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  #81  
Old 02-24-2013, 06:07 PM
Gulf's Avatar
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Annie M.
I think that you are right by building the oven first. But, WJW is right about "any kind" of covering for your oven. You might be protected from the elements, but when the 40 minutes is up for your sour dough, and there is a good rain over head, you will need some type of protection (at least for the bread) !

Just Sayin .
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  #82  
Old 02-25-2013, 02:43 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

I'm not sure what you mean about the brick lay out, but to answer your question about perimeter....

...when I bake I can load up to sixteen 1.5 pound loaves at a time in my oven. When I do that I have loaves within about three inches of the side walls and rear. Any closer and they will start to get overdone at the points closest to the walls. Here is a bake of 1.5 to 2 pound loaves of sourdough. There are fifteen in there in the top pic. That's pretty close to a full load I think. My oven hearth is 36 inches wide by forty inches deep.





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  #83  
Old 02-25-2013, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Hi WJW,

How long does it take to load 16 loaves and does the deep loaves bake faster that the others or does it equal out in the end? Do you slash all loaves in advance? I'm getting to the point that I will need to do full loads soon and am a little worried.
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  #84  
Old 02-25-2013, 03:31 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

I have four loading peels and load two loaves with each peel. So I have eight loaves up and ready to roll. I slash all eight just before they go in. I have the other eight loaves sitting right there still in the banetons (baskets).

Then I load the first eight. Probably ten seconds per peel, so call it forty seconds total. Certainly less than a minute. As I'm loading, the peels go right back where they were.

Once the first eight are loaded, I flip the banetons on to the waiting peels and then quickly slash each loaf. Figure ten seconds per loaf to slash. So slashing the second eight loaves takes about a minute and a half. Then another minute to load. So the whole process is probably something just under four minutes. I do my first load at 565 degrees F. So the oven is pretty hot. On the the first batch of sixteen, that four minutes does make a difference. My loaves typically take between 28 and 32 minutes to bake on the first batch. The clock starts when the last loaf goes in. The ones done first are invariablly in the back. It's not a big difference, but but there is enough of a difference that I will typically let the last two or three loaves sit for another three minutes or so before pulling.


I'm moving pretty quick, but it's doable. It would be much easier if I had enough peels so that I could slash all sixteen at once. Before my next big bake I am going to make four more loading peels. Then I'll have eight and will be able to load all sixteen in under 90 seconds.

The photo below is my current set up. This was last week. As you can see from the bricks against the oven door, I already have one bake going and these loaves outside are ready to go. When I pull the first sixteen loaves I will usually let the oven rest for five minutes or so to come back up to temp. (I typically use the same rest period to let me come back DOWN to temp.)

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  #85  
Old 02-25-2013, 06:47 PM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Thanks for the nice words Annie.

As you can see I have not quite finished my oven. Still need to do some kind of counter top. Either some type of travertine tiles or maybe just a dyed , "pour in place" concrete counter top. The stuff in the pictures are bunch of red brick pavers from our old patio acting as a temporary counter top. I've been cooking so much with it I haven't gotten around to finishing the counter.

I now understand your comments about perimeter. If I had a small pompeii style I would definitely want to stand the first chain of bricks on end. This is referred to as a "soldier" or "sailor" course (depending on whether the bricks have the narrow side facing the oven, or the wide side.)

As far as Karangi dude's thoughts about a barrel vault style, I concur. A bit of a primer here....Most people assume that a barrel vault is the same thing as an Allen Scott style. This is not correct.

And most people will also say (correctly) that an Allen Scott style is not optimized for cooking pizzas. But saying an Allen Scott style is not optimized for cooking pizzas is not the same as saying a barrel vault is not optomized for pizza.

"Barrel Vault" only refers to the shape of the oven. While Allen Scott style ovens are barrel vault shaped, that is not what makes them less than perfect for a pizza oven. Allen Scott ovens are optimized for cooking large amounts of bread. I mean LARGE amounts from a single firing. In order to do that they must have huge amounts of thermal mass (i.e. masonry "cladding" stuck to the outside of the firebricks.). Some Allen Scott ovens will have as much as 12 inches of concrete layered on the firebricks...above and below. Then there will be insulation around all of that masonry.

