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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

4.7 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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  • Build Your Own Earth Oven: A Low-Cost Wood-Fired Mud Oven, Simple Sourdough Bread, Perfect Loaves, 3rd Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... 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

Kiko Denzer's latest book is Make a Ray Jacobs Rocky Mountain Dulcimer. For more, see his author page, and/or look up his page on his publisher's website.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Hand Print Press; 3rd edition, revised, updated, and expanded edition (April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096798467X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967984674
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've owned this book for several years...been dying to make an earth oven since I bought this. FINALLY we got around to it this year and even though ours is a simple dome, the pizzas that come out of that oven are to die for. We've also made bread to rave reviews but have yet to do much more with it. It is worth it just for the pizza, though; you CANNOT get pizza like this any other way. Pizza stones in an oven just do not cut it.

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. :)

Thanks, Kiko.
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Format: Paperback
I built my oven using this book.

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!)

Follow up:

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!
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Format: Paperback
Kiko has done it again, I own the two previous editions and this new edition is a clear improvement.

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.

Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
I have always wanted an outdoor oven. I love to cook, bake, and hate the (cooking - oven) heat during the summer. When I came across this book a few years ago I wasn't quite ready, but kept thinking about it. Then I started going to different web sites and exploring what other people are doing with outdoor bake ovens (WOW! - People are talented!). When I decided to actually tackle an outdoor bake oven for myself I came back to this book and purchased it.

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!
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