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Kristin Ferguson

My Backyard Pizza Oven--I built it myself!

Great, Mohican! Please post pictures!

My Backyard Pizza Oven--I built it myself!

Correction--I used 186 bricks: 19 per row, 9 bricks high, and 15 for the arch.

My Backyard Pizza Oven--I built it myself!

Mohican, I used about 200 bricks, maybe 220, plus the 15 bricks for the arch. I also used 26 firebricks. If I were to do it again, I'd probably make the base a couple of rows of brick taller so I wouldn't have to stoop to use the oven, but it's not a problem.

Adam Kuban, my chickens are young and only started laying less than a month ago, but the eggs are amazing. And yes, I've had great success with a "breakfast pizza"--baby potatoes, crumbled bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and a couple of tiny eggs cracked on top before going in the oven. One of my chickens is still laying very small eggs, so they are the perfect size. I've got a repertoire of ten or twelve pizzas I'm really happy with. Someday I'll open a pizzeria!

My Backyard Pizza Oven--I built it myself!

I didn't skimp on $$, because originally I had planned to hire a bricklayer to build an all-brick oven for me (like in "The Bread Builders" book), but it was going to be expensive--somewhere between $3,000 and $6,000--so I decided to exit my comfort zone and try to build it myself out of cob, using the "Build Your Own Earth Oven" book. All told, I probably spent $350 on this oven. I could have done it for less--for example, I bought sawdust from the pet store instead of sweeping it up from a lumber yard, and I bought bricks at Home Depot instead of salvaging old ones. I also didn't feel like digging up my back yard to try to find clay (and anyway, we have fairly sandy soil here in Los Angeles) so I bought fire clay from a specialty store. I'm pretty sure you could build an oven like this for $100 if you're clever about sourcing your materials.

My Backyard Pizza Oven--I built it myself!

For all you die-hard pizza fans, I recommend building your own wood-fired oven, if you have the space. My little oven gets up above 1000 degrees. I'm not sure exactly how far above, because my infra-red laser thermometer maxes out at 1020 degrees. I created a public Facebook album of my building process:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1705811643512.2088731.1184650787&type=1&l=e413a19cc2

It wasn't really very hard, and I had a great time doing it! And now I'm leading a group of fellow bakers in the building of a larger oven in a community garden near my neighborhood.

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