Posts Tagged earth oven
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
Determining your clay content is fairly simple, all you need is a pickle jar or similar, some clay and some water!
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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Admittedly I accidentally made the dough according to the wrong instructions – it was supposed to be pizza dough.
The pizza was as excellent as it usually is and I took the chance to try my laser thermometer from Maplins. Unfortunately it turns out it only goes to 370′C. My oven is substantially hotter!
Anyway, it was taking twice as long to cook a pizza, which generally means I’ve finished. But this time we tried throwing in the accidentally made dough.
In 25 minutes we had a lovely loaf!
Whenever I fire up the pizza oven I feel I’m possibly doing it for the last time. The brick inner dome is cracked and the outside is disintegrating.
Still, this is the first time I’ve used it in anger entirely myself – I made and rolled the dough, cut up the ingredients and lit the fire.
I used charcoal to fire it this time – a break from the usual wood firings. I started the oven about 2:30pm, it was ready a smidge after 7pm. 6 hrs which is a little below normal. The benefit is that it only takes about a 5KG bag of charcoal, whereas I’d probably burn twice that of wood.
Pizza was of course, very tasty. I tried a new dough which included some whole meal flour. It didn’t crisp in the same way but still good!
My friends Chad and Tanya visited this weekend (bringing a range of beer and cider) mainly to try some of my pizza and experience the delights of “The Man Cave” cinema experience – though we made so much pizza (probably about 20 or so) we never actually got round to doing much in the way of cinema viewing. Chad has pointed out I need a wifi baby monitor so I can sit out in the garden without worrying to much about my baby to be.
As you can see from the above image the insulation on the pizza oven doesn’t really survive the burns I’ve been doing. It should really be encapsulated in a lime render – similarly the large cracks that have formed correspond to the large cracks in the oven itself. It’s pretty much had it and we’re intending on rebuilding it soon. I think the only real way to do it is to have everyone over stomping some mud for the new oven, offer them pizza from the old then rebuild it the next day. We pretty much know how much we need (a lot!) and if we make enough screened material without pointy stones in it it should be an easy process.
At least I know what’s wrong with the current oven – we just didn’t use anywhere near enough sand in it!
With this stupid weather still upon us, what better time to have a pizza.
Or garlic bread!
Or dough balls!
Making up another batch of insulation I insulated the oven. A few bottles went round the sides as well. Hopefully this’ll make it easier to get the oven up to temperature.