retain heat as long. As has been pointed out, the compromise is to add cladding to the outside of the bricks, but then firing times go up to two hours plus.

I think George has got it right. With so many people to feed, it would be wise to build both types, starting with a barrel and then a pizza oven; side by each, but they can't share the same flue. Bread baking and pizza baking have different requirements (one retained heat only, the other fire in the oven), and it would be next to impossible to juggle both in the same oven with a hectic schedule. With two ovens, you could bake bread and cook pizza at the same time. Now that's a dream a lot of us have, including me.

Keep asking, and we'll try to keep answering. I'm pretty familiar with the eastern section of PA, but I don't recognize your town name. Where is it?

Jim
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  #15  
Old 02-16-2008, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckJim View Post
Keep asking, and we'll try to keep answering. I'm pretty familiar with the eastern section of PA, but I don't recognize your town name. Where is it?

Jim
We are located about 20 miles due south of Erie.

I will be asking MANY questions!
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  #16  
Old 02-16-2008, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

We had our weekly kitchen staff meeting this morning, and one of the items up for discussion was my research on a brick bread oven. What became even more clear, is the need to make lots of bread, with pizza being a "wouldn't it be nice if we could serve pizza once and a while" deal. I suggested that we should investigate the possibility that we leave room for a second oven, so that if this takes off we will have room to grow. I shared the info that it's easy to cook bread in a "pizza oven", but hard to make pizza in one that is designed to bake bread. The thought that we will be interested in a commercial gas-fired, stainless steel behemoth is a thing of the past, especially in light that anything we looked at was priced in excess of $20,000. There seems to be a definite commitment to build a brick oven from scratch, although we are open to the possibility that we may opt for some commercially manufactured parts, such as preformed dome components. Being new to this subject, I do not yet know the pros & cons related to construction methods and/or materials of a brick oven. Be patient, I'm a fast learner, but I don't know anything yet; as I'm operating totally outside my realm of expertise.

There is talk about us entering the small-scale retail arena as a means to offset operating costs for the kitchen. There has also been talk of creating a monthly dinner theater/improve night type of production to offset the cost of the food service, as we currently budget about $1200 per week to feed people at our various services. One thing we do not want to do, is throw our hat into a retail venture that is already in place within our community. Edinboro is a college town, and in its existence as such, there are 7 pizza shops currently operating in town. We have no interest in entering a market that would directly compete with ventures that are already in place. There are however, no shops in town that offer bread of any type save the local supermarket, and I'm not aware of a wood-fired oven being used to prepared any type food in our entire region. With that said, there is a very real possibility that we will enter the "small scale" bread business, where due to the lack of any financial overhead, coupled with the volunteer nature of the church, we could offer an incredible product to our community at a relatively low cost. The real question that will remain at the end of the day is, do we build round or barrel, and how big does it need to be.

Several of you have offered to assist me directly on this project, and I thank you so very much for your willingness to help out. I will be in touch with you soon, as the current schedule will have us "breaking ground" on the kitchen renovation sometime this spring. What I need to do now, besides continuing this dialog, is to comb through the threads on this site so that I may learn as much as I can about the art of baking with wood. Then, with your help, we will embark on a truly fantastic journey!

Again, many thanks,

Dave
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  #17  
Old 02-16-2008, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

Hey Dave
If you are going commercial or feeding so many of the "public" have you checked with your local health dept regaring their requirements for an oven ? In my county I have to use a certified and inspected kitchen for any food item sold to the public.
Besides my day job as a QA/QC chemist I run a small jam making operation. It took me almost a year to convince the local health dept that a 100 year old process was safe ! I basically had to train an health agent before I could get approval to market a product. I then had to complete a dept of agriculture course in food manufacturing before selling the first jar.
These things are do-able but can be time consuming.

Not to rain on your parade, just a few thoughts that might help avoid some complications.

Bruce
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  #18  
Old 02-16-2008, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokencookie View Post
Hey Dave
If you are going commercial or feeding so many of the "public" have you checked with your local health dept regaring their requirements for an oven ? In my county I have to use a certified and inspected kitchen for any food item sold to the public.
Besides my day job as a QA/QC chemist I run a small jam making operation. It took me almost a year to convince the local health dept that a 100 year old process was safe ! I basically had to train an health agent before I could get approval to market a product. I then had to complete a dept of agriculture course in food manufacturing before selling the first jar.
These things are do-able but can be time consuming.

Not to rain on your parade, just a few thoughts that might help avoid some complications.

Bruce
Very good point Bruce. The driving force for the renovation is that in order to charge for food (as in a dinner theater or similar production), the kitchen must be certified by the Health Department of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PA health regulations also state that at least 1 person who is certified in food safety must be on the premises at all times. We currently have 2 certified food safety individuals, and I will be taking the course this summer to get certified as well. This renovation will be quite spectacular, as we will be adding a very large walk-in cooler/freezer to our tools, as well as a state-mandated fire suppression/ventilation system that we currently lack. We currently are able to prepare a whole lot of food fast, as we have a good deal of commercial quality food prep equipment. But our kitchen in its current setup does not have the ability to be certified, so operating something as simple as a monthly dinner theater is out of the question until we build the new kitchen.
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  #19  
Old 02-16-2008, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

Sounds like you have it covered. Good for you !! It's nice to see someone in a church plan and execute. I have run into many congregrations that stumble into things and fly by the seat of the pants.
In addition to a food handlers permit, I also am a card carrying food services/ safety manager. I think you will find that the course work for your certification is not especially difficult, just detailed common sense ( with a few govermental hoops to just through). Good luck

Bruce
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  #20  
Old 02-16-2008, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Hello from Pennsylvania

Just reread your last post. You are required to have a fire suppresion system ?? Is that for the kitchen itself or due to the public seating areas.

In my area I get a lot of hassles about septic systems, plumbing, and refrigeration equpiment. The inspectors have not yet commented about fire suppression.

If you need fire suppression in the kitchen area they might get sticky about locating it near the WFO.

Bruce
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