Wood-fired oven image

Using wood for heat is close to my heart as we use it in our biomass boiler to heat our home. It is a sustainable material which is largely underutilised and undervalued in this country. So, why not wood-fired ovens? It gives bread, pizza and other roasted foods unique qualities unmatched by conventional ovens.

At BakeryBits we've taken delivery of our "Campagnard" oven from Four Grand Mere which arrived in sections on a pallet and weighs something approaching 1/3 tonne. Once we are happy with these ovens and the best way to install them for UK conditions, BakeryBits will be supplying them.I thought I'd write about our experience as we make ourselves the guinea pigs.

The oven sections arrived on a pallet delivered by a courier with the right lifting gear, so we only had to point at the right landing spot.

For the design, we've an outdoor spot with a view behind it which should be perfect. We've gone for a wide plinth so that there will be workspace on either side of a central oven which will be lime-mortar rendered (not good enough at Sketchup to show the door and bricks of the oven!). Underneath the granite worktop will be a log-store on either side and then a central oak door behind which will be kindling and nic-nacs that I am sure will accumulate.

First thing was to knock out the mouldy outdoor barbecue left our predecessors, to make room for a large plinth. For this we got our local builder who is experienced in working with lime mortars and has a feel for this kind of work. We used a handmade brick behind which are lime-rendered blocks:

Now that the plinth is complete, the granite worktop has been ordered. It'll be in three sections to make it sensible for handling and transport.

When that comes, the central section will be fitted leaving room around for the oven to be placed, assembled and the lime-render applied. Then the other two sections of granite will be fitted and lastly the part I'll do myself, which will be the oak door and surround.

...then onto the fun part of actually using it!

...more to come as installation progresses...