We Need an Oven!

OK – so we are pretty set on baking #realbread for the people of Lochaber.

A small model 120 le Panyol at Panary

But…we need an oven to do that.

A domestic oven just won’t cut it anymore.

And for bread the best baking environment is also the oldest type of oven – a masonry wood fired oven.

So we need one of those.

At our baking course at Panary with Paul Merry, we used a small Le Panyol wood fired oven – 120 internal diameter round baking area which could handle a good 2 dozen batch (maybe more) per bake.

This was built into the very fabric of the bakehouse (much as a wood stove in your house).

But we don’t have a bakehouse.

Nor do we own a house (we currently rent one).

So we think we need a nomadic oven that we can hitch up as we move and grow.

A wood fired masonry trailer oven based on an old horse trailer

We need a trailer oven!

Suprisingly a lot of people make them, but primarily the ones you buy are lightweight pizza ovens; expensive and although a massive step up from a domestic oven, they are not designed specifically for bread. So for doughies it seems good practice to try build a custom one (with bread in mind).

So we have been sketching up plans.

And we think it can work. But we need some help:-

Sketching the doughies bakehouse

Are you a handy with a trowel? We need someone local to Fort William who can mix cement like we mix dough; we have the plans, will buy the materials, pay you in £ and #realbread if you can build our oven. Can you help? Get in touch.

Do you have an old rusting trailer? We need an old twin axle heavy duty trailer. It can be beaten and bruised; we want to fill it with bricks and give it a new lease of life as our wood fired oven. Again, get in touch.

That’s all for now – back to the day job!

1 thought on “We Need an Oven!”

  1. Adam & Abi,

    I’ve been thinking about your oven and had a few unconnected thoughts based on my own experience.

    In the main I’ve been thinking about the trade off between creating lots of thermal mass, good for day after day of baking, and insulation. You need both but if you stick to the footprint of your trailer, you won’t get enough of either so here’s the cunning part: build your oven as large as you can on your trailer, don’t waste any space on insulation. Add the insulation as a separate build around the outside; this can be as permanent or lightweight as you want. If you build a wooden frame to contain the insulation, or even blockwork on a paving stone foundation, you can have masses of insulation and a big oven. If you go for the wooden frame, you could then wheel the outside skin off (picture the shape of a greenhouse on wheels) collect the insulation and drive the core to its new location.

    A few other thoughts:
    – consider a barrel vault as opposed to a Pompeii; you’ll get more loaves in and it’s faster to build.
    – if you’ll be using tins, avoid “strips” of multiple tins. They’re very heavy and heating them up is a waste of your precious heat

    Hope all’s going well with the big adventure.

    Cheers,

    Francis

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