Sunday, January 27, 2013

New medieval clay bread oven

Earlier this year, I made medieval clay bread oven and unfortunately after much use it met it's demise.  It was fired up, very hot and ready to be used and then a horrible storm started with hail and heavy rain and the back of the oven blew out.  But in October I built a new oven.  Smaller than the last oven and much easier to travel with.   The construction process was the same, clay mixed with a little sand, straw and water.  The inner frame is a woven basket covered with fabric then the clay mixture.  

Once the clay dries to a leather stage, usually I wait over night for this to happen; I then build a small fire and slowly build it up to where it then burns out the fabric and basket, in this case two baskets and dries the clay on the inside.  It then is hard enough to bake in.  Each time the oven is fired, it will harden more.  Like when you are firing in a kiln the heat dries the clay.  

 The oven itself was built on a wood litter and will be added on a cart, hopefully some time this spring.  The weight is over 100 pounds and takes two people to lift.  The inside is large enough for a couple rounds of bread or two medium pies. 


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