bread loaf

Saint Paul Bread Club

We knead to bake!

Other Links:

Saint Paul Bread Club (SPBC) Quest for Ovens

Last major update to these pages was on 07/05/2013.

The “I” and “me” on these pages refer to David S. Cargo, who maintains these pages.

Retained-heat ovens provide the best place to bake bread, but they are no longer the mainstream way to bake bread. (For thousands of years they were the top technology for bread baking.)

Usually these ovens are heated by burning wood, but sometimes they are heated by electricity or natural gas.

They are also used for baking pizza the traditional Neapolitan way.

Ovens in the Wild

Do you know of anywhere there is an private outdoor oven, an oven in a park, an oven used as part of a business, an oven in a garden, an oven in a school, or a community oven? If you do, please let me know (David S. Cargo).

(Or if you teach or know of an oven-building class, please let me know.)

People have told me that there is a trend toward people building ovens in their back yards, but I don’t know how true that is. Certainly I have seen lots of people taking classes to learn how to build their own ovens.

There have been hints and rumors of some such ovens, but usually little definite information. As I acquire information, I’ll update these pages so everybody can know what we have all found. Most of the time that means adding links to web pages to the appropriate place in the extensive link collection.

I especially want to know if you know of any community ovens or ovens in parks in the US, Canada, or even overseas; please let me know. There is a specific link page for them.

I am also interested in tracking newspaper and magazine articles (or web pages) about brick ovens, cob ovens, adobe ovens, etc. If you find any of those, please let me know as well.

If you have or are building an oven, but don’t want visitors, that’s fine. We will respect your right to privicy. Your experiences with oven builders, oven costs, zoning regulations, building inspectors, etc. could still be shared for the benefit of other people interested in their own ovens.

If you live in the Twin Cities and you build, own, or use a wood-fired oven, and you are interested in joining a group of oven enthusiasts, send me an e-mail with the subject of “Oven Club” and I will add you to the mailing list for the Minnesota Oveneers. I have been publishing a free newsletter for Minnesota oven enthusiasts.

The SPBC and Ovens

A Community Oven for Saint Paul

The SPBC has a long-term goal to get a publicly accessible oven where we can get together and bake. (This would be like Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto.)

Temporary Ovens

Members of the SPBC have built temporary ovens at The Landing (1| 2| 3) and Gale Woods Farm (4).

The ovens at The Landing are gone; they were dismantled and the bricks sent to Gale Woods Farm.

The brick ovens at Gale Woods are now gone. Tim Reese sent me an e-mail on August, 25, 2009, that says in part, “Bricks for the ovens are here stored on pallets. I had to disassemble because we are getting ready for construction of an equipment shed in that spot.”

There is now a video feature about our work building ovens on-line thanks to our local television station, KARE-11. This link provides access to the feature itself. There had been a page containing a promo for the feature, but they took that page off-line.

The bricks were moved from Gale Woods Park to Silverwood Park, where they were used in classes on building portable brick ovens from 2010 to 2012. The bricks were moved back to Gale Woods in the summer of 2012, where the classes on building portable brick ovens continue.

I’m hoping to make temporary ovens a feature of reconstruction work in parks undergoing renovation, but I have not had any takers yet.

Permanent Ovens

While the SPBC does not have a permanent oven, several members of the SPBC now have ovens of their own. Some of these are shown on the Private Ovens page.