Often I am asked – what is it that is so special about masonry ovens?
When my interest in baking grew to an itching urge to find out all I could within a few years so that I could set up my own bakery, these ovens were always called “brick ovens” by the old bakers. They were often made with simple house bricks, perhaps with firebrick placed around the furnace area and where the flame path gushed out into the chamber across the front of the crown. The big bakers’ ovens had a twentieth century improvement – a remote furnace, placed in a front wall, and when I began baking they were more likely fired with oil or gas. At that time, the 1970’s, those I came across were already survivors, some would have called them relics of the past. But quite a few bakers still used them, more in the country towns than the cities, particularly if they were still in good condition.Continue Reading