Sunday, August 31, 2014

Popular Mechanics

Not a likely place to go for bread baking information, but check out this article by Andrew Sean Greer.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Oven In Progress part#7

Before building the "real thing," the oven builders decided to construct a mini-oven for practice. I believe that's a great idea.

After constructing a successful mini-oven, you should have enough confidence to build a much larger oven.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It was worth the effort

Yes, it takes a lot of effort to build an earth oven.

But the payoffs can be substantial.


Thursday, August 7, 2014


If you're not baking sourdough breads, then there's a good chance your breads are rather bland tasting. Of course, you could always jazz them up with molasses, toasted sesame seeds, honey or whatever.
Instead try this. Simply add about a quarter cup of sourdough starter to your flour, yeast, salt and water mixture. I used to think that the sourdough fought a nasty battle with the domestic yeast and no one was the winner. Now I believe that they get along fine and can benefit each other. The domestic yeast (and we're only talking about 1/4 teaspoon per 500g loaf) will take some of the guess work out of the process when added to the sourdough starter, and everything becomes more predictable.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Oven In Progress part 6

Our oven builders are back on the job. They've decided to build a brick arch at the mouth of their oven, and that's a good idea. The brick will protect the opening of the earth oven from be whacked by firewood and oven peels.

Catenary Arch Form and Brick Arch Form

Brick Arch in Place

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Oven In Progress Part #5

In preparation for rain, the canopy is the way to go. There are lots of things you can do in the rain, but constructing an earth oven is not one of them.

The Kneading Conference 2014

Join us at the Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, Maine in July. You won't be disappointed.
I'll be leading an earth oven workshop.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Bread First

For the past several months, my son and I have been working on a beginner's guide to bread baking, and we have come up with this slim, yet complete book. If you know of an easier way to make bread, I'd sure like to hear about it.
Bread First is a book for beginners. Everything a beginner needs to know can be found here. You can expect to bake great bread the first time. The process is simple, and the ingredients are readily available. "No knead" baking is for everyone. No experience is required. Clear instructions with photos make everything extra easy.

Download an ebook here 
Order a print copy here

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Oven In Progress

Here's a good photo of the top slab completely surrounded by perlite insulation, ready for firebrick and sand mold.
Our oven builders are taking off for awhile, and they probably won't get back to the oven until mid-July.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oven In Progress

It's a new day and the temporary metal ring to support the top slab has been removed. Probably insulation will separate the slab from the stone base because it would make no sense to transfer heat from the slab to the base.