"The definitive book on how to build an adobe oven." It encourages and inspires your native creativity and also provides a clear, simple process for making authentic whole-wheat sourdough bread in the artisan tradition. Many readers have gone on to build their own bread-businesses or homes!
- completely re-written, updated, expanded, and re-organized to simplify the making of
- a super-insulated oven that holds heat longer and burns less fuel
- bread how-to by Hannah Field, former professional baker for wood fired and organic bakeries on both sides of the Atlantic (also the author’s spouse).
- foreword by Alan Scott, grandfather of wood-fired ovens and artisan bread, co-author (with Dan Wing) of The Bread Builders;
- 8-page color gallery of beautiful sculpted ovens;
- innovations and variations: mobile ovens, “rocket” ovens, hay-box cookers, and more.
- Approx. 75,000 copies in print
- Amazon reviewers continually write rave reviews (4.7 out of 5 stars), with comments like: “This Book Gives You Courage,” “practical and well conceived,” “user-friendly,” “easy to read,” “detailed and complete,” “best book on the topic,” “one of the best building project books around”
Selected Reviews & Praise:
“Brief, brisk, artful, and well-written….explains the principles of breadmaking with a few deft strokes…. Graceful, well-detailed, and empowering throughout.” – Permaculture Activist, August, 2004
“There are really only three books for the would-be bread oven builder. If you get only one, get Kiko’s…” – John Connell, founder, Yestermorrow design/build school, architect, author
“…inspired creativity combined with traditional wisdom….Get a copy and build yourself an earth bread oven. It’s that simple.” - www.walnutbooks.com
“…enjoyable, down-to-earth and sensible….his instructions are clear as rainwater, his advice…intelligent and sound….” - Petit Propos Culinaires
“…Appealing to a diverse audience of bakers, outdoor cooks, traditional crafts persons, and…homeschoolers looking for a project…should be part of most public library collections.” – Library Journal
“…The illustrations really make it accessible, and the information is such a good blend of science and love.” – Marc Peter Keane, Landscape Architect, author, Japanese Garden Design
“Your book is an excellent guide to building an earthen oven and lots more…. My son-in-law just finished an Italian bread and pizza oven [that] cost $4,000. I told him I will soon build a horno of adobe for less than $100.” – Clint T. Colorado
From the author:
Earth, Ovens, Art!
An oven is just a hole in the ground, but filled with fire and bread, it becomes the center, the heart of human culture, around which revolve cooking, eating, the telling of stories, the giving of hospitality to travelers, etc. (In Latin, the word for “hearth,” or “fireplace” is focus.)
An oven built out of mud surrounds fire with earth. Bare-handed and bare-footed construction offers anyone a part to play in the elemental marriage of water, earth, air, and fire. The swelling, full-bellied form feeds us beauty as well as bread.
And the retained heat of a masonry oven (fired earth = brick) makes for crust and flavors that just can’t be duplicated in your gas or electric powered Kenmore range.
It’s easy and cheap to do, and your kids or grand-kids can help. And once you’ve built an oven, you may decide you can build a house, too (which is really just a bigger oven with a (proportionally) smaller fire.
What we learn to do, we learn by doing. Rabbi Ahai ben Josiah said, ‘He who buys grain in the market, to what may he be compared? To a child who is cut off from his mother, and although it is taken to homes of wetnurses, it is not satisfied. And he who buys bread in the market, to what is he compared? To a man who digs his own grave – a wretched, precarious existence. But he who eats of his own produce is like a child reared at his mother’s breast.’ (The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan Avot d’Rabbi Nathan 30:6) We have learned to buy our bread from the market, but what can shopping teach us except debt and dissatisfaction? Shopping is not life. Home-made bread, on the other hand, is a tasty, cheap antidote to buying. But home-made bread feeds more than our bellies. It feeds a human hunger for beauty, and for participation.
A good loaf, like any art, comes into the world unique and individual; it invites you to an event that becomes a part of you, like the birth of a child…like communion!
In addition to a “complexity of flavors,” making your own oven and bread restores you to a complexity of relationships:
“Bernard Clavel, a French writer whose father was a baker, wrote that the bakeshop was on the way to local saltworks, and that his mother would open up at five in the morning so that the salters could buy bread on their way to work. His father sold bread to the wine-growers, some of whom gave a cask a wine in exchange, and to the wood-cutter (huge eight-pound loaves), who in return would deliver the wood needed to fire the bread-oven. When the baker ran out of salt, he would drive up to the saltworks to pick up a sack, paid for – in bread.” [see Clavel's introduction to The Book of Bread, by Jerome Assire, Flammarion, 1996, Cited in Cooking with Fire in Public Spaces, Friends of Dufferin Grove Park.]
A mud oven is as miraculous as the dirt and hands that make it; how wonderful that the simple act of making an oven can give people a confidence in their own ability to participate in and enrich their own lives!
– Kiko Denzer
- kiko denzer
- hand print press
- 3d edition, revised, expanded
- page count:
- 132 pages