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, May 25, 2012

Portable Oven Class, Gale Woods Farm Park, Minnetrista, Minnesota, Sept. 8, 2012

I have an agreement with the farm supervisor at Gale Woods Farm Park to hold my portable oven-building class on Sept. 8, 2012, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Tim Reese, who organized cob oven-building classes at Gale Woods, has been kind enough to let me return to Gale Woods. While I have not had my oven-building class there, members of the Saint Paul Bread Club did build portable brick ovens there in 2009, as recorded in an Extras segment by KARE-11.

We are aiming to leave the oven up to help Gale Woods celebrate their harvest festival Oct. 6 and 7.

Update August 3: Registration is now available on-line.
Update September 4: Class is now full, with a waiting list.
Update Februray 15: Next class is scheduled for April 20, 2013.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bottaro Wood-Fired Pizza, San Diego, California

An article in the Encinitas Patch profiled a firefighter who started a mobile oven business as a sideline to prepare for retirement.

The article says in part:

After almost 30 years with the Encinitas Fire Department, firefighter John Gonzales began contemplating his upcoming retirement in 2015.
He thought it was time to shake things up in his life, and make a move, and this past July, he started Bottaro Wood Fired Pizza. Bottaro is the maiden name of his mother, an Italian-American.
In launching a business, Gonzales decided on a product that he loved himself and knew something about.

The business is Bottaro Wood-Fired Pizza, San Diego, California. The home page says in part:

Bottaro Wood Fired Pizza is an oven on wheels and as we like to call it "Pizza A-Go-Go". We also have salads and appetizers and cook all our food on site. You can find us at Street Fairs and Farmers Markets and also cater Private Parties and Events.
We use the freshest, local produce available, make our own sausage and use organic flour from Utah. Your pizza will bake in about 90 seconds in temperatures of 700 to 900 degrees. All your Family and Friends will appreciate the uniqueness of a Wood Burning Oven as we prepare and cook their food using "Old World" techniques right in your backyard or favorite setting.

This sounds like an interesting variation on the mobile oven business.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Community Oven, Los Angeles, California

The people who make up the Los Angeles Bread Bakers (a bread club) decided to build their own community oven. As part of the effort to document what was done, Alexandra Woodruff, one of their members, created a segment for the Good Food program on radio KCRW (the segment starts about 49 minutes into the show). Some pictures of the community oven were added to a post in the KCRW blog.

LABB has its own Facebook group page.

Alexandra Woodruff had interviewed me over the phone for the segment; I'm definitely in there. I am grateful for the opportunity to tell people about community ovens.

During my few words in the interview I mentioned a few community ovens that I know about. These included:

These are all on my global list of community oven links (along with a map of community ovens in the US).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Portable Oven Class, Prescott, WI, June 16, 2012

I will be returning once again to Prescott, Wisconsin, to teach my portable oven class.

The contents of the class are fully described here.

Registration information for the class is on this page of the Borner Farm Project.

In short, I show people how to build an oven from stacked bricks, how to make the doughs for naan, pita, pizza, and bread, and then bake them all in an oven we build as part of class. We then get to eat all of that. In past classes we have baked up to 15 pieces of naan, 8 pita bread, 5 pizzas, and a loaf of bread in an hour and a half.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Companion Bakery, Oatsland, Tasmania

Sometimes you stumble onto the most interesting things.

In my case, a Facebook group had a link to a webcam inside a bakery. Part of what was interesting, was that  this bakery used a wood-fired oven. Another interesting thing was that it was in Tasmania.

So, the Companion Bakery seems to be mentioned in a couple of different web sites, including their own. They are also mentioned in a website about sourdough baking.

I doubt I will get to see them in person, but it's been interesting looking over the shoulders of the baker toiling away to make good bread.