Timo's Oven...Because I can!

Decorative Outer Arch

General — Posted by timo @ 02:01

This is what they call the Decorative Outer Arch, or DOA. It's another major milestone of completion. I really didn't think I would get it done before school started.  I was very happy to actually have this part turn out the way I saw it in my head weeks ago.

 That's when Wally, the old man that hung out in the back alleys of the ACME Brick yard, told me about the pink Chicago Commons. I dared skunks and three heart broken kittens to wrangle through three bins of brick chunks to find these. These were salvaged from actual buildings in Chicago.

If you take a closer look, the bricks making up the actual arch are the older commons, but the bricks making up the front apron are just salvaged bricks that are very, very close to the Chicago commons. They are also salvaged. They still have a few spots of old mortar clinging to them.

The yellowish bricks you see under the door are the firebricks from the oven landing. I haven't decided on what brick, or material to bridge from the oven hearth bricks to the front edge of the outer apron. There's about a 10" gap at the apex of the arch. One brick isn't enough, but I may just use firebrick, or maybe a piece of granite, or perhaps maybe even some flattened river rock.

Anyway, the last steps are:

1. Stub up a chimney.

2. Finish apron-to-hearth brick work.

3. Insulate everything.

4. Cure the brick oven!

5. Stucco the small amount of space between the dome and edge of hearth and the concrete block walls. I am thinking of using flattened river rock embedded randomly into the stucco.

6. Make wood storage door.

7. Make wooden bread/pizza peel.

8. Make a metal pizza turning peel.

9. Make ash rake.

10. Make a brass ash broom.

11. Make a swabbing mop.

12. Make/buy a tool hanger.

13. Mount the Dachshund hangers on oven.

14. Buy a digital scale, instant read thermometer, rising tubs, larger measuring cup, and lots of other things.

15. Surprise people with simply wonderful bread and pizza.

First Real Fire

General — Posted by timo @ 18:14

It is the first real fire and the end to many days of uncertain work. The fire burned like magic in the hearth and the smoke filled the oven chamber to just the right proportion. It was neat watching the fire and smoke dance across the hearth and up through the flue and exit the chimney.

The picture shows an old Char Broil propane grill with a longer hose attachment to a 20# tank. I ran the grill for 2 hours to get the oven dome up to 200 degrees.

Then, I was able to toss in embers from the fire pit. This worked out really well.

 I have to go back for a second. The picture on the left shows the high tech ceramic insulation. There's about 4" on the dome top and about 2" on the sides.


Watch this movie to see a 300 degree curing fire. Wow, this has been very rewarding to finally see it come together this far...

Chimney Time

General — Posted by timo @ 12:28

Here's the chimney. It was a challenge. I am not quiting my day job. It's bowed and not exactly level, but it's close and looks pretty nice and has that rustic look to it.

The rocks in the front are sitting on top of an inch of SuperInsol board and some mortar. I will add some more mortar and grout later. Bye for now.


PS. I had my second curing fire and got it up to 370-400 degrees. After camping I'll bring it back up to 450 and soon get it plasmatic.

Barm Starter

General — Posted by timo @ 16:25

I will be using the recipe from the following book, Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart. I already malted, dried, and ground the malted organic wheat berries into diastatic malt flour. I think this would make a nice tasting loaf.


Chimney Crown and Cap Completed

General — Posted by timo @ 07:37

Here's the completed chimney crown and cap. The forms for the crown took a while, but I think it turned out nice. It wasn't more than six hours later after taking the forms off and mortaring the surface that it started raining. The drops went to the edge of the crown and dropped off from there, so I guess it does what it was built to do.

The first thing I baked was this wheat sourdough loaf. It isn't a wimpy loaf. Has a lot of character and chew.

I made six more loaves like it the next night. Anyone need a loaf?

Well, soon I'll post some pics of the first attempts at pizza. Bye for now.

First Pizza

General — Posted by timo @ 17:45

Here's a picture of the very first pizza. It was burned a bit on the bottom. I later found out why- too much olive oil in the dough. But, it was still fun and interesting to make pizza in the oven.

I was very happy to have this as my first attempt and not the one that stuck to the floor of the oven. The following week I just went ahead and made the Reinhart dough recipe and made the right dough. It tasted good and needs a nice hot oven to bake just right. I was able to produce a 90 second pizza later in the evening. So, yes, this dough is much better that the last recipe.


Here's a short video of the very first pizza.

Sorry, excuse the jitters :(



And here's a bunch of baguettes. The crust was crunchy and had that slight smoke flavor. The crumb was tight and chewey. With butter it was the best. It really does taste better if you let the bread cool down. More fuller flavor.

 I am getting closer to really having a larger party with lots of pizzas. So far I have a good dough recipe and sauce recipe, but I always run out of sauce. I have to work on the sauce and toppings.

That's about all for now. I think next week is Labor Day and Alex will be home. So, yet another good excuse for a pizza party!


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