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42" Pompeii capacity? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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42" Pompeii capacity?

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  • 42" Pompeii capacity?

    I'm pretty sure I've seen this information on here already and if that's true, sorry I can't find it again myself.

    But, what do most people experience as the total mass of dough you can bake out of one firing of a 42" Pompeii per 'the plans'? How much per batch? How many batches? Right now, I'm usually making 5 - 6 kg batches because that is the most I can mix by hand and fit in my oven in 1 or 2 loads. But I've been eyeing a real stand mixer and am planning on baking larger batches soon.

  • #2
    Re: 42" Pompeii capacity?

    Best to search around a bit for the tons of background knowledge at the site regarding baking bread. I have a 40" Pompei igloo and usually shoot for two (2) loads of each one 12-15 pounds of dough.

    As some have pointed out, for many recipes, your window of best heat for baking is rather small (perhaps 15-30 mins.). Good news is at those temps, many recipes bake in 12-14 minutes. I never shoot for more than two loads, but that doesn't mean you can bake. You have to figure out what bakes best at what temps and work with the oven.

    Best advice regarding baking bread I've found: Don't use sourdough in your first attempts, and fire that dang oven until you've pushed a lot of retained heat into it. I shoot for 2 1/2 -3 hours.

    There are many other more helpful bakers here that will have much to add.
    Last edited by timo; 02-20-2011, 06:17 AM.
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    • #3
      Re: 42" Pompeii capacity?

      I've been able to do two loads at about 8 kg. each in my 42" Pompeii. After getting the oven very well heat saturated (about 2 hours to go completely clear and an additional hour of saturating, though some may not go that additional full hour. I just like being sure because I've blown it before), raked out the coals, allowed the temp. to drop, I mop, load and mist, close the door and keep an eye on the temperature. A load only takes about 15 minutes to bake fully. After unloading, I will close the door, allow the temperature to regulate up again, and reload, usually less than 10-15 minutes after the first load is out. So far the only reason I do only about 8 kg. is because I have a Hobart 20 qt. mixer and that's about the limit I can mix at one time. I'll do two different breads each time, both about the same weight. The oven will fit more, though, up to maybe another 3 kg the way I make boules (about 675 gr. each), but I can't tell you how the wetness of all that dough and any additional loaves would affect heat retention. I know someone here actually does (texassourdough? dmun?) but not me. I have yet to try a third load on one firing but I don't feel too confident that it would work anyway. So, of course, that's a good time to toss in a roast or some veggies for a slower, cooler cook. Frankly, I love being able to get the most out of a day of burning wood by starting out with pizza, followed by two loads of bread and finished off with the roast and vegetables, all on one firing. Life could be worse!