How much Wood?


 Does anyone here have experience in firing and running a Scotch Oven? My appointment in Queensland is getting near and we are at the point of deciding a fuel source and will be helpful to know the required daily volume needed for burning. I recall someone telling me that it would take about about a tonne and a half to run an oven for seven days. If anyone is in the know about this I would be most grateful...



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lily 2010 September 23

Hi Ted,

It may be worth your while ringing Red Beard Bakery in Trentham in Victoria.  They are nice guys and run  scotch and  direct fire ovens. 

You might have to work this out as you go by firng for a couple of weeks and extrapolating out according to the size and efficiency of your oven.  I wonder if the scotch oven loses a lot of heat, initially, with a big load of cool dough as heat transfers from the masonry to the cooled chamber?  In other words I wonder what the temp variability will be throughout a baking session, and how you can even this out with wood loading.

Fun times.

TedinOz 2010 September 23

 Hi Lily,

Thanks for that. Yes I have been thinking that way too, maybe even requesting the chance to observe their operation. I have been told they are most approachable. I love your photos of the ciabatta! What type of oven are you using there? I does look similar to the floor of a Scotch oven.

Yes fun times indeed. I have worked many and varied ovens in my time but so far no Scotch ovens. I am looking forward to the challenge.



lily 2010 September 23

Thanks.  It's an Alan Scott design.  This is the only commercial sized oven I've used.  I can bake 6 loads of 36 large loaves in it before the temp is dropping towards 230 deg C - but that's starting out at 320 or so.  So the window with this type of oven is limited, which I think is far less so with a scotch oven..??  The best thing is that I close the oven up after firing, for 8 hours or so (night time) and I can bake early the next morning when the dough's ready, and there isn't the added stress of having to have dough proofed and oven at temp at the same time!

Well I reckon give Red Beard a go because they are approachable.  Most people I've spoken with are pretty unfussy about the type of wood they use.  You can mix it with small amounts of more expensive hard woods for slower longer burning.  Any tips on firing are gold because it's basically a steadily climbing learning curve!  

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