The heart of any bakery is the oven. This is still the case in your home kitchen - though these days we have so many other appliances to make stuff with, the oven has been relegated to a piece of furniture which holds up the cooktop. 

If you get into home baking, though, your oven takes on a whole new meaning. We start to analyse what it can do, and how it works. We play with things like sole baking, and other fun ways to use an oven. This section tells you a bit more about ovens, and some of the work I've been doing on designing woodfired ones too. Read on! 

Wood Fired Ovens

Posted in Ovens

Wood Fired ovens for baking bread

Sooner or later, most home bakers either experience someone else's home made wood fired bread, or just get the bug to experiment. Or, they might simply visit an actual woodfired bakery, and are either inspired or awed - or both.

Wood fired pizza oven

Driving a woodfired oven is something akin to flying, only you are kind of 'surfing' heat. Baking with a wood oven, which has substantial thermal mass, is often referred to as baking on a 'falling' oven. That's because the oven is fired till the insulation or core is very hot - often above 500 degrees celsius - and the oven is then used to bake throughout the temperature's long 'fall'. Typically, the baker would begin with pizza and flat breads like focaccia; then baguettes and rolls - things with a small mass, which cook quickly and fill the oven with steam. Then up to viennas, batards, and the tinned loaves. Finally, fruit breads, cakes and biscuits, which need lower temperatures. The remaining heat was then used to prepare vegetables and other general tasks.

In effect, the baker's art when using one of these is all about what to bake, when.

 

Domestic Ovens

Written by Warwick Quinton. Posted in Ovens

 

Your domestic oven will either be gas, electric, or possibly even wood fired (the latter if you are baking obsessed, or if you live in a cold climate and have a fuel stove). And of course, lately I see lots of 'patio based' manufactured wood fired ovens. These look like good fun. But that's for another article! For now, I'd like to help you set up your oven for baking bread at home.