Hi my name is Simon Brookes. I decided to set-up this blog in order to share my experience of building a wood-fired clay oven. If you search for information about building these beautiful objects you will find it, indeed there are some excellent on-line resources and books published on the subject. However, during the process of constructing my oven I was looking for a resource which not only provided details on the building methods, materials etc. but also gave me the opportunity to share hints and tips and ask questions of others”out there” with prior experience. I couldn’t find one so this is an attempt to provide such a resource.
I also hope to make this a hub resource for other websites and so will provide links to useful and relevant links, news and courses. Please let me know of any you find.
I must acknowledge the inspiration for my wanting to start such a project in the first place. In July 2008 my wife brought me, as a surprise birthday present, a one day course at River Cottage Headquaters. The day long course called “Build and Bake” was absolutely fantastic – easily one of the most enjoyable days I have spent. The team at River Cottage HQ in Dorset hold your hand through the process of building your own oven in a beautiful and relaxed environment, ply you with amazing food and drink and teach you how to make the best bread and pizzas you have ever tasted. I came home inspired and raring to go!
The process I have used to build my own clay oven (as outlined on this blog) is pretty much the method of construction used by the River Cottage team and even though you can follow my instructions I thoroughly recommend you enroll yourself on their course before you begin your own clay oven, if you are in a position to do so.
Finally a little background information about me. I live in a small village called Nyewood which is near Petersfield in Hampshire, England. I am 40 and work as a lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. I am married, have a 19 year old step son and a black and white lurcher called Scout.
P.S. You can now follow me on Twitter if you like: http://twitter.com/ClayPizzaOven.