TP's Brick Oven

We did it! Or, rather Key (hubby) did it! As you go over the pictures, some ovenbuilders may smack their heads in disbelief shock, as, he winged the entire thing, only throwing cursory glances to the books I got, the plan, and, pictures I googled. He also discouraged me hanging around while he was building, though, he appreciated the cold drinks I made.

The first brick was 14 April, and, he didn't have that much time to spend on the oven. To date, we have yet to have a permanent roof and an inner door. But, we can't wait! 2 small fires have been started to progressively dry out the oven...The Big One will be TOMORROW! Key went and bought store-marinated (duh!) tandoori chicken wings...LD's naan recipe couldn't have been more timely!

 

Looks shabby, doesn't it? At that point, hubby was really considering abandoning the brick oven for a BBQ pit.

Looks shabby, doesn't it? At that point, hubby was really considering abandoning the brick oven for a BBQ pit.

 

106cm x 170cm was as big as the table could get. Somebody refused to move the garden lamp, and, the other side has our pond's sand filter. Looks like the oven is going to be wide instead of deep.

 

 

 


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I tried to upload half a doz pix but the system didn't seem to like the bytes overload. So, pls bear with me, I'll post a few at a time.

And, so the work begins...with a border built from recycled bricks.

We decided to go with perlite because we were not sure how safe our vermiculite is.

Leveling the perlite to see how much is needed.

Adding cement to the perlite.


 

Dry-mixing cement with perlite.

Mixing it with water.

Insulation layer for the hearth is done.


 

I've some in-between shots limbo-ing somewhere. But fast-forwarding....the inner oven and dome is built. The secret key (no pun intended) deciding factor which encouraged hubby to go on was the firebricks bore his initials <phew!!>

Forming the dome with support from a few long pieces of wood and cardboard. Used firebricks and fireclay mortar.

Took a couple of days, but, the dome looked decent enough.

Covering the dome with a thin layer of concrete.

Thanks, admin, for straightening out the images.

 

 


 

Took some figuring out, but, he did it.

Covered the inner oven with ceramic fibre blanket.

Almost forgot to take the pix of the rockwool layer. My original idea was to put the rockwool slab (as they called it) on the hearth, but, this wasn't firm at all. Well, no harm in adding it on top of the ceramic blanket, eh?

 

 


 

A form/frame was constructed out of recycled materials to make the outer door.

A Key-original door made out of perlite and concrete covered with leftover slate from our porch reno. We'll see how it holds up.

Roof tiles casually laid on top while pondering the permanent position.


 

Woohooo! Our 1st (little) fire started with newspaper.

The chimney works! Due to our inexperience and zero know-how on how to go about this business of drying up the oven, we kept closing the (outer) door instead of keeping it open, thus smothering the fire and causing excessive smoke.

OK...this time, with advise from Jack Lang and reading more around the web, a bigger fire was built. The oven's air is still pretty damp.

Can't wait for tomorrow!

 


What a marathon!  Hope your first bake is sensational. Looking forward to the pics!

Cheers
Ross

 TP looks great.  Hmmm Tandoori chicken sounds great and I have all the stuff here to make some.  I don't think I have enough time for them.  Can't wait to see what you cook in it TP.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 

 I am so envious, can't wait to see what goodies come out of that oven TP. Tell Key he is a legend!

cheers Johnny

...for sharing our joy. Indeed, I have lots to thank the forum for inspiring me to go ahead with this mammoth project. Must take this opportunity to also thank Jack Lang who started it all with his eGullet sourdough bread tutorial and has been most helpful throughout the ovenbuilding. To continue the story...

A bigger fire, but, not quite sustained enough to bake bread in, was started. Our timing was rather bad...we had to go out that night...should have factored that in. As it turned out, we only had time to cook one naan, the onion naan, and that turned out to be The BEST! Ever! Need I say more?

Tandoori chicken wings cooked above embers. Deeeeelicious! Deep and smoky.

Would have been perfect if not for the colouring they use for marinade. Next time, I'll do the marinating, honey.

