Saturday, December 30, 2017

Brick Oven Cooking: part three

As outdoor temperatures plummeted to minus degrees and activity was driven indoors, my conservatory brick oven became both a great cooking device and welcome entertainment.

By using it to roast multiple vegetables in preparation for ratatouille, I also heated it for baking artisan bread.

My 36" interior diameter oven has the capacity or three very large pans, enough ingredients for a crowd or for days of leftovers.

I could do all this on a conventional range but, hey, 
it's more fun in the brick oven and the vegetables get a flamed browning.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Brick Oven Cooking: part two

We tend to think of brick ovens as either pizza ovens or bread ovens.  For centuries cultures across the world have cooked everything in them.

As winter closes in on New England I've had time to keep my indoor oven going and to cook a variety of foods using its many qualities.

The previous post: might have been Brick Oven Cooking part one so this one gets 'two'.  I'll keep it going through the holidays.

Bimbambap is one of my favorite dishes that incorporates nearly any vegetable with rice and broiled meat.  

The oven makes it easy to roast the vegetables, broil the meat, and finish the dish by combining ingredients and re-introducing the pan to the oven.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


This past week demonstrated the strength of an indoor brick oven.  The one I have in my conservatory is just off the kitchen and an occasional walk down two steps allows me to stoke the oven while I do other things.
I've been experimenting with focaccia recipes, something between bread and pizza dough, and today I nailed it. Dipped in Fiore Coratina EV olive oil it was a great afternoon snack.
Then as the oven evened out at about 450F, I took a butternut squash that had miraculously kept from our summer garden of 2016 (15 months ago) and made a recipe I found on Bon Apetit's site:
I had made the recipe before for a Thanksgiving potluck and it was splendid.

Lastly, I placed a large chunk of applewood in the oven so that I can bring it back up to temperature in ten minutes from coals tomorrow morning. It  gives me the evening to contemplate breakfast.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Winchester Oven Revisited

I enjoy seeing the ovens I have built in the months and years after completion.  Often the surrounding landscape or building incorporates the oven so as to make it appear ancient.
So it is with the Winchester oven.  The owners are avid gardeners as well a cooks, so the oven has seen a lot of use.
soon after completion

first pizza