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Old 09-17-2011, 08:34 PM
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Default Quick Refire Methods

Hi! I am new to the forum. I am a bread baker and have been baking in an Alan Scott-styled oven for the last year. It's about 5 feet deep and 4 feet wide. I bake about 200 pieces of bread every day. After the bake is finished we begin the fire for the next day, and we build the fire over the course of about 3 hours.

My question: Is there a way to quickly refire the oven so that I can bake more bread? Right now I'm pretty much maxed out with the 200 pieces. Would a propane torch work on this size of an oven? Is there a good method for building a very small fire that would bump the dome up by about 100 degrees?

Thanks!
Melissa
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Quick Refire Methods

I don't work with nearly that much volume, but when I need to reheat or raise the temp, I just build a small wood fire like you are asking about. I just build it in the middle of the oven floor with about a half dozen small pieces of wood, no bigger than 1-2 inches in cross section, and light it as I would any wood fire. Since I'm building it in hot a oven, it lights quickly and with very little kindling.. just a few twigs or shavings, no need for paper. Then I throw on a larger piece, about 2-3 inches across max. Let it burn down, and that should give you a decent bump in temperature. The smaller pieces of wood will burn out relatively quickly, and refresh the heat at least at the surface of the bricks. An Alan Scott oven has more mass than the typical FB oven, so I don't know if it will really heat-soak your bricks enough; but it sounds like it's worth a try. Maybe use more wood than I do, but still keep the pieces small so they burn out quickly.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Quick Refire Methods

The biggest problem I have seen from photos of AS ovens is the lack of good insulation, a well fired oven with good insulation should hardly cool down if used daily.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Quick Refire Methods

I agree; although the original poster's question seems to be more about correcting for that lack of insulation than what to do differently in case of rebuilding the oven...


It seems to me that, barring a rebuild of the oven, burning a smaller fire for 45 minutes or so would get them back up to temp relatively easily. Basically, breaking up the firing schedule to keep the inner over surface hotter for a longer period.
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