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davelkins 09-18-2008 01:08 AM

Greetings from northwest WA
I'm a total newbie to wood fired ovens but I have been intrigued by them for years. All the bread baking I have done has been in conventional ovens, but I have eaten bread from wood fired ovens and would really like to try it myself. It reminded me of the breads I ate in the early '70's when I was traveling in Europe. I'm so new to all this...I don't even know all the questions I might want to ask. What I would like to know though is...what's the difference between a pizza oven and a bread oven? The other question I have is...can I take a minimalist approach for starters? I would really like to build something small and inexpensive for now.

Frances 09-18-2008 02:04 AM

Re: Greetings from northwest WA
Hi davelkins, welcome to the forum!

In the pompeii oven plans the difference between a bread oven and a pizza oven is minimal: the pizza oven has a slightly lower dome. But both styles of oven can be used to make both pizza and bread. A typical commercial bread oven often has a barrel vault and a thicker floor and walls for more retained heat. But you would only need that kind of oven if you wanted to produce tons of bread every single day.

As for a minimal approach, hmmm.... maybe if you built a clay or cob oven? I think they can be sort of temporary and easier on the budget. And they're also very cool to cook in (from what I've heard).

brokencookie 09-18-2008 06:32 PM

Re: Greetings from northwest WA
Search the forum for the one hour build. Check Craigslist. In our area I see bricks for free all the time. For a minimal set up in time and money you could get free bricks and build the one hour oven with common brick. If you can wait you might try my method. I picked up 450 fire bricks for $75, 150 cinder blocks ( or CMUs ) for $50. For my chimney I found 17 ft of triple walled 6 " stainless chimney pipe for $30. It takes a little patience but a good portion of your materials will be cheap or free. My entire build, including cement should cost $500 or less.
Also check out Wiley's build. His is a great study in alternative building materials. The PNW is one of the best places to build a WFO, someone is always tearing down an old chimney, cutting down trees or posting free material for you to pick up. You can also check and for more local recycled materials.

Welcome to the forum and good luck

Wiley 09-19-2008 11:20 PM

Re: Greetings from northwest WA
1 Attachment(s)
Welcome Davelkins, So where are you located (as in nearest city, town etc.) Bruce is correct about finding stuff either recycle (Waste Not want Not or Craig's List) or surplus here in the PNW. Check out Berryst and his oven build. He built his oven using alot of stuff acquired from Craig's List, he's not too far away either.

You mentioned minimalist and inexpensive and Frances mentioned clay or cob ovens... I have two neighbors with such ovens, if you get serious about building I can put you in touch with the one neighbor who has a fair bit of experience in building such ovens. They're quick to build (compared to brick or even what I built) and pretty inexpensive but certainly need to be protected from the elements here in the NW. They are also a bit more delicate than a brick oven but can be built in quite a small size. Here's a picture of one of my neighbor's ovens. It is quite small with an outside foot print of maybe 36 inches diameter. He usually has a umbrella over it to protect it.


davelkins 09-21-2008 06:37 PM

Re: Greetings from northwest WA
Hi Wiley,
I'm on the Olympic Peninsula just out of Quilcene.

berryst 09-22-2008 03:06 PM

Re: Greetings from northwest WA
welcome dave
If you want a look see your welcome. My bread is pretty marginal but my pizza is excellent. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. One thing is that it takes a long time for my oven to cool enough to make bread. I'm in kingston about 35 minutes from Quilcene. Currently I'm working a covered space by the oven so at any given weekend I fire it up.

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