Wood-Fired Bread Oven
Our wood-fired bread oven was built in the spring of 2004, by a class from the North House Folk School. Alan Scott, a world-renowned bread oven builder and baker, led the eight participants through the process of construction. Greg assisted, and contributed the rock used for the hearth and the keystone. By the time the weekend was over, the oven stood as high as the arch of the doorway. In the following weeks, Greg finished construction of the chimney, and we seasoned the oven with small curing fires.
Then pizza season commenced with gusto. In the years since, we have been baking bread and preparing pizza on a weekly basis, from Memorial weekend through September. Ciabatta is the favorite bread. The light, chewy texture is perfect with a drizzle of olive oil, hot out of the oven. Pizza is made and served al fresco, with a large and changing variety of sauces and toppings. Many fine creations have come from our oven, and it is safe to say that we have made thousands of pizzas. We invite all of our guests to join us for this complimentary meal.
We also invite guests who are interested to try their hand at baking bread in the oven. The nature of the oven requires us to time carefully the schedule, depending on the bread that is to be baked. Please make prior arrangements with us regarding this. It seems to work out best to bake most breads on the day after our pizza session. We fire up the oven once a week, but the retained hear allows us to bake the next day as well.
Bread Oven Schedule
Our summer bread oven schedule will be posted on March 1st. In the meantime, a general guideline we have been following is to fire up the oven on Fridays or Saturdays during May, June, and September. In July and August, we fire it up on Thursdays. We make every effort to follow this schedule, but have been known to add days impromptu.
Pizza Crust Recipe
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
Sprinkle yeast on warm water in measuring cup. Allow yeast to proof for about 5 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add oil to water/yeast mixture. With mixer running, or stirring if done by hand, add water mixture to bowl. Mix until combined, adding more water or flour, to get a good dough that is not too wet nor too dry. Knead for five minutes, then let rest for twenty minutes. Shape into balls according to the size pizza you want. Let rest. Roll into crusts. Bake for two minutes at 500 degrees. Watch carefully! Yields four large or eight small pizza crusts.