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.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pesto Brothers, Flagstaff, Arizona

Just because I'm feeling cranky, here is an example of a way to fail at communicating.

My Google Alert sent me the link to a blog post that announced, "We have started building our Wood Fired Pizza oven!" This is apparently for a restaurant named "Pesto Brothers."

OK. Fine. Where are they located? They don't really say on the blog post.

Going to their home page, they list a street address (2500 Woodlands Village Dr), but don't provide a city or state. They provide a phone number (with area code), but unless you have the area code map memorized, that's not a great help. Under Places to Visit, they do mention Grand Canyon tours and Flavors of Flagstaff, so it does appear that they are in Flagstaff. It would have been nice just to be told. Grumble.

Stone Bake Oven Company, Sway, Hampshire, United Kingdom

I had been aware of the Stone Bake Oven Company, Sway, Hampshire, United Kingdom before, but I caught a trade press mention of them here.  (I had no idea there was a site devoted to Pasta and Noodles news.)

The news item says in part, "The Stone Bake Oven Company, a seller of wood fired ovens to cater to commercial or domestic demands, indoor and outdoor use, and a range of budgets, has launched their Rocca oven range that can be installed inside the home as well as outdoor."

Interesting designs they have.

Pizza Moto, Brooklyn, New York

I found a hospitality jobs listing on Craig's List for a pizza maker.

It was for a business named PizzaMoto. The listing says in part, "We make lovely Neapolitan brick oven pizza outdoors every weekend at the Brooklyn Flea and in Central Park for all the Summer Stage shows throughout the summer."

That sounded intriguing.

They didn't provide a web address with the listing, but I found their home page and their Facebook page. Both pages have some pictures of their oven.

They have several reviews on their listing on yelp.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Community Oven, Penrith, Cumbria, United Kingdom

My Google Alert pointed me to an organization in Penrith, Cumbria, United Kingdom that had plans for community ovens.

The organization was named Penrith Action for Community Transition (PACT).

They have many projects underway, but their community oven project has its own page.

It's also a topic on their site that you can search for related pages.

Here is their YouTube video of building a cob oven at Newton-Rigg.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Community Oven, Albury, NSW, Australia

A little piece in the on-line version of The Border Mail (in Australia), mentions, just in passing, the community oven in Albury, New South Wales, Australia.

The piece says in closing, "Naan bread, African food and French crepes will be cooked in the community oven."

The oven was built as a multicultural artifact, bringing together Australian and immigrant cultures.

Previous pages that I found point to the community oven at Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto, Canada as its likely inspiration:

"The idea came from Albury City Council's cultural development officer Narelle Vogel, who saw a picture on a Canadian website and said, 'I want one of these for Albury'," says project co-ordinator Chelsea McLaren from Hume Murray Food Bowl, a group representing and promoting local food and wine producers.
The oven has been mentioned previously in The Border Mail (here), and has also been cited as one of the area's attractions.

This page seems to be from a neglected site, but it says about the community oven, "Community Wood Fired Oven: Heading down to the community’s centre, check out what’s on exhibit at the Library Museum or savour the delicate flavours of your meal cooked in the community wood fired oven." The content seems to be the same as on another travel site's page.

Nice to see the Albury oven get such use.

I do have a set of links that I collected about this oven here.

10/26/11: I received an e-mail from Narelle Vogel with the 2011 brochure for the community oven. (I am working on getting permission to make it available for downloading or linking to it on the Albury web site.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dee's Brick Oven Pizza, Forest Hills, New York

The Slice pizza blog at Serious Eats has an entry for Dee's Brick Oven Pizza, Forest Hills, New York.

I had come across Dee's before (that is, before I started this blog).

The blog entry says in part, "What a nice surprise, then, that the pizza is so good—and so interesting. It's fired in a wood-burning brick oven that, the pieman claims, gets up to 900°F, cooking the pizzas in three to five minutes."

That almost sounds slow to me, for an oven that hot. Our Twin Cities-based wood-fired pizza place, Punch Neapolitan Pizza, has a line on their menu, "800 degrees, 90 seconds."

Bellaroma Pizzeria & Ristora, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The final entry from my correspondent in Canada is Bellaroma Pizzeria & Ristora, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Their site has a gallery page, and the first picture is of their wood-fired oven. Good for them!

Siegel's Bagels, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I asked a friend who had moved to Vancouver if she had been to any of the wood-fired businesses I had identified. She had been to one, and mentioned another two, one being Siegel's Bagels, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Their home page says they have a "25 ton wood burning oven."

No pictures though.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Incendio, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

A blog post caught  my eye because it made references to both a brick oven and H.P. Lovecraft.

The blog post says in part, "We found this great pizza place in the Gastown area called Incendio’s. The brick oven looks like something from an H.P. Lovecraft story. But H.P. Lovecraft never made pizza this good! (I assume.)"

Well, there was no link provided, but I did find the home page of Incendio. I am a big fan of Vancouver's Gastown, but it's been a long time since I had time to visit.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Portable Oven Classes, Minnesota and Wisconsin

My schedule for teaching my class on portable brick ovens is now mostly firm.

If everything goes according to plan, I'll be teaching my class in five different locations this year.

Three of the locations are in Minnesota (Tunnel Mill, Silverwood Park, and the annual meeting of the Minnesota Guild of Metalsmiths), and two are in Wisconsin (French Hill Folk School, Driftless Folk School).

I put together a page about the class here. The class dates scheduled are listed below.

  • 05/07/11 Tunnel Mill (full)
  • 05/14/11 Tunnel Mill (added by popular demand)
  • 06/11/11 French Hill Folk School
  • 06/25/11 Driftless Folk School
  • 08/13/11 French Hill Folk School
  • 09/10/11 Silverwood Park
  • 09/17/11 Minn. Guild of Metalsmiths
It's a one-day class with everyone getting a chance to build an oven and watch naan, pita bread, pizza, and bread getting baked in the oven.