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Build Your Own Earth Oven: A Low-Cost, Wood-Fired Mud Oven; Simple Sourdough Bread; Perfect Loaves Paperback – May 15, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Hand Print Press; 4th Printing edition (May 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967984602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967984605
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,021,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Denzer, an artist and builder, creates beautiful wood-fired ovens using the most widely available building material: dirt. Some earth ovens are plain while others are formed into the shape of animals or human faces. Denzer offers an explanation of basic concepts such as material selection, oven location, and design and then guides readers through the construction of their own oven. Earth ovens could be produced most anywhere using Denzer's instructions; he even shows how to build a weatherproof roof. A sourdough bread recipe is included. Appealing to a diverse audience of bakers, outdoor cooks, traditional crafts persons, and perhaps even homeschoolers looking for a project, this title should be part of most public library collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

...enjoyable, down-to-earth and sensible....his instructions are clear as rainwater, his advice...intelligent and sound.... -- Petit Propos Culinaires, #70, August 2002

...inspired creativity combined with traditional wisdom....Get a copy and build yourself an earth bread oven. It's that simple. -- www.walnutbooks.com, April 2003

Brief, brisk, artful, and well-written....explains the principles of breadmaking with a few deft strokes.... Graceful, well-detailed, and empowering throughout. -- Permaculture Activist, August, 2004

Creative. Innovative. Brilliant. This is the definitive book on how to build an adobe oven. ...clear and precise instructions... -- www.williamrubel.com

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
Build your own Earth Oven* is simply AMAZING!
robi dawson
I was wondering what could possibly be better than the first book.
Heather
Well written with easy to understand instructions.
D. Robertson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 94 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
I ran a summer family camp in July 2002 and built the smaller oven in one day. I had kids from age two to fifty two stomping the clay, sand, hay and water with thier feet. I set fire in the oven on day two and made our first loaf of bread. The directions are easy to follow and was a hit with my fourty campers. I would highly recommend this book. A great family or group activity! Loved it.
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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Knott on December 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Reading Kiko Denzer's book for the second time this December, as I thought about friends who would most enjoy a copy as a present, I was struck again by the artistic beauty and integrity of the book as a whole. Unlike most manuals, Denzer talks about life, not just bread, or ovens, or art.
The sculptural ovens delight the eye; the color photos and flowing drawings inspire. The instructions are clear and suffused with a philosophy of simple, harmonious living. Quotes add an unexpected depth. Finally, the explanation of bread-making science and technique makes a full circle of the various experiences of making, eating, and living.
The design and excellent presentation has drawn positive comments from friends, anthropologists, ecologists, as well as visitors and professional community workers from Mali, Tunisia, Japan, England, Ireland. Another friend, after seeing the book, went home with plans to build an oven for the intentional community where she lives.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I helped people build improved cook stoves (out of earth) in West Africa. Now, as an anthropologist, professor, trainer, and returned Volunteer I especially appreciate instructional texts that respect traditions of living within material limits. I would highly recommend this book, not only to home bakers and builders, but particularly to teachers and others who work in community settings.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By robi dawson on September 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read the book, and immediately wanted to build an oven.
Wonderfully written and easy to follow. It was so easy in fact that i was able to build my oven, with the help of my 10 year old son over the summer. Man hours totatled about 30. I will now build a friends oven as a surprsie next weekend! IT is that easy!
Read this book and you too will realize that you can indeed built your own oven, easily, cheaply and with fun for all involved.
*Build your own Earth Oven* is simply AMAZING!
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114 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Rarkm on November 29, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The goal of this book is to give instructions on building a mud (actually adobe) oven, similar to those constructed all over the world before the invention of firebrick and other materials and technologies took over. You CAN learn what you need to do that from this book. However, it really needs another edition and an editor who will ruthlessly organize the material and demand better and more even treatment and presentation.

While written by someone who is obviously experienced in the subject (mainly through personal research), this book is not the last word on the subject of wood fired baking. (For example, there is really nothing about tandoori ovens. Those bottle shaped ovens are in use in great number in Central Asia today; you can't make authentic naan without them.)

It is also somewhat disorganized: material on construction is scattered throughout, along with some New Age philosophy and personal anecdotes. I don't wish to seem crabby, but the author's life experiences just aren't that interesting to me.

There are many areas in which the author simply doesn't seem have enough information or technical experience. The illustrations range from fairly good to amateurish (odd for an author who claims to be an artist). The treatment of sourdough baking and baking in general is perfunctory and the author seems to be mostly unaware of the many excellent net resources on sourdough baking on USENET and the web. There are also some interesting clay oven resources on the web, including information on paleolithic and ancient ovens discovered in Great Britain and Europe.

There is useful information in this book, but it is an evolving work in progress. I hope to see a new and greatly expanded edition.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By gemini_pearl on August 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
A+++! This book is the perfect guide to building your own earthen oven, adding on a hand sculpted design, and it even shows you other design options. It has everything you need for the basics of making a working earthen oven and then leaves tons of room for your own creativity and design ideas. I really loved this book and we have already built a small prototype. The author combines logic and science with creativity and art, you have to love it!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By jody gardner on June 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful, hands-on, inspirational book with simple, clear, fun, illustrated (very important) instructions on how to create a sculptured mud and straw outdoor bread-baking oven. It is perfect for my family celebrations such as: Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas bread, and all of my other baking adventures. I was pleased to discover the roots of this century tested simple solution to baking outdoors. Thank you so much for this important addition to my life.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Building Traditions on February 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is definitely a must have for the best home baked bread you'll ever eat! Easy to follow, chock full of humor and great ideas. What a way to spend time together building and baking and of course enjoying the best bread ever! We made pizza as well in the oven! Multo bene!
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