Friday, December 28, 2007

New Year

I wonder what weather will be on 31 Dec ? Could I make pizza ? What I really want is to make baggets like year ago in Japan

Monday, December 24, 2007

Seriose Pie review

We got to this Seattle place and had some pizzas. Well, it is not bad,
but I will not call it pizza, so Pie is a proper word. They have gas
oven made from blocks , similary to mine, but they put wood on burners
so it look like wood fire. It is much better then just gas and a
design I was thinking about myself. Pizza wise: dough is a bit
strange. It look like they use oil or margarine . It does not taste
like good olive oil so. It way to much oil to my taste. It was a nice
dinner : we were hungry and olive oil pie desert was good. Still ,
that is not a place I would return to and not for pizza for sure. Nice
place so to go once.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

American pie

This is knock out pie with custurd. It more like desert pizza!

This is not delivery

This is for pickup:-)

Healthy pizza

We used up last wire flour so had to mix in some whole wheat. We got a
healthier pizza.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Freaking disaster

It is finaly a nice weather. I am going to clean the mess and fire
oven today. I hope it is fine under this colupsed tent.

Monday, December 3, 2007


We got snow and my green tent colupsed : now part of unfinished roof
exposed to rain. Freaking disaster. I hope it nothing bad: I will
check it out as soon as rain will give us some break.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mario is a best oven broker in Redmond

We saved some time and it was mazing we could get ovens at all from Italy :-)

Super Mario is the key. ( and inspiration behind this project btw)

Oven cost was about 1000$ and I think my bill of materials more then 500$ already :-)

But it well under 2000$ I think.

Look on some USA alternatives :

Well,what we sure did was no briner, but look : this one “… is handmade in Portugal”

Is not that cool :-) $2000!!!!

What approximate ours oven more closely is :

Also, check this out : ( it probably made form white gold) :

Monday, November 19, 2007

Real bread

My best half did poolish and we tried to bake first real bread.
Temperature was still too high, we cranked oven for pizza. Still,
bread turned out very nice: it rise in oven and despite shorter bake
time and some burns clean up it developed nice texture and taste
inside. I cut better looking one in 4 and that made nice presents,
while other one had to be cleaned up and sliced . It will make nice
sandwiches too.
Darling made a nice cake too: she put exact amount of fat and sugar so
it was realy yammy;-)

All we need now is to be patient enough and let oven cool down more
before we load bread.

I hope that laser termometer will help make better estimation of
inside temperature. I think rule if tumb: no burnig inside for bread .
May be I should remove all coals first .

Sunday, November 18, 2007

First arch

I made a first raw of the oven roof. It is not a perfect but will do.
We have a pizza party today!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Four seasons

We baked some pizzas last week end. It was more then we can eat: some
pizzas feature my smoked salmon and mozarela as well roasted onion and
garlic type. There are classical pizza and iregulary shaped one ;-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

We shiped a solid beta!

After the storm ... All clean up... My kicked ass still a bit sore;-)
I ofitialy anonse: beta IS solid.

Pizza turned to be great. All steps including making dough with new
mixers worked. Tools worked. Pizza oven ruled even with unfinited roof.

I had a new design idea this mornig : make roof like a castle wall:
use top for fire wood: similary to what I did in japan.

Also that would start second part of the project: Pizza Outdoor. To
save my ass I will follow Mario's model and will run futhure parties
outdoor, espesisly when more people will come. That will help me to
trunsform my backyard to even more buitifull party place. I even have
more cool thing for kids: got some from Ikea. It will be a bit tricky
to come with nice design.. But I already dream about koi pool and
waterfall ;-)

I would like to thank all my beta testers: you are great!

And a HUGE thanks to Don Mario:-)!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

D.O.C. or DOC pizza

What is D.O.C. pizza ? It is an authentic Italian fare of course!

D.O.C. stands for 'Denominazione di Origine Controllata'

Normally seen on authenticate bottles of Italian wine.

There are only two pizzas you need to make to certify:

Marinara: tomatos, oil, oregano , garlic
Margherita: tomatos, oil, mozazarela, basil

But trick is that it have to be done right. It does not have to be in Italy, USA is fine, but you have to produce a "real pizza" to be D.O.C.

