Ovencrafting: Building the Wood-Fired Brick Oven
Hearth loaves, live-fire cooking, flatbreads, and overnight baked bean pots—just a few of the many potential uses of the wood-fired masonry oven made popular by Alan Scott. This workshop will explore the history and construction of masonry ovens and the mixing and baking of wood-fired bread. Over the four days of the course, together we will build a 27" x 36" (interior dimensions) rectangular barrel-arch style oven, starting with hearth insulation and construction, followed by the oven walls, arches, doorway, façade, arch, and chimney. The building of the foundation and base will be explained, as well as the insulation and finishing work.
We'll also fire the big North House oven and make a pizza lunch to learn a little more about the workings of these ovens. As time and interest allows throughout the build, we will also discuss the details of baking bread and other food in the wood fired oven, starting your own natural leaven from scratch and other techniques that will help you make great artisan bread at home, with or without a brick oven.
This oven will be built at Creaking Tree Farm, a local organic farm and CSA run by Ian and Rachel Andrus and their family. Creaking Tree Farm is located about 25 minutes west of Grand Marais, high in the maple forest of Lutsen. It will be a beautiful time of year to be in the maples. The class will convene at North House on Day 1 for some informational slideshows and the oven firing and pizza lunch, but will be located in Lutsen Days 2-4. Students may wish to consider lodging options in the Lutsen area.
Required Tools and Materials
Work clothes and shoes/boots
NHFS has safety glasses, rubber and latex gloves, earplugs, and dust masks for use at your disposal, however feel free to bring your own.
*If you are traveling from a distance and don’t have an easy way to bring the required tools, please contact the instructor to work out an alternative.