Introduction: I am an artisan bread baker hoping to take my passion on the road… literally. This project is to bring a mobile wood fired oven to the New Hampshire seacoast community specializing in organic sourdough breads and local foods, live fire cooking and local food education.
The plan: This Kickstarter project is to fund the materials to build a mobile wood fired production baking oven to serve the seacoast region of New Hampshire.
The oven will be used in four different ways:
• Community gatherings
• Farmers markets
Most mobile ovens are only good for live firing pizzas as the ovens cannot retain heat for long periods of time due to lack of insulation. However, the design of this mobile oven offers unmatched versatility. This oven will be built on a large trailer and will have increased insulation in order to make the oven amenable to baking breads and roasting meats in addition to live firing pizzas.
Because the oven will be built on a large trailer, it will be able to be transported to people’s houses for catering events or can be used at community gatherings such as festivals. At farmers markets the plan is to bake bread prior to the opening of the market; customers will be able to purchase bread that is still warm from the oven and will experience the amazing atmosphere and smell that freshly baked bread will bring to the market.
Once the bread has been baked, the oven can be turned over to make pizzas for lunch time. Pizzas will be prepared to order on-site using the finest local ingredients provided by farmers at the market.
Lastly, the oven will be used in seminars as an example to teach people how to build their own wood-fired ovens as well as to educate people on wood-fired cooking and baking techniques.
The oven: The oven will be designed to maintain its integrity over the roughest of roads during transportation. The design is a large, barrel vaulted chamber constructed out of high quality refractory brick and ceramic insulation. Steel will be used for harnessing and supporting the oven on the trailer. With over 15 square feet of hearth area, the oven will have enough thermal mass to bake 200lbs of raw dough on one firing. The oven will be mounted on a custom built, tandem axle trailer designed to handle 7000lbs. In addition, the trailer will have the added benefit of being able to be leveled on uneven surfaces.
Who we are: My wife and I have been local foodies on the Seacoast of NH for as long as we’ve lived here, which is going on 7 years now. My wife runs the Food Education Network, a non-profit organization engaged in bringing local food to the low income community on the seacoast. We both volunteer our time for local food causes and are well networked in the local farmer and food community.
I am a USAF veteran with over 10 years in the military between active duty and time in the New Hampshire Air National Guard. I spent 7 of those years as a sheet metal fabricator working on airplanes, fabricating parts and repairing aircraft. For the past 3 years I have moved on to a part time flying career as a Boom Operator, flying KC-135s and refueling military aircraft mid-air.
While this is a great part time job, my passion is in baking artisan breads, cooking locally grown meats and produce, and teaching people how to build and use wood fired ovens.
I built my first oven at my home over 3 years ago. I built it with the desire to do only pizzas for backyard parties, but soon learned that there is a whole world of cooking opportunities using both the radiant heat of the live fire and the heat retained in the hearth after the fire is gone for baking.
Last year I took my baking skills to the next level with an internship at a local wood fire bakery that specializes in organic sourdoughs along with using locally produced grains and flour. In the year since my apprenticeship, I have been baking dozens of loaves a month and perfecting my craft. Now it’s time to share my passion with the community.
Here is a breakdown of the costs associated with this build:
Refractory Bricks - $1,000
Steel for reinforced corners, exterior and harness - $1,000
Insulation – $500
Trailer parts - $1,000
Steel for Trailer - $1,000
Larger stand mixer and other baking accessories - $2,000
Any leftover will go into tricking out a tow vehicle for transporting dough, breads and supplies.
Remember! If we don't meet the funding goal, all donors' money will be refunded. Please see the list of rewards and contribute what you can. Also - help us spread the word! Thank you!
Risks and challenges
The first challenge is to build a wood fire oven on a custom built trailer (all fabricated by myself) in a timely fashion before the outdoor market season is over. Being more of a seasonal business, weather and climate are also a big consideration and will limit outdoor operations to the fair weather months (April through October/November).
As you read this I am currently deployed to the Middle East and will be gone until mid June. My wife will be available to field questions while I’m out of the country. Thanks for your support!
- (40 days)