Oven have to be wood burring and dough have to be made from right flour.

Here how it should be:

What are the basic VPN Guidelines?
They really are pretty simple.

1. A Wood-Burning Oven: Pizza Napoletana must be cooked in a wood-fired dome oven operating at roughly 800ºF.

2. Proper Ingredients: Tipo 00 flour, San Marzano tomatoes, all natural Fior di Latte or Bufala mozzarella, fresh basil, salt and yeast -- only fresh, all-natural, non-processed ingredients.

3. Proper Technique: Your pizza dough must be kneaded either by hand, or with a low speed mixer. No mechanical dough shaping is allowed, such as a dough press or rolling pin, and proper pizza preparation. Pizza baking time should not exceed 90 seconds.

There is an organizations in Italy and USA that help certify pizzerias.(

You can read more here about Pizza Napoletana :

The movement gained visibility in 2004, when the VPN Association worked with the Italian Ministry of Agriculture to present Pizza Napoletana to the European Union as a protected food product, similar to cheese, olive oil or wine. The resulting press coverage in the United State created a stir, and today, Vera Pizza Napoletana claims to be DOC (Denominazione d' Origine Controllata), the same status as Chianti Classico.

Preparation to pizza party beta 1: fire

I had not enough time so I put bricks on and clean up site. Fire
started. I have to go make some dough.

Friday, November 2, 2007


To be ready for pizza parties we got this heavy metal mixer. Pro
version with lifting bowl. 11 glass. HD.

Beta Testing

Sunday will be beta testing time. On real humans;-)

Nice salad

Nothing to do with pizza: just to show what I got today geting ready
to oven beta testing tomorow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Extra bricks

I got 60 standard and 20 solid. Hope it will be enough to finish the

Monday, October 29, 2007


This kitchen supplies in Bellevue is not very funcky , but they got a
bare minimum. It is 80 $ but at least I do not have to put pizza in
with my bare hands and use my old rectal termometer :-) it should work
for begining and we will see:-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

To do..,

Oven is not fully done yet. Here is a list of thins I am going to do:

1) fire it up for 5 or more days in the raw to prime chamber. Bringing
temperature higher and higher
2) get tools: peels ( round and square) , brash, termometer.
3) small ash disposal tools and basket.
4) get bricks and more mortar and finish roof
5) make marble table
6) cut out chimney top and install it
7) clean work site
8) see if bread machine good enough or buy dough mixer

In the future I think to make roof under oven and may be put gas
buster. Mario suggest to make side table on right with roof . I may
need extra garden furniture for parties and other staff may be outdoor
speakers ... We will see... That will be done gradualy as I see need .

I plan to have first pizza party , for closest friends on next week
end. Hope Mario can come over again and we will make pizza !!! Pizza
forever :-)

Godfathers gifts

Don Mario brought a few wonderfull gifts to his god child. This is
Pizza DOC dough tray he made himself.

Fake pizza

I made some fake pizza from this Mexican things, but with real
mozarela buffala!

Fire in the hole!!!

:-) he he he we moved fire with my shovel: no tools yet. Now it is
proper in the back. Fire is up straight . Don aproved:-)

Waiting for fire to kick up

... And drinking some italian shampain;-)

Starting fire

First Mario made fire under the chimney. It goes up: good!

Campai!!! Pizza forever!

We opened shampane end even broke some glass and washed oven in it. As
we Russians belive it is a Very Good sign. I think this oven will
bring us a lot of joy and happiness ! Thank you Don Mario:-) Chears!!!

The baby is born!!!

Godfather of all Redmond pizza ovens, Don Mario himself visited my
worksite and started the first fire!!! Woohooo!
He aproved my hard work and was pleased the way oven performed . He
used to say a lot of Italian pizza oven slang I do not understand
yet:-) now I have to condition oven for 5 days to prime the main

Out of brick ... Out of time

It look like I 80 bricks short at least!!!
My wife is right... So I hit dead line and we can fire it up... But
some features like permanent roof and marble tray are droped .. Next
week I will fire oven up and work on service pack 1;-)

Walls are up!

Walls are up but I am still far from hiting 6pm dead line( when Mario
come) I did a bit sloppy job : my skills, