Wood-fired baking – a middle school elective

Every winter, the middle school students choose a six-week elective, offered Friday afternoons. This year, six brave souls (who don’t mind the cold) are learning to bake in the school’s new wood fired oven. Here’s a little bit of what we’ve done during the first three sessions — Kristen Fehlhaber

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Week one:  we baked pitas, but had a hard time getting the oven hot enough.  Our dry-stacked bricks, combined with a beehive shape, left too many gaps in the walls.  But the pitas all got eaten — no one seemed to mind.

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Week two:  we took the oven apart, down to its hearth, and rebuilt it, all in 90 minutes.  What a great bunch of hard workers!  We also baked some rolls (in a conventional oven), with some stenciling on top.

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Week three:  time to test the newly designed oven.  After it was cleared of snow, it sent off a lot of steam.  Then we baked two kinds of naan — snowshoe naan with sesame seeds and Uighur naan with scallion, cumin and caraway seeds.  It held its heat nicely and we are looking forward to three more weeks of this baking elective.

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