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Sasquatch 07-29-2010 06:34 PM

old man/new oven
 
With a lot of help from friends I've just about completed a 36" cob dome oven. Even as we were building the oven I couldn't resist and fired it up several times for bread, pizza, potatoes, and beans. I have to say that the oven has consistently outperformed my expectations, especially when baking pizza. I'd found it hard to believe that a homemade oven could cook pizza in two minutes (or even less) but after baking a pie in about sixty seconds on a 900F hearth, I am now a believer.

My real interest, however, isn't pizza but whole grain sourdough breads. I've baked several loaves in the oven but don't yet feel satisfied with the results. The bread tastes good but I'm afraid my loaves won't win any beauty contests.

Some of the greatest successes we've had are potatoes -- cut into wedges, then coated with olive oil, salt, and mild chilie powder. At 6-700F they cook very fast and come out of the oven beautifully browned and delicious. We also do pots of red beans with ancho chilies overnight, as the oven cools.

nissanneill 07-30-2010 03:04 AM

Re: old man/new oven
 
Good news, glad you are are now a believer!
When bbqing slices of potato, I sprinkle them with the spice called 'lemon pepper' which transforms them into wonders which I often devour whilst cooking and only a percentage get inside onto the plates.
Your bread efforts will improve with experience as mine, just let the oven cool and absorb the heat rather than belting the dough in what may be a litle too hot for the bread, leaving the centre a little under cooked.


Cheers.

Neill

fxpose 07-30-2010 09:49 AM

Re: old man/new oven
 
Welcome and glad to see you're enjoying your new oven!

Regarding potatoes, do you parboil them first? I'd like to try this tonight.

George

Sasquatch 07-31-2010 10:18 AM

Re: old man/new oven
 
George: no, the only prep I do on the potatoes is to lightly oil them, then dust with herbs and/or spices.

You can make an interesting platter by varying the coating -- for example, cut 4 potatoes into wedges, then prepare four distinct flavors. I bake them on a heavy cookie sheet or tray, then mix the wedges and serve. If some are heavy with hot chilies, I'll serve those separately, to avoid scorching anyone's tongue who isn't familiar with spicy foods.

Parboiling is worth a try but given that the wedges are cooked through in so little time, why bother?

ross 08-01-2010 02:48 AM

Re: old man/new oven
 
I know pizza isnt your thing but re potatoes

part boil small new potatos...when cold thin slice...

in a bowl carefully mix them with olive oil, salt, pepper, lots of garlic, lemon juice and
rosemary...leave them a couple of hours to take on the flavours...add some thin mushrooms if you want

this on pizza with a fresh egg cracked on and lots of parmasean...my fave

david s 08-01-2010 05:02 AM

Re: old man/new oven
 
I've been cooking bread quite a lot lately. Because my oven is small and my grown kids off my hands I've been cooking one loaf at a time. Two adults can only eat so much bread at a time. I light the fire with about three pieces of wrist size wood together with some stiCks. This takes the oven to 250C in one hour after which I let the flame die, throw in the bread with 3or 4 ice cubes and 25 mins later have a perfect loaf.

Sasquatch 08-01-2010 09:26 AM

Re: old man/new oven
 
These are good suggestions -- Ross, it hadn't occurred to me to marinate the potatoes so I'll definitely give that a try.

David, what size is your oven? Mine is about 35 inches. I haven't fired it often enough yet to determine how little wood I can use for bread. My usual batch is two loaves but we are also interested in using the residual heat to slow cook beans and other dishes. I'm also going to dry blueberries once the temperature drops to 150F.

Is it typical to have the hearth cool faster than the dome? 24 hours after baking bread I measured the hearth at 200F and the back of the dome at 250. After 48 hours it was 120/150. The outside air temperature ranged from 80 to 50 (at night).

david s 08-01-2010 01:17 PM

Re: old man/new oven
 
My oven is 21"


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