The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

New WFO Photos

Edouard's picture

New WFO Photos

New photos of bread from my learning curve with the wood fired oven built last summer. Sorry. Again got the photos in reverse order. Think I know now how that's happening and won't do it again. But the bread was wonderful - that, I know how to do! :-)

And yes, a wood fired oven is a learning curve. Somewhat tougher than I thought it would be. I knew it would be as simple as setting a dial on an oven and arranging baking bricks on an oven rack, but still, this has proved to be a bit trickier than I imagined. But still quite glad I did it. 

SylviaH's picture

Fantastic wfo, Edouard!  Your hard work has certainly paid off.  All your photos are so interesting to see and your oven is beautiful.  I bet the postman loved his lunch!  Thanks for sharing.


janij's picture

That is some nice looking bread.  Very informative about the fire.  We are still on our fire learning curve.  So it is nice to read about how other people do their firings.

Michael 2003's picture
Michael 2003

So, you just light a fire inside and after it burns out, you clean the interior and bake the bread?

Edouard's picture

Yes, that's right. I burn a modest fire of about a five gallon pail load of wood stove sized firewood, over a period of about an hour. (it's a learning curve how much wood, and how long to burn - short and intense fire or modest fire over a longer period). 

Kiko Denzer's excellent book - Earth Oven - explains in detail how the mass of the oven absorbs heat like a heat sink and once the burned out residue is scraped out, I seal up the oven (like closing a door) and allow the oven interior to "soak" in the residual heat ... often near 700 degrees. In an hour or less, the floor, side walls and ceiling of the oven interior are close to uniform temperature ... the top and sides are nearly the same temperature as the floor, which makes for even heat distribution touching the loaf. In conventional ovens the air is never as hot as the pizza stone, so the bottom browns more quickly than the top of the loaf. The method of "soaking" heat balances out this heat distribution. Convection ovens with their fans are meant to simulate this effect. 

Some ovens for some baking/cooking chores retain a small bank of coals or small fire at the rear of the oven but I haven't needed that, yet. Many of the commercial brick pizza ovens I've seen in big city restaurants are gas fired and have gas jets at the back of the oven to maintain a uniform temperature. 

But yes ... burn a load of wood, or two, let it burn out, then scrape out the residue and ashes, mop the floor with a slightly damp mop (or something similar), close it up, soak the interior in heat, then bake.