Build Your Own Earth Oven: A Low-Cost, Wood-Fired Mud Oven, Simple Sourdough Bread, Perfect Loaves

Build Your Own Earth Oven: A Low-Cost, Wood-Fired Mud Oven, Simple Sourdough Bread, Perfect Loaves

by Kiko Denzer
     
 

Earth ovens combine the utility of a wood-fired, retained-heat oven with the ease and timeless beauty of earthen construction. Building one will appeal to bakers, builders, and beginners of all kinds, from:

• the serious or aspiring baker who wants the best low-cost
bread oven, to

• gardeners who want a centerpiece for a

…  See more details below

Overview

Earth ovens combine the utility of a wood-fired, retained-heat oven with the ease and timeless beauty of earthen construction. Building one will appeal to bakers, builders, and beginners of all kinds, from:

• the serious or aspiring baker who wants the best low-cost
bread oven, to

• gardeners who want a centerpiece for a beautiful
outdoor kitchen, to

• outdoor chefs, to

• creative people interested in low-cost materials and
simple technology, to

• teachers who want a multi-faceted, experiential project for students of all ages (the book has been successful with
 everyone from third-graders to adults).

Build Your Own Earth Oven is fully illustrated with step-by-step directions, including how to tend the fire, and how to make perfect sourdough hearth loaves in the artisan tradition. The average do-it-yourselfer with a few tools and a scrap pile can build an oven for free, or close to it. Otherwise, $30 should cover all your materials--less than the price of a fancy "baking stone." Good building soil is often right in your back yard, under your feet. Build the simplest oven in a day! With a bit more time and imagination, you can make a permanent foundation and a fire-breathing dragon-oven or any other shape you can dream up.

Earth ovens are familiar to many that have seen a southwestern "horno" or a European "bee-hive" oven. The idea, pioneered by Egyptian bakers in the second millennium BCE, is simplicity itself: fill the oven with wood, light a fire, and let it burn down to ashes. The dense, 3- to 12-inch-thick earthen walls hold and store the heat of the fire, the baker sweeps the floor clean, and the hot oven walls radiate steady, intense heat for hours.

Home bakers who can't afford a fancy, steam-injected bread oven will be delighted to find that a simple earth oven can produce loaves to equal the fanciest "artisan" bakery. It also makes delicious roast meats, cakes, pies, pizzas, and other creations. Pizza cooks to perfection in three minutes or less. Vegetables, herbs, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil roast up in minutes for a simple, elegant, and delicious meal. Efficient cooks will find the residual heat useful for slow-baked dishes, and even for drying surplus produce, or incubating homemade yogurt.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"... the essential book…worth many times its price in avoided labor and frustration"--Dan Wing, author, The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves & Masonry Ovens

"[It] will awaken in you...the artisan vision, where earth meets hand meets spirit"--Peter Reinhart, author, Crust and Crumb

"Creative. Innovative. Brilliant. ...the definitive book on how to build an adobe oven..."--William Rubel, author, The Magic of Fire

"...simplicity itself: brief, brisk, artful, and well-written....empowering throughout...fruit of a new movement for sustainability, it celebrates the pleasure of living well with the earth."--Peter Bane, Permaculture Activist

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780967984674
Publisher:
Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date:
09/17/2007
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
132
Sales rank:
211,318
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Kiko Denzer is an artist, teacher, and author in the earthen building revival. He serves as artist-in-residence in schools in his home state of Oregon, and has muddied tens of thousands of hands with his popular oven and bread manual, Build Your Own Earth Oven (2007) as well as his guide to mud-based art forms, Dig Your Hands in the Dirt (2005).

Hannah Field baked for organic bakeries in the UK. She lives in Oregon with Kiko Denzer, with whom she shares a home, garden, & two sons.

Alan Scott was a craftsman and metaphysician who combined a lifetime's experience in metalwork, farming, and masonry oven-building with a constant awareness of the spiritual dimension of our activities on this earth. Originally from Australia, Alan lectured and led workshops throughout the U.S., under the aegis of his oven building and consultation firm, Ovencrafters, which is based in Petaluma, California. He returned to his native Australia several years ago after becoming ill. He died Jan. 26, 2009, in Tasmania. He was 72.

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