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Hello from Utah

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  • Hello from Utah


    just inherited some firebricks and so the reality of being able to build a bread/pizza oven is coming true!
    been researching the difference between an enclosed barrel oven and a dome.
    Want to be able to cook bread as the main item but pizza and some long cook meats would also be cooked as well.
    Any thoughts on which style to go with? As I read, it looks like most people here have the dome style.
    Looking forward to reading more and learning from you guys.


    If anyone from Utah knows of a good place to buy supplies for the build, please let me know.

  • #2
    I have built a bread oven about 8 years ago. Works very well, can bake 3 batches of bread in it as it holds heat quite well. My first batch goes in when the dome is 550-600F and the hearth about 600-650F (embedded thermocouples are a nice thing to have).

    The only problem is that it takes about 4-5 hours of burning wood to get to that point. If I were to bake pizzas, which means raising the temperature further up to 750-900F, the burn time would be even longer. If you don't mind this shortcoming, then build yours like a true bread oven with thick walls and dome, which is almost always barrel-shaped.

    Otherwise, build a round dome-shaped oven as recommended on this website, with thinner walls (shorter firing time to get to proper temperature). The disadvantage is that it would lose heat faster, which reduces the amount of bread you can bake in one firing.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Check out some posts from SableSprings. He built a conventional(ish) oven with a slight "beaver tail" I think he calls it and he bakes quite a bit of bread. Probably can't do the kind of loads that gigelus2k20 does but he's got his timing down and if I remember right bakes multiple batches.
      My build thread


      • #4
        Bob, welcome to the forum and yes, bread is easy and well worthwhile in a WFO. As JR noted above, my oven is basically a "standard" dome thickness (39" diameter...although it's 45" deep...that beaver tail shape). I put a load of wood in the oven the night before I plan to bake and fire it up. It's down to coals in the morning and usually +700F in the chamber. I have my timing set so that the oven is coming into my baking temp range of ~575F when my dough is ready to go - usually around 2-3 in the afternoon. I'm not willing to be one of those "slip out to bake without waking up the rooster" kind of folks .

        I bake in batches of 8-10 "American" baguette size or 5-6 1.5# boules. The baguettes are done in 15 minutes and normally I'm doing 16 to 20 of them, then I start loading the boules. I bake for giving away to the neighborhood on Fridays and never have to reheat the oven to finish baking for the day. My record bake was +30 loaves on that single evening firing, so you don't have to have a huge amount of mass to bake a lot of bread. I prefer the dome shape simply because it's easier for me to load & work the round chamber. With the half-barrel shape, I was uncomfortable with the loading/unloading loaves in the very back. I know a lot of commercial WFO bakeries have no problem with that but I thought the dome was more versatile for us "regular" folk.

        Hope that helps a little bit.
        Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
        Roseburg, Oregon

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