The advantage to that is that, once all that masonry is good and hot, it STAYS good and hot. For a long time. That style of oven is optimized for cooking bread every day. Either as a "village baker" communal oven type deal, or as a commercial oven. Assuming you are using your oven every day, this design is much more economical from a firewood standpoint. It is already hot every morning when it's time to bring it back up to temp. And you can bake batch after batch, after batch, after batch of bread without having to re-fire. The disadvantage to this oven type is that it takes a long time and a lot of wood to heat all that mass up to usable temps. So for someone who is using their oven once a week, an Allen Scott style is a very bad idea unless they plan on baking in excess of one hundred loaves at a time.

Because many barrel vault ovens are built in the "high-mass" Allen Scott style, some people incorrectly assume that all barrel vaults have tons of mass and take forever to heat up. he oven I built has no cladding and tons of insulation. As such the heating time is the same as any pompeii. As far as the amount of bread I can cook...with no cladding whatsoever I can easily do fifty loaves in a single firing. I cook thirty loaves, in two batches, and close it up, and the next day the oven will be 390 degrees or so.

The other thing I've seen people write is that dome shape of a pompeii somehow reflects radiant energy in a way that eliminates hot spots or colder spots etc. I have found this to be simply false. I have made it a point of comparing hearth temps of two different pompeii style ovens vs my barrel vault style. So far as I can tell, the primary variables affecting hearth temp are insulation, how well heat saturated it is, and (once cooking) how close to the fire you are taking a reading. These variables seem to apply equally to pompeii and barrel vault. There my be some theoretical/laboratory difference in how the dome reflects as compared to the half barrel shape, but I don't think it exists in the real world.

One disadvantage about most barrel vault styles which is real in my opinion, is that in most barrel vaults you have to keep your fire in the back of the oven. With a pompeii, the round shape allows you to keep the fire on the side. That means that when doing pizza it is easy to watch the side of the pizza closes to the fire. This is an adavntage IMO. But it only applies when you are cooking pizza with active flame going in the oven.

In my oven, I took Tscarbourough's (Tom's) advice, and built my barrel vault with an offset door. So the area of the oven to the right of my entry is six inches wider than the area to the left of my entry. This allows me to keep the fire on the right side rather than the back, and therefore allows me to watch the edge of teh pizza closest to the fire.

Personally, I see no downside whatsoever to the barrel vault style. The reason I chose it was because it looked, to my eye, easier to build. It still looks easier to me, but I have never built a pompeii so I honestly can't say.

Bottom line, if your stand is already built and it will fit a barrel vault more effectively, go for it IMO. I would strongly consider doing an offset door however so that you can keep "eyes on" the edge of pizza closest to the fire. This is especially important if doing a smaller oven IMO.

Bill
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  #86  
Old 02-25-2013, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

You are correct that the AS ovens have too much mass for normal residential use, and also correct that a barrel vault does not need to have the excess mass to operate well, and even cook multiple batches of bread. I differ with you on the fire in the back, even with my small barrel (22Wx36D), I keep the fire on the left and can cook 2 16" pizzas at once (although I usually only make one at a time). My door is offset a couple inches to the right, that is the only aberration from a normal barrel vault.
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  #87  
Old 02-25-2013, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

I agree, fire on the side with offset to make turning, retreiving easier.
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  #88  
Old 02-26-2013, 02:57 AM
WJW WJW is offline
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Tom... I think we are talking past each other. Barrel vaults can have fire on the side. I think we agree on that point.


Edit: Looking around I see that a lot of barrel vault guys apparently do fires on the side. Didn't realize that.

Bill

Last edited by WJW; 02-26-2013 at 10:49 AM.
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  #89  
Old 02-26-2013, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karangi Dude View Post
Annie,

Back to your question about the first course of bricks, I really think it is a misconception that the outer area of the oven can't be used if you start the curve of the oven with the first course.
The curve is not that great and you will find that the sides of your pans and dishes will still fit right up the the edge.
The other thing is if you start with a full brick soldier course you will need to be carefull of the outward thrust, then when you start with the half bricks that the joins don't line up with joins of the first course. I hope that makes sence to you, it is getting late here.
For a hemisphere this is true, but with a low dome that has a radius larger than half the diameter, then the angle at the base is way less than 90degrees. The problem is also exacerbated if the oven is small. Eg you can't squeeze a bread tin loaf close to the oven edge.
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  #90  
Old 02-27-2013, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Rustic Primitive Materials

Hi Annie,

Brunelleschi, is constructing cess pools to recover methane as a fuel.

Last edited by Laurentius; 02-27-2013 at 06:18 PM.
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