Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Brick Oven Refinement

Every brick oven I build has some refinement; one advantage of being a custom brick oven builder.

The refinement added to this recent brick oven provides a large work space (when handling baked or roasted products) under the throat of the oven.  It harks back to the true Pompeii style ovens (pictured at bottom from my visit to Pompeii, Italy).

Modern-traditional brick ovens like the ones I build also need more-than-adequate fire-proofing from the surroundings.  In addition to steel framing and cement board enclosure of the oven volume, I surround the oven with nearly three times the industry standard in refractory insulation.  It's an easy equation to see that heat retained is both safe heat and long heat.

bakery-size oven design modeled after Pompeii
The original Pompeii ovens had a shelf that spanned the full width of the bakery and were under the throat and flue of the oven chimney.  I have conjectured (without meticulous archeology) that these lateral spaces were useful for handling quantities of bread on the way into the oven and then out of the oven.

I also imagine that the bakery ovens of Pompeii never cooled down until (ironically) after Vesuvius buried the town in 79 CE (Common Era also A.D.).

The bakery oven pictured below is one of the  more decorative brick ovens uncovered when Pompeii was excavated.

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