 


Well...if you can call them that made without yogurt. I forgot to get yogurt! I started with LD's recipe, but, as I went on, started to sub the yogurt with milk and a dash of vinegar, and, I wanted a superfluffy naan, so I added a tsp of baking powder and soda (saw some naan recipes with those rising agents). Proved for 2 hours...again, bad planning killed any chance of an overnighter. It turned out very very well, indeed. We only managed to cook the onion naans in the oven, and, it was decidedly The Best!

From back, onion, raisin, garlic naans.

Close-up of the onion naan. Wonderfully delicate and crispy crust with a fluffy and light crumb...hint of sourdough.

Can't wait to make more naans and more variations. However, pizzas are calling. Next week. Taking baby steps before the serious business of baking loaf breads.


 Way to go TP!  I'm so glad that wonderful food is coming out of the oven.  Would you please document the variations of naans?  I have only ever done plain naans.  By the way the recipe that I started with had some baking powder in it but read that some people can taste the baking powder so just left it out.  I'm still thinking that the naan dough will make a great pizza dough.  I'm going to try it someday, hopefully soon.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 

Naans will make great pizza bases....really torn between using it or doing Ross' pizza recipe next Saturday. I use non-aluminised baking powder...didn't detect any of its taste in the naan.

Onion Naan - I press-covered* the naan with one whole medium sliced onion.

Garlic Naan - I press-covered* with 3 pips sliced garlic. Not quite enough....next time, I'll chop up another 3 pips and add into the dough...maybe also add some chopped chinese chives.

Raisin Naan - Soak raisins till plump. Drain. Press* into naan. Next time, on pulling out of the oven, I'm going to sprinkle coarse sugar. I think sliced almonds would be nice too.

Cheese Naan - Grate your favourite cheese. Sesame seeds should go well on this one.

 

NB. I start pressing in the stuff after I form the naans. Then prove. I also brushed extra-virgin olive oil on the breads when they come out. For a more authentic taste, use ghee.

Na na na na - Na na na na....Oh, yeeeeah, love those Naans!


 I just form the naans and cook them right away no proving.  I used melted butter to brush on the Naan as it was done.  I used the dough today to make a Naan loaf.  It has a very soft and tender crumb with a crunchy crust.  Thanks for the naan ideas now I have more types of naan to play with.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot

 

Boy, have we been busy!.....prettifying the area around the oven, modifying the chimney with a few more courses and directing the opening outwards (photos later). We've also had 2 pizza parties with 30 ppl each event...and, we are not even halfway through the queue of friends who want to sample the oven bakes! The 1st party was a failure, it poured, and, we never got round to getting the oven hot enough. The pizzas had to be cooked in my Smeg. The latest one held @ last Saturday was a huge success. Never saw a more appreciative crowd. Heat was much better, but, we are targetting for even higher heat the next time we fire her up. Bottom heat wasn't quite enough. I think it was because we didn't spread the embers all over the oven floor.

Here's my very 1st loaf of bread...made 2 and gave away one. Baked this after everyone left for the evening. The crust was just beautiful, thin and crisp, but, the bread wasn't perfect without the bottom heat as you can see, not enough spring. By the way, it's another Winged Bread...I don't even remember what I threw in...spelt, uhm...wholemeal flour, bit of superstrong Hovis flour, yogurt, white starter, and some other stuff. Happy days.


He made it look easy!!  Congratulations on your new WFO.  I'm just a little green ... but in a good way LOL.  Happy baking, Tony.

you lucky (and talented) things

 

I am very impressed (and envious)

 

enjoy!

cheers

Dom


You lucky and talented things...

 

I am impressed (and envious)

 

happy baking!!

 

cheers

Dom


After building the oven himself, and, experiencing the fruits of it, hubby is one changed person, lol. He has seen the light!!

Cheers

TP


 Fantastic TP!

Can't wait to see more bread pics..I'm another envious baker..wish I was half as handy as hubby :)

cheers,

Johnny