Today, for the first time, I decided to weigh how much wood I used to get my oven up to temperature and cook five pizzas.
The oven is 80cm internal diameter and I used approx 11kg of wood, excluding kindling. The oven wasn't particularly hot - the pizzas took 3-4 minutes to cook, so I could easily have used more wood to get the oven hotter.
The oven is pretty well insulated with 50mm of calsil below the firebrick floor and the exterior render is only slightly warm to the touch.
Is this wood consumption normal? The chimney is 1m tall and sometimes I think that all the heat is going up the chimney.
I have often wondered about the chimney, I am in the final stages of building my oven and since I was keen to retain as much heat as possible I have allowed some ridging to allow me to fit an inner door that will effectively block off the chimney. Always seemed strange that so much is spent on the insulation but then only a dampner is in place in most cases to prevent heat escaping that why?
Providing I'm not too cider affected at the end of the evening I knead all the uncooked bases together, put them into loaf tins which then go in the fridge overnight which delays the rise. In the morning I let them come up to room temperature while raking out the oven,then bung them in for about 35-40 mins. Fresh loaves for breakfast.
Another idea is to make calzones. These were traditionally cooked after the pizzas when the oven temp has come off and then eaten the next day for lunch when working in the fields. Take some leftover dough and roll out a really large base, then fill one half of it with leftover toppings. Fold the base over like a really big pastie. If you’ve let the flame die for some time the oven temp will have come off so you can bake them for around 5- 10 mins.