Cooking Books -> Breads
Build Your Own Earth Oven : A Low-Cost, Wood-Fired Mud Oven; Simple Sourdough Bread; Perfect Loaves
Hand Print Press
Published: May 15, 2000
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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
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Kiko Denzer is an artist, writer, builder, and baker who has spent the last five or six years working primarily with earth.
Own Earth Oven is a fully-illustrated handbook for making a simple, wood-fired, masonry-style oven. It provides clear, step-by-step instructions for building and firing the oven, as well as complete directions for making sourdough bread in the best (and
simplest) artisan tradition.
Earth ovens are as simple as a southwestern horno or European bee-hive oven and every bit as effective as a fancy brick hearth or modern, steam-injected commercial oven. The dense, three-to-twelve inch thick earthen
walls store the heat of the fire; after the hot coals are removed, the hot walls radiate a steady, intense heat for hours. The resulting steamy environment is essential for the crisp, flavorful crusts of true hearth loaves, and you can easily build it
for less than the price of a couple of fancy dough-rising baskets!
If you like to cook outdoors, an earth oven can also transform fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs into delicious pies, pizzas, and other creations (one of my favorites is fresh
vegetables, herbs, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil). Pizza cooks to perfection in three minutes, and you can even use the residual heat to dry your surplus garden produce, and incubate your home-made yogurt!
Building with earth is safe,
easy, inexpensive, and extraordinarily effective. Good building soil is usually right under your feet! Many will find it in their back yards. Use it plain, or mixed with sand and straw. Build the simplest oven in a day! Adding a roof and foundation makes
it permanent. The simple, round shape makes a beautiful garden sculpture, or can be sculpted into a fire-breathing dragon!
It is a project that appeals to bakers, builders, and beginners of all kinds:
The serious or aspiring baker who
wants the best lo-cost oven for their bread;
Gardeners and outdoor cooks who want a centerpiece for a beautiful outdoor kitchen;
People interested in creative uses of low-cost materials and simple technologies; and
want a multi-faceted, experiential learning experience for their students (the book has been successful with everyone from third-graders to adults).
Illustrated by the author with over a hundred drawings and photos, it includes color pictures of
sculpted ovens and their builders, as well as further references on food, baking, and building.
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