Posts Tagged clay oven

Another Pizza Oven Build

Last year at the bushmoot I was intending to build an earth pizza oven.  As the area is built on sand dunes, sand was not going to be a problem.  Clay on the other hand was.  I ended up walking to the river, digging and finding… sand!  So this time I came prepared with some readily dug clay and some from a local potter.

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We dug in a load of sand from literally next to the tarp.  Two young girls did most of the work, the rest of us mucked in only when the camera was showing!

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For the base, we used wooden logs – these were chopped from a timber pile.  About 3ft long, they were notched so they wouldn’t roll.  We used a tarp to stop the sand running through the bottles onto the floor.  We laid bottles, then tucked the tarp over the bottles and layered sand over the tarp to both hold it in place and give us a firm bed for the fire bricks.  We then built the sand form over the top.

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Sand form getting there.  All done with eye.

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Layered a copy of the metro over the top and wetted ready for the oven clay mix.

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Clay being built up around the form.  This was done quite quickly and inside you could see the cracks where it wasn’t bonded quite as well as it could be.

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Smack the finished dome with a big stick.

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Straw dipped in clay slip and layered on.  Door is cut.

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Add another layer of clay with added straw for stability over the top – just a thin layer.

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Add decoration and immediately light!

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Used an arrow as a blow pipe

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The front did dip a little, but still worked fine 🙂

 

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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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Party!

The day of the big housewarming party had arrived and I don’t think I’ve worked so hard for some while!  My friend Ben and I did the rounds in the morning picking up chairs, tables, glasses and other assorted party stuff from relatives then rushed home to setup.  We’d booked a bouncy castle and invited both sets of neighbours either side who’d helped clearing the garden or who’d provided us help over the last couple of months!  Friends and family rolled up and we got the BBQ running.

Ben had spent some of the morning making a great peel and a door for the pizza oven.  We intended to fire it up around dinner time after everyone was sick of BBQ food and provide some nice pizzas.  I wish I’d had time for another dry run with the oven but decided to wing it on the day.

I started the fire around 4pm and got it going for a good burn until about 6pm when we raked out the ashes and tried our luck.

I started off by putting some raw dough in – and within seconds it’d become rather excellent naan bread.  Encouraged the first pizza went in.  It came out quite deep panned but had a lovely crunch at the base – ten times better than oven pizza (including the ‘fresh’ pizza dough I’d used in the oven a couple of weeks before).  We managed another two pizzas before deciding to start the fire again and brought it back up to temperature.  Pizzas were taking about 5-10 minutes to cook, so I’m fairly sure my oven was still a little on the cool side, so I’m looking forward to firing it up again perhaps as soon as next weekend…

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