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Baking breads in my brick oven

Hi Rado, You are one cool dude. I can’t thank you enough for the CD’s, it’s amazing. The pictures tell a story of a guy who is artistic, a craftsman, a clean organized worker, and extremely creative to boot WOW! There are so many tips I get from viewing the pictures and reading the various materials texts, super knowledge. I purchased oven plans last year from Allan Scott’s website, $250US. I also bought the Bread Builders book which is what got me so ga-ga to build a bread oven. I wish I had seen your web-site before putting out 250 bucks. To my mind, the small price I paid for you to ship a CD to me is worth a lot more than the plans I received from Allan Scott. However I won’t cry over spilled beer. My oven project has taken almost a year so far, from digging the foundation to where I am now, laying the arches. My goal is to be finished by Canadian Thanksgiving (this year Oct.10th. I will be cutting it really close but it will be quality.)

Baking sourdough breads in quantity.

Starting a wood fire in brick bakery oven. Fire in baker's brick oven is set up. Firing up bakery wood burning brick oven. Baker's oven being heated up.

Ta da! Hello Everyone, Finally, after grinding, dithering, spending and making it up as I go along … bread. I made my oven larger because I am into a bread baking production where the oven never cool down too much. Hope you enjoy the pics and stop by to taste. (The internal hearth space is enlarged, approx. 49 inches wide and 47 inches deep, in Metric ~ 125 cm x 120 cm. Not exactly square but close.)

Waiting for temperature to go down - my oven thermometer. Baking bread in inside the oven.
435 degrees Fahrenheit = 223.9 degrees Celsius

In my day job I work as…
A baker!
In a former life I was…
A rock musician!
I am:
The Rock & Roll Baker!

When my bread bake I have rum as company. Having rum while bread bakes. Is good.

Here are a load of pics, I hope you will forgive me for sending you so many, and also for the poor quality of my workmanship. Masonry is not my forte. Put a guitar in my hands and I will make it scream. Put a piping bag in my other hand and I can create delicious cakes and pastry. But a trowel and a chisel and a hammer…
Forget about it!!

Bread batches baking and reloading them. Today's last batch of breads was baked.

Keep in touch,
David
Ontario, CANADA

Enjoying breads making. Enjoying breads baking. Sourdough breads making Sourdough breads baking.

PS I will send more pics as I complete the job on the outside and around the oven.

Respond to the Baking breads in my brick oven article:

18 Comments - post your thoughts

  1. I LOVE fresh hot BREAD.

    By Dave — Permalink

  2. A fresh bread aroma and crust … no price tag on quality!

    By Alex — Permalink

  3. The taste of real bread and pizza – oh my.

    By pizzaman — Permalink

  4. I love pizza and calzones. My wife bakes bread and I know she will enjoy using the pizza oven outside and not heating up her kitchen inside when it’s really boiling outside. Zak

    By Zak — Permalink

  5. This is the reason why we build ovens, spectacular job well done.

    By Jamie — Permalink

  6. I make sourdough bread and pancakes.
    How do you get your bread to rise up and look nice?
    What kind of flour do you use?

    By Ed Green — Permalink

  7. I am struggling with my bread I have been trying for 12 months. It seems the oven is too hot when i put in the bread and they always come out looking great but heavy and hard to eat. Good toast terrible italian bread any tips. I have a dough maker which does the hard work but the science just isn’t right yet. Please help.

    By Brian Nancarrow — Permalink

  8. Hi Brian,
    It will be the dough. Can you describe your bread dough in more detail, when it is fresh? Everything can be fixed or improved, always. If you could elaborate more on these:

    1. What is the liquid to dry ratio, water to flour etc.?
    For instance most often I mix 435 mL of water with 600g dry, and for large loafs I pour 860 milliliters of water to 1.2kg flour.

    2. What sort of flour do you have?
    Currently I work with 30% dark rye flour which I mix into unbleached flour which has only about 11% of protein. I just started to experiment with mixing also wholemeal spelt flour into my dough and results were absolutely fantastic right from the start.

    3. How long does your bread dough stay in your oven?
    My small loafs bake for 30 to 35 minutes and then they get taken out. The large breads stay inside for 60 minutes or longer up to one hour plus 5 or even 10 minutes extra (up to 70 minutes baking). Basically till I can see that the breads are quite dark, just like the color of David’s breads on this page.

