For the last few weeks I have been building a bread oven, not to be confused with a pizza oven, in my back garden.Previous posts have chronicled the trials and tribulations, although if I am honest it wasn’t difficult but rather just hard work brick laying which is something I really don’t like doing.
However now it’s all finished, and with three days of a bank holiday weekend it’s the perfect time to have the grand opening bake. If you look at the picture as well as a smooth debonair man about town, it takes a certain panache to carry off that hat, you will see three openings. the large lower one is where the fire goes, the little one above it, which was really an after thought is the proving oven, and the one on the left hand side with the dial is the oven. The idea is that the heat from the pot, passes through a gap in the internal dividing wall , through the oven cavity and exits up the chimney .
I am delighted to report everything worked as it should, although I don’t know why I am surprised people have been making ovens like this for centuries. Starting slowly I started with a Mirabelle cake which needs a lower temperature, and then once that’s cooked, we moved on to bread, and finally to the dreaded P word, giving in to family pressure.
The operation of the oven in my humble opinion is the most fun a man can have, made even greater by the incorporation of a temperature gauge which is addictive. Now I can understand the enthusiasm for steam trains. managing the fire to maintain a constant temperature, is even better than barbecuing, and the thermometer is just the icing on the cake, kept me busy for hours, very elemental, and brought out my inner caveman. I may never go to work again my oven needs me.
In case your interested the bread and cake were marvellous, and the pizza I am disappointed to report was superb