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Build Your Own Earth Oven: A Low-Cost Wood-Fired Mud Oven, Simple Sourdough Bread, Perfect Loaves, 3rd Edition Paperback – April, 2007
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"... the essential book…worth many times its price in avoided labor and frustration"--Dan Wing, author, The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves & Masonry Ovens
"[It] will awaken in you...the artisan vision, where earth meets hand meets spirit"--Peter Reinhart, author, Crust and Crumb
"Creative. Innovative. Brilliant. ...the definitive book on how to build an adobe oven..."--William Rubel, author, The Magic of Fire
"...simplicity itself: brief, brisk, artful, and well-written....empowering throughout...fruit of a new movement for sustainability, it celebrates the pleasure of living well with the earth."--Peter Bane, Permaculture Activist
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It probably took us about 20 hours all told to build our earth oven, working in teams of 2 over a period of about a week. We built a permanent base of concrete blocks for our oven, topped by firebrick and then the dome. It was well worth the time invested.
I have a couple of minor criticisms of the book. First, it is a bit confusing on the whole "will your local earth work" to make an earth oven question. There's a way to test your soil by letting the layers of dirt and clay etc. precipitate in a glass of water - did not work for us. It showed a very low clay content. Yet we could do the squeeze test with the dirt (detailed elsewhere) and it appeared to be very clay rich. Anyway we ended up using our local dirt as is based on the squeeze test and observation of the dirt, just adding a touch of straw as directed and the oven turned out great. It will probably need patching or replacing in a few years but it does the job fine. Second, I found the instructions a bit disjointed when it came down to actually making the oven. It seemed I had to keep skipping around to find answers to different questions. If the author writes a new edition, I hope he will make the whole thing more linear.
Bottom line, though, is that this is a fabulous resource and inspiration. I LOVE my earth oven and I kiss the feet of the author for spreading the word. :)
I loved every step of this process. I am a smallish woman with no masonry experience, yet I built my beautiful oven almost all by myself! It was so much fun and such a satisfying experience that I 'd recommend the project to anyone interested in wood-fired baking. I am a pastry chef and a baking and pastry instructor, and I've always wanted a wood-fired oven, especially since I am a big pizza geek. The pizzas that I am getting out of this oven are spectacular. They are light as air and crisp, but chewy at the same time. Perfect char. And after the pizzas are finished baking I scoop out the fire and slip a couple of sourdough boules in there, and within half an hour I have lovely bread!
I highly recommend this book. And don't be discouraged if you don't get a great pizza the first time you try--it took me several attempts to even get a decent fire, but now it's a breeze! The temperature inside my oven last night was too high for my infra-red laser thermometer to read (and it goes above a thousand degrees. In fact, this morning I realized I singed my hair and my eyelashes when I got a little too close (I'm investigating a solution for this problem!)
Still using my beautiful oven. I've helped others build ovens now, too. I would recommend sealing the dome of the oven with a plaster product (I used Quikwall Surface Bonding Cement, and I added the optional acrylic fortifier), so that it is weatherproof. I know this book disagrees. I just didn't want to have to cover it with an ugly tarp when it rains or when the sprinklers go, nor did I want to build any kind of structure around it to protect it. The oven is pretty and I want it to bee seen!Read more ›
The addition of an insulation layer in the oven construction enhances the oven performance and brings professional bake oven results. Still simple enough to build yourself though.
There is also more information on bread making as well as more color and more of the illustrative and entertaining illustrations.
The author makes you realize that you can do it yourself. It is empowering. My outdoor bake oven isn't exactly like his, but that is the beauty of this book. He doesn't recommend you make it 'just like his', you can make it as you like still using the same or similar techniques.
If you want a bake oven for yourself, read this book. You can do it. Mine cost me a total of $325.00 - and that was on the high end. You can do it for a lot less. I would not have had the courage to even start this project without the book, but if kids can make an oven (under his direction), I KNEW I could! And the recipes are great too!
And now that I'm actually baking in my oven... WOW it is AWESOME! The food is great. Great pizzas, bread, roasts, casseroles, and whatever you can think of to cook. We love it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As others have stated, this book is excellent!
Kiko Denzer explains everything from the ground up and assumes you know nothing about turning dirt into cob. Read more
A very interesting read next will we cob and hay bale construction.Published 3 months ago by guy edward twombly
This is a great book on building low cost earth ovens yourself. It is very interesting and explains the different steps in the materials, building it, shaping it, and cooking in... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amanda H
I echo the FIVE stars reviewer. This is a book conceived and written by someone who wants to teach the reader how to do things. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Massimo Maddaloni