No, that’s not a typo We have more than one pizza oven. In fact, we have three. But, more about that later.
Seventeen years ago we both retired and moved to the country. We were city dwellers all our lives so this was an adventure. As the remodel was finishing on our new country home, Sunrise Flour Mill was about to be born. Darrold had started his amateur bread-baking hobby, and was developing a pizza flour. He wanted to have an outdoor, wood-fired oven, so he took a class and in two days, he learned to build an Alan Scott oven.
The Alan Scott is a wonderful oven… but it is giant. This isn’t the kind of oven you would fire up for one loaf of bread or even a couple of pizzas. It’s so big that it takes a whole day in the summer to heat up, two days in the winter. This oven is designed for bulk baking. It takes a long time for the heat to dissipate so we have taken advantage of this by making various things after pizza – whole fish, grilled vegetables, casseroles, etc.
We often are more spontaneous and invite people at the last minute so we wanted a smaller more versatile outdoor oven. Darrold did a lot of research and found a precast concrete dome, gathered the necessary tools and helping hands, and built an oven in a weekend.
He built a couple more ovens for friends and family using that precast concrete dome and sought out an easier way. He found one that is shipped in a crate with individually numbered pieces from Forno Bravo. These ovens are assembled somewhat like a large, heavy jigsaw puzzle. It still takes a few people and some additional tools, but the process was easier than the first ovens he built.
We were asked to make pizza at other venues, so naturally we needed a mobile oven…doesn’t everyone 😉 He took the small oven concept and put it on a trailer.
After about the 12th oven, he went from the guy who builds ovens, to the guy who USED to build ovens. That isn’t to discourage any of you. If you are considering building one, go for it. It is probably the thing that gets used the most at our house in the summer. The minute Darrold sees that the temperature is 45F and sunny, he is calling around to see who can come for pizza. That includes our staff. We make all our pizzas using our Heritage Pizza Flour and either this yeast pizza crust recipe or this sourdough pizza crust recipe.
All for now!