Purpose of this blog

This blog will really be a true web log. I will post here about different wood-fired ovens as I find them.

If you know of any wood-fired ovens I should know about, you can send an e-mail to me. (If you build wood-fired ovens, I would like to hear from you too.)

There will lots of posts and lots of labels, since I plan to create one post for every appropriate web site that I find, and however many labels it takes to describe each one (usually at least the type of page and the location of the oven).

The accumulated information will still be found at the real Quest for Ovens web site links pages, but that is not updated as frequently as this blog will be.

If you are from outside the US and Canada, let me know what you find interesting about it. I see that I get visitors from India and Iran, and other faraway places. I'd like to know what draws you to this blog.

I received e-mail from the organizers of the BBC Two television show asking if the Saint Paul Bread Club could post a notice about their show Great British Bake-Off for amateur bakers. The information they gave me is now accessible through a link. (The organizers don't have a web page for the show itself yet.)

Please share this with any amateur bakers in Great Britain you may know, or post the link where they might see it.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Community Oven Radio Interview

I was interviewed on a Bronx-to-Barn podcast where we had a nice long talk about community ovens. This was later reproduced on the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

This is the second and longer time I have had a radio interview about community ovens.

We anticipate another interview in the spring where I will have a chance to talk about my portable oven building classes, especially the ones in Wisconsin.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Portable Oven Class Schedule for 2013

I have started scheduling my portable oven class for a variety of locations for 2013.

I primarily keep the list on my main Portable Oven Classes page.

In short, these are the dates scheduled so far.

04/20/13 Gale Woods Farm Park (Minnetrista, MN)
05/04/13 Tunnel Mill (south of Rochester, MN, might be full)
08/08/13 Tunnel Mill (south of Rochester, MN, Added in February)
05/12/13 Borner Farm Project (Prescott, WI)
05/25/13 Running Dog Ranch (near Stockholm, WI)
06/22/13 White Bear Center for the Arts (White Bear Lake, MN)
06/29/13 Borner Farm Project (Prescott, WI)
08/17/13 Running Dog Ranch (near Stockholm, WI
08/24/13 Borner Farm Project (Prescott, WI)

I expect to add fall dates for Gale Woods and WBCA.

Ten classes in one year would be a record, and there are even other locations under negotiation but not yet scheduled.

It's shaping up to be a busy year for teaching people how to build ovens in a day.

You can read more about my class in the pages whose links are to the right of the blog (under "PAGES").

January 25, 2013: I got an e-mail from Tunnel Mill telling me my class on 05/04/13 was already full, with a waiting list of two people. (That's four months ahead of the class.) We added another date (possibly June 8).

I also put together a map showing where my classes are scheduled.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bill's Bread, Vashon, Washington

A friend on Facebook shared a link to video about a wood-fired bakery on Vashon Island in Washington State named Bill's Bread. The video link is here. Apparently Bill doesn't have a web site. I did find some information on a Manta page.

I also found an older blog post that mentioned Bill's Bread.

His story sounds like a real, down-to-earth guy who discovered his life's work making people's food lives a bit richer.

I'll have to see if I can meet him the next time I'm in Washington.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Can anybody tell me why I get so many visits from users in Poland? Sometimes I have had more visitors from Poland than from the US. I don't mind, but I'm very curious to know what content I have that would be of interest to people in Poland.

I might have thought that some links on the main Quest for Ovens link pages were of interest, but I don't know what would draw them to this blog.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bootleg Batard, Skokie, Illinois

I first discovered Bootleg Batard through their Kickstarter page back in September.

In November I found their Facebook group page.

Eventually I found a link to their own domain, which automatically forwards to their current home page.

Their fundraising on Kickstarter was successful. They flew Pat Manley out to work on the oven core.

They got some good local press here and here (apparently dating from October 18 or so).

Theirs is one of the most ambitious community oven projects I have seen, but it appears they have the experience to carry out their plans. Theirs would be the second community oven in Illinois, and Melina Kelson was involved in building the other one.

Friday, October 26, 2012

D'Amico & Sons, Golden Valley, Minnesota Field Report

While looking for a place to eat dinner after attending an art exhibition at the Perpich Center for Arts Education I did a "search nearby" and found that there was a D'Amico & Sons location at 7804 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley, MN 55437, about a mile away. Looking at the reviews on Trip Advisor for the restaurant, I saw one where it mentioned "wood fired oven" so that restaurant location seemed worth a try.

This time I didn't have my camera with me, so there are no pictures.

There is a menu that you can download from their page. The actual selections available in the restaurant were a bit broader.

The good news: They really do have and use a wood-fired oven to bake their pizza.

The bad news: They run their oven at a comparatively low 500 degrees or so.

As a result, their wood-fired pizza is just OK.

I ordered their Neapolitan (a highly ironic name considering the temperature of true Neapolitan pizza ovens), which had fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil. The pizza was thin crust, not overloaded, and had a bit of char on the bottom. It would have definitely benefited from some attention from a bubble popper. A couple of big bubbles had pushed the sauce and cheese away from substantial portions of my pizza.

Even with those problems, it was a pretty tasty pizza, and one I would order again.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Trinity Lutheran Community Oven, Fort Collins, Colorado

My ever-watchful Google Alert for community ovens found another community oven project underway, this time as part of Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Collins, Colorado.

It's not clear where exactly they are getting their inspiration to build a community oven, but they have created a page for it on their web site, plus a Facebook Church/Religious Organization page and a Facebook Community page for it (the latter page is probably the better maintained one).

Colorado is already home to one functioning community oven in Carbondale (my links about them, their own site).

Some of their inspiration seems to be coming from the community oven built by the White Bear Lake United Methodist Church in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. (That's a guess, partly based on the fact that Trinity Lutheran used pictures of the WBLUMC oven on their web page.)

I wish TLC great success in their efforts.