Archive for May, 2013

Sourdough

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One of the things I used to really enjoy was baking bread and I rarely get round to it anymore. So I found a supplier of sourdough starters (this is a 15 year old one) and got it going at home

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Earth oven version 2

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Three days of digging, sand shuffling and sculpting is done. Read more to see the results!

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Getting ready for tomorrow!

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The clay is dug, the materials all in place and all we’re waiting for is the labour! Pizza oven begins tomorrow!

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Above: clay has been screened so less cut feet this time!

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Clay bake

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After about 2hrs in the oven at 50’C they’re starting to dry. You can see that the 100% clay has already started to crack badly.

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Further clay experiments

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How do you know you’ve got the best wife ever? Well, when you come home, eat dinner and then announce “I need to go into the garden and make mud bricks!” rather than putting your son to bed. She calmly accepts this and even let’s you bake them gently in the oven.

I’ve made a 100% clay brick, 50%, 45%, 42.5%, 40%, 35%, 30% & 25%. Mixed it thoroughly. Read more for the calculations

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Clay content 24hrs later

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Last night I’m glad I added the lines. It had already settled further, currently reducing the sand to clay ratio to about 1:2.5. Good! Less sand. We’ll see how much less by Friday.

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Norfolk Pizza Oven revamped.

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You may remember this post about my friends birthday oven fail: http://www.waark.com/2013/05/cob-pizza-oven/ when I added too much water to the mix and our hard work flopped. Well, the next Day Kris reused the cob and made another! This one was much more of a success and only took 2hrs as the cob was ready to load up. He used straw in the thermal mass and said he believes it adds strength and prevents cracking. Most people don’t recommend this, so it’s a good experiment. I have a horrible feeling the temperature will destroy the straw in the thermal mass creating cavities when the strands shrink to ash. This will make it weak and it’ll crumble. We’ll see! Good luck Kris! ( lots more pics on the read more)

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Clay content

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Determining your clay content is fairly simple, all you need is a pickle jar or similar, some clay and some water!

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Garden update

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Another good weekend out in the garden. Helen harvested the last spring cabbage & I pottered around

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Death to the pizza oven, long live the pizza oven

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All good things come to an end, and with a bank holiday coming up I fancied rebuilding the oven with better insulation etc.
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