    4. Are you following any recipe, can you post it here? Do you rest and spray your dough before it goes into the oven?

    By Rado — Permalink

  9. Hi David:
    I live in a house that was built in 1835 and it has a fireplace and a brick oven on the opposite wall. I am nervous about using this brick oven but after reading your article, I am going to try it!

    Thanks for the positive reinforcement.
    Best regards,
    Karin

    By Karin Tomosky — Permalink

  10. David,
    I could go on & on, but let me get to the point. I had off and on results until a came upon a book that put me in the major leagues of naturally leavened (sourdough) bread baking. That book is “Tartine Bread.” The author is Chad Robertson and you’ll be glad you bought it….I promise. The book is detailed and easy to follow. Check it out, and good luck. I built Rado Hand oven and love it!
    Your bread looks fabulous! Maybe you’re already in the major leagues!

    By Ralph Hunt — Permalink

  11. I like Dave has chosen to follow this hobby of woodburning oven. I am in no hurry to finish mine this year, and to be finished next summer. Thanks to Rado for giving his time and experience to build my oven. I am enjoying building it every minute of it and since I never laid a brick in my life, I am enjoying the experience.

    I have gone half way building it will start the other half next spring since now I am going on vacation till September. This is only if I can resist the temptation of not working on it when I come back this year.
    Bart.

    By Bartolomeo — Permalink

  12. Do you have details on the thermometer pictured above? Thanks!

    By Brett — Permalink

  13. Brett,
    Have you looked at the digital thermometer with K-type thermocouple probe page? It has some info on these thermometers and shop link(s) in comments.

    By Rado — Permalink

  14. Hi david aka rocker baker,
    my name is Jai, from Kuala Lumpur. I am really into bakery but unlike you, I am just a beginner when it comes to baking. It is good to know how you hand made everything by yourself. A real master piece oven and bread …. yummy!

    By jai — Permalink

  15. Hi Rado, I’m new to your site. My wife and I would like to build a brick oven mainly for bread. Do you sell plans of different sizes? Would like to order your CD/DVD. We live on the small island of GRENADA in the Caribbean sea. Your advice will be appreciated very much.

    Thanks so much for your reply on;

    Would it be easy to adjust your plans to about 48″ X 36″- 42″?
    We’re hoping to bake lots of bread.
    Can your ovens withstand heavy baking?

    I would definitely be ordering your DVD very soon.

    Best regards, Desmond.

    By Desmond — Permalink

  16. Dear Desmond,
    thank you for the note. The Grenada in the Caribbean sea sounds as a very fantastic place.

    Yes of course, these are baking ovens, plus for cooking too. Cooking, baking, roasting, drying, smoking of everything desired. You can reload bread batches from one heat up as the oven holds stable heat for hours. If I can suggest to you something extra, focus on the new MTo design and its first page gives information on where the oven is most outstanding, and why that is so.

    It’s very easy to change the oven internal space to what size you needed, just by adding in or taking off a brick or two from any side or from all sides. After this all remaining matters basically stay the same except now the new footprint dimensions (as were altered by brick count) will be different by that measure.

    Obvious due to the weight of a wider span of the arched vault, the better support of the skews-with-walls bricks should be added the heavier these arches are. The weight pushes logically towards the both sides so equivalently support side walls. But what you can also do, is to keep the oven’s internal width at those ~ 36 inches and increase the depth by one 9″ firebrick length or by two firebrick lengths, like this the ovens is not too deep at all. There are much larger ovens around.

    Rado

    By Rado — Permalink

  17. Hi Rado
    I bumped into your site while hunting for plans for a wood fired oven that would fit about 30 loaves of Bread or a whole pig/goat. The ovens I see on your website remind me of old “central heating” systems, common in old swiss farm houses. I want to build it out doors, covered by a roof with seating/working/prep area.
    what plans do you have available that fit my desire to build this.
    I think the baking surface should be 1.5 meter by 60-70 cm wide, like a practical baking tunnel, or whatever makes most sense with the dimensions of the fire bricks. The height needs to be tall enough for a whole pig.
    Looking forward to hear from you.
    Thanks,
    Sebastian

    By Sebastian — Permalink

  18. Hi Sebastian,
    Have a look on the new Masterly Tail oven design and its subpages, link is here at the top of the page too. That oven will bake breads and also cook what you want and how you want the final results. You can make it as is, slightly wider than those 70cm you mentioned, and less deep than the 1.5 meter (although such depth would be perfectly all right as well if you preferred.)

    By Rado — Permalink

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