Reader Project: Traditional Outdoor Wood-Fired Oven

John White’s family has hosted several foreign exchange students, all of whom have claimed that America needs better bread. So, as a step toward

John White’s family has hosted several foreign exchange students, all of whom have claimed that America needs better bread. So, as a step toward strategic bread superiority, John built this traditional wood-fired oven. Under the brick and stone exterior, it’s made mostly from concrete block and firebrick. The slate roof shingles were salvaged from an old barn. The big mass of masonry takes about four hours to reach baking temperature. Although it’s designed for bread, the oven is great for baking other items, especially pizza.

“When the construction was done, it dawned on me: I don’t know how to bake!” — John White

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traditional wood-fire ovenPhoto: Courtesy of John White