This winter we started making most of our own bread from scratch and it's been wonderful. Now that it's nearly summer and our house gets hot enough without doing any cooking inside, I'm dreaming of a backyard bread oven. I know it's impractical for many, but it's okay to dream, right?
Adobe and brick ovens are still used around the world, but to some they seem like a thing of the past. They can be used to cook just about anything, but they do take a while to heat up. From rustic pizzas, slow-roasted meats and vegetables, to artisan breads, a clay or brick outdoor oven is a great way to cook outside without heating up the house and really exemplifies slow food. An outdoor oven can also be made from local materials, for not too much money.
First, some resources.
- Building a Bread Oven (all natural materials)
- The Clay Oven
- Sunset's Adobe Oven Construction Guide
- Sunset's Adobe Oven Heating Guide
- Sunset's Adobe Oven Recipes
- Backyard Bread Oven from Grit
- How to Build a Pizza Oven from Instructables
The basic idea is to create something fireproof, with so much thermal mass, that you can heat it to a temperature at which to cook bread (around 500 degrees) with a heat source (wood), remove the heat source, and let the built up heat maintain the temperature of the oven while you cook.
Here are some photos of the basic construction. Be sure to read a book or detailed how to before attempting such a project (there's alot to know!).
The photos below are from the Clay Oven.