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

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Earth ovens combine the utility of a wood-fired, retained-heat oven with the ease and timeless beauty of earthen construction. Building one will appeal to bakers, builders, and beginners of all kinds, from:

    •    the serious or aspiring baker who wants the best low-cost
bread oven, to
    •    gardeners who want a centerpiece for a beautiful
outdoor kitchen, to
    •    outdoor chefs, to
    •    creative people interested in low-cost materials and
simple technology, to
    •    teachers who want a multi-faceted, experiential project for students of all ages (the book has been successful  with
 everyone from third-graders to adults).

Build Your Own Earth Oven is fully illustrated with step-by-step directions, including how to tend the fire, and how to make perfect sourdough hearth loaves in the artisan tradition. The average do-it-yourselfer with a few tools and a scrap pile can build an oven for free, or close to it. Otherwise, $30 should cover all your materials--less than the price of a fancy "baking stone." Good building soil is often right in your back yard, under your feet. Build the simplest oven in a day! With a bit more time and imagination, you can make a permanent foundation and a fire-breathing dragon-oven or any other shape you can dream up.

Earth ovens are familiar to many that have seen a southwestern "horno" or a European "bee-hive" oven. The idea, pioneered by Egyptian bakers in the second millennium BCE, is simplicity itself: fill the oven with wood, light a fire, and let it burn down to ashes. The dense, 3- to 12-inch-thick earthen walls hold and store the heat of the fire, the baker sweeps the floor clean, and the hot oven walls radiate steady, intense heat for hours.

Home bakers who can't afford a fancy, steam-injected bread oven will be delighted to find that a simple earth oven can produce loaves to equal the fanciest "artisan" bakery. It also makes delicious roast meats, cakes, pies, pizzas, and other creations. Pizza cooks to perfection in three minutes or less. Vegetables, herbs, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil roast up in minutes for a simple, elegant, and delicious meal. Efficient cooks will find the residual heat useful for slow-baked dishes, and even for drying surplus produce, or incubating homemade yogurt.

Product Features

  • Detailed instructions including photos and diagrams make this a complete how-to book on building and baking with a traditional earth oven
  • Tips on baking real sourdough bread, too
  • Denzer
  • 10" x 7"
  • 114 pages

3 comments on “Build Your Own Earth Oven: A Low-Cost Wood-Fired Mud Oven, Simple Sourdough Bread, Perfect Loaves, 3rd Edition”

  1. Got me up and cooking! Helped me build my first oven. Mostly followed the directions to a tee. Cooked our first wood-fired flatbread last night and they were delicious. I agree with a couple of other reviews in that I wish there were actual pictures instead of drawings.

  2. Excellent source for fun project I bought the first edition several years ago when I started baking bread. It took a few years to finally decide that while my kitchen oven was fine for bread (with dutch ovens/cloches), it just doesn't work for great pizza or BBQ (no smoke). So I bought the third edition and started work. The new edition has new information that makes it well worth buying (even if you have a previous edition). Denzer is an excellent writer. I think he brings out the scientist and artist among his readers: his...

  3. The cob oven bible! This is the bible for building a cob oven! The descriptions of sourdough bread are excellent but the instructions for making bread are a bit too loose to follow. For making the oven, this is the book. For baking, you'll probably need a different book.

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