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Better Baked Bread Using Wood Fired Ovens

Discover how you can create better baked bread using wood fired ovens, using this guide covering how wood-fired ovens work and the basics of bread baking.

| October/November 2002

  • You can make better baked bread using wood fired ovens and even delicious crusty pizza.
    You can make better baked bread using wood fired ovens and even delicious crusty pizza.

  • You can make better baked bread using wood fired ovens and even delicious crusty pizza.

Learn how to create better baked bread using wood-fired ovens.

Better Baked Bread Using Wood Fired Ovens

A conventional gas or electric oven bakes bread with a lot of hot air, or convection. An earthen oven uses conduction, convection and radiation, providing faster, more thorough baking and better flavor.

Here’s how it works: Build a fire in the hollow earthen dome. The dense walls soak up heat for two to three hours, after which the oven’s interior reaches about 700 degrees. Remove coals, sweep the oven floor, and let the temperature stabilize and even decline a bit. Slide your loaves onto the oven’s hot floor.

Heat is conducted immediately from floor to loaf, creating a higher, airier loaf (an effect called “oven spring”). The intense heat drives moisture from the crust, making it crisp and filling the oven with steam.

Convection then disperses that superheated steam, caramelizing sugars in the crust and creating the unique flavor and texture of authentic hearth-baked bread.

The oven walls radiate heat equally throughout the oven — no hot or cold spots — so many loaves bake as thoroughly as one.

5/8/2011 5:34:10 AM

This is by far the best guide on how to build a clay oven!!

1/16/2011 11:45:52 AM

Pack a hard HALL (50 to 100 pats), and drop it from chest height. It should hold together. If it doesn’t, ACID a little water. Perhaps they meant BALL and ADD? The editor needs to proof read the "spell checker" as it's adding "correctly spelled" words, but it's adding the wrong "correctly spelled" words!

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