Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 2, 2011 - Pizza Passion Or Oven Anxiety


I had plans of building a brick oven using red earth as a mortar, just like many other cheap and common igloo shaped ovens around here. But I remembered that a Baptist Church runs an orphanage in the next town had a pre-molded oven they had abandoned saying "it burned the bread". At that time, I thought that the oven was made with concrete. Only later I found out that they used a refractory concrete, which makes the oven perfectly usable. The same day I got the metal wood stove, I ran to the orphanage and asked for the oven. The pastor didn´t know the current price so couldn´t sell it right away. I had a price set on my mind, but for some reason, I had forgotten how much it costs in my store. A couple days later, I showed up and told him the price (R$390 for a brand new similar type). He sold me for R$150 and I offered him $20 extra to have it delivered next day, and I had already put a donation on my first visit. The whole adventure cost me R$210. But it doesn´t end there.
The anxiety of trying out the oven (to see if it really burns the bread) and eating a homemade pizza, I had the carpenters who are fixing up my house to set my oven just for that occasion.
I had rolled a heavy sewage concrete pipe to my yard and made a hole to hasten their job the following day. So they used red earth and cement as a mortar to glue the pieces together.
So, I made pizza not only once, but three times on my improvised oven stand. A few accidents happened, such as the wooden piece I had place under the oven (without isolating it with bricks)caught fire, the whole Calabrese sausage onion pizza fell upside down on the dirt floor, and serving some uncooked burned pizza with ashes on top for guests who were in a hurry.
I got valuable lessons from it: can´t hurry the oven fire, can´t hurry the oven construction, and don´t walk around with hot pan of Calabrese pizza.
My oven is still on an improvised stand, and I guess, it is going to be a few more days (or weeks) to have it in a permanent place, under a firm brick stand, over a concrete pad. I have also bought fiberglass matt to place around the igloo to insulate the heat. We don´t use this material/technique in Brazil, but I have seen on youtube, so I decided to include it on my oven construction.
While I can´t use my igloo oven, I keep using my regular gas stove for baking.

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