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British-Italian builder drys wood in her oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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British-Italian builder drys wood in her oven

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  • British-Italian builder drys wood in her oven


    (M) The following correspondence is from a builder in the UK who asked that I post her correspondence here on this Forum:

    (M) Dear Gessie,

    Shall I publish your post along with your email address on Forno Bravo Forum? You might get more answers that way?



    (G) Yes please, it will be interesting to see what they say.



    Gessie Dellaripa wrote:

    (G) Thanks for the advice and the fornobravo website was very useful.

    (G) Both my husbands grandparents were in farming in Molise region in Italy and they have used wood burning brick ovens. I am therefore relying on our parents memories of how it was built and used ect. (as our parents were young teenagers when they immigrated to the UK from Italy).Our parents have mentioned the following and we would be interested to know if anyone can relate to any of these points of if anyone has heard of this...

    (G) The wood burning oven was not a perfect igloo shape but more of a tunnel shaped dome with a metal front opening. On one side of this dome was a little opening whereby they used to ligth a small fire on the inside of the side opening. The reason for this is that the smoke/fumes circulating from the fire/flames would help the bread colour evenly and have a crispier finish. Has anyone tried this or heard of this?

    (G) Also they mentioned that once the cooking was complete and the fire was coming to an end wooden logs were placed in the oven so that the heat in the oven would 'season or dry' the logs so that when cooking re-commenced these same logs would be used to light a fire and because they were seasoned they would light up in less time and cooking could start quickly. Has anyone heard of this?

    (M) Yes, I have heard of drying logs in the oven.
    (G) We note that Fornobravo have used quality fire bricks for the cooking surface and that the bricks are fitted together on a thin layer of sand and fireclay and not mortared in place. We have however used ash instead of sand because ash is more of heat insulator. Has anyone heard of this?
    (M) I have not, but that means nothing. However, what theme I've read about the cooking floor is that you want it to conduct heat so insulating bricks from one another sounds counter productive to me. FornoBravo also advocates no mortar between the hearth floor bricks.
    (M) PS I have heard of and seen pictures of "egg shaped" domes which resemble 1/2 of a hard boiled egg laid on the flat side. The "metal front" sounds like a metal door which several Forno Bravo members have employed. If you could amplify on your sentence: "On one side of this dome was a little opening whereby they used to light a small fire on the inside of the side opening." that would be helpful. I could not picture what you wanted to convey.

    (G) Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Mr 7 Mrs Della Ripa

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Marcel
    To: Gessie Dellaripa
    Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 5:04 PM
    Subject: Consider the Pompeii (igloo-round) oven site at Fornobravo.com

    Dear Gessie,

    Pay a visit to http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/index.php?

    and, for more specific building instructions, go to http://www.fornobravo.com/pompeii_oven/oven_overview.html


    "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
    but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)

  • #2
    Marcel, this was a recommendation I heard from Jim Hatch earlier. I have been doing it and it works like a charm. A good habit to get in to.

    Great pizza, a cold beer,a great cigar and great friends...my idea of a great time