Page 16

The Taste of

Wood-Fired

Abilene couple creates an old-fashioned wood-fired oven for pizza parties and days of good cooking

behind the

scenes

16

Sunflower living summer 2014

internet forums and had email conversations with others who had built their own ovens. After weighing the pros and cons related to materials and design, Duane and his wife, Robin, poured the foundation slab at their home in Abilene for their own outdoor oven in fall 2010. A couple from Lindsborg helped them build the stem walls before winter set in. Duane and Robin resumed construction in the spring, completing the oven in late July. Besides avoiding winter weather, the lapse

OVEN SECRET

I

t began with a book, but not a recipe book. When Duane Schrag read The Bread Builders, he enjoyed the first half, written by Daniel Wing, an experienced bread maker, who addressed many scientific and technical questions about bread. But Duane was even more intrigued by the second half, written by Alan Scott, a well-known and respected brick mason, who convinced Duane that a woodfired oven was essential to his quest for a better loaf of bread. Following his usual problem-solving process, Duane began to gather additional information, perused online oven-building sites, participated in

Duane Schrag says the single most important calculation in building his oven was the ratio between the height of the door in relation to the top of the roof arch. If the door is too high, the oven loses too much heat. If a door is too low, then the oven’s fire will not draw.

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