Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Pizza Oven

Shawn is a one man bread oven making band. He once saw an old oven in the South of Portugal, was so inspired he figured out how to do it. And started building them for friends and local communities in Germany. Since then, he travels around Europe when his work permits showing people how it all works. We are his most recent beneficiaries, a rare honour!

So we started with the granite base AJ helped us build a while back. If you don't have a waist high base about this height, you'll have to gather a bunch of rock and rubble or earth or whatever to bring the base up, or else you'll be bending down to get anything in and out of the thing.

Photos: Shawn laying oven's base. About 80cm diameter. The stone in the centre is used to anchor a piece of string with a straight stick at the end. You use this to make sure each new layer of bricks, and each individual brick, is in the right place: the string makes sure each brick is the same distance from the middle. This creates a perfect dome shape.

The walls start to curve in... Nikita gets involved. It's actually fairly easy. Shawn showed us how to put little bits of stone of broken tile or whatever on one side of each brick to keep the curve going.

getting the key stones in the right place...

All set. Time to plaster it all with a nice little cob mix and enter Sophia, Heather and Kira to get the first coat on

Shawn gets up early when nobody's looking and pops a door in, then a few hours later and a couple of cob coats later and the fires in.

Then we realise that we should try and capture the heat to warm up some water. Enter Paulo and Huci and the copper pipe. Probably not long enough, but let's see how much water it heats, then we can adjust for future models. The pipe runs down a chimney to a hob beside the oven: somewhere to cook with pans - with some stylish mosaicing by Monica there.

Time to fire it up. Hector and Nikita on cooking duty. With the oven pre-heated a bit pizzas bake in minutes, potatoes do in half an hour. Roast veg in 20. Bread goes in later. The taste - oh - the taste!

We decide it's time for a chimney. Enter Logan and Nikita with another cob mix. We made chimney shaped bricks and stacked them up.

Everyone should have one


Rupert Wolfe Murray said...


Elie Losleben said...

I'm putting this on the list for our place! Imagine all the roast pumpkin and aubergine -- not to mention the seafood pizzas -- we will have!

Quinta das Abelhas said...

a proper bread oven has been on our list of things to make ever since we moved here! what do we need to bribe shawn with to get him to come here?

Cory Anderson said...

Your blog really very fantastic and all the information are very awesome and great it's really interesting all the topic about the work motivation.
roma pizza oven