Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Turns out the whole wood fired oven thing actually works as advertised!

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the WFO project ended up reminding me of the end of our house build. Although on a much smaller and MUCH less stressful scale, once I finally got it to the point where it was done enough to actually be put to use I discovered, or rather I am discovering, that the way I think about it hasn't caught up. So here we are again, all of the sudden, with a mostly finished project that works and is usable and that we can enjoy while my brain is still playing that "when the WFO is done... " track.
Perhaps that explains why I've been a major loser in the photography department. It's either that, or, as I was just explaining to someone else, the whole WFO pizza cookery event is somewhat ill-suited to photojournalism, what with the timing issues invovled. And the smoke, of course.

So when I left you last, the build was complete and we were spending a few days on air drying. From there we progressed to a very exciting first fire. A wee one so as not to get things too hot while moisture might still be hanging around in the bricks and mortar that would cause havoc by expanding when it turned to steam.
first fire
Smoke from the flue=crazy exciting!

Even a wee fire is good enough for this sugar addict to cook up some marshmallows for smores:
smores from a wee fire

Moving on to a bit bigger fire:
a little bigger fire

And finally, a bigger, hotter fire that was enough to get some serious heat in the hearth bricks and produce a couple of gorgeous calzones for dinner:

first food from the wfo

Those burnt ends are evidence of what happens when you step away from the oven just long enough to grab the camera from inside the house. Char, baby....wHOOHOO! And char, or more specifically a controlled, just-a-bit-of-char kind of thing, is part of what the WFO is all about when it comes to dough.
And seriously, is this not just about the best looking calzone you've ever seen? Check out that crusty browned goodness...and all from FIVE minutes of cooking:
veggie calzone

and it got even better on the inside:
inside a veggie calzone
not bad for a practice, warm-up fire and literally 10 minutes of prep using whatever I could dig out of the fridge. Veggie for me, pepperoni and cheese for Boy. We were practically yelping with delight. I'm saying without a doubt these were the best calzones I've ever made or eaten, and I suspect it's only going to get better from here.

Boy was thinking maybe we need to take before WFO and after WFO pictures of ourselves so we can appreciate the effect all the forthcoming edible practice will have on our waistlines...
We'll title that essay "why NOT to build a WFO" :)