Posts Tagged earth oven

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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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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Bread in the pizza oven

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.

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In 25 minutes we had a lovely loaf!

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Tasty!

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Pizza oven running again

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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.

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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!

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Pizza with Friends

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!

Pics below

 

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Pizza

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With this stupid weather still upon us, what better time to have a pizza.

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Or garlic bread!

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Or dough balls!

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Adding insulation (earth oven pt8)

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.

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Pizza Fail

I got up early and started my fire before anyone had a chance to get their washing out (about 7-8am).  A full large bag of wood later and I thought I had a nice warm oven.

The idea was to make a pizza for my friend Allan who was coming to finish the electrics in my man cave.  Unfortunately my fire was neither hot enough nor l0ng enough lasting.  After a two hour burn the outside of the clay was getting hot and yet the inside still felt only warm.

The dough I’d made went into the fridge for the next day and made a nice pizza in the oven (if not only a little over cooked!)

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First drying fire (earth oven pt7)

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Last night I scooped out the sand and lit the first drying fire which was quite small.

I was surprised how well the fire lit, the small amount of smoke and well, frankly that it worked!

I light a lot of fires when camping but never in a container like an oven.

Once the wood caught properly there was no visible smoke and after I raked out the ash and embers the inside was considerably warmer than I expected!

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Oven dome (earth oven pt5)

Finally everything was in place to start the earth oven itself!  We had four bags of sharp sand which was pretty much all we needed – though I did later learn that our oven mix had too much clay and more sand would have meant less cracking!

I started off by making a 22.5″ diameter circle using a tape measure and pencil.  Sand was piled upto and a little over the edges and tamped down.  Fortunately the sand was pretty wet from the bags and we didn’t need to wet it further to keep its structure.

Usually you’d then add wet newspaper, but it was so windy any attempt to stick newspaper to the dome failed.  We put clay directly over the sand, firming down rather than squashing it onto the dome which would have dented the sand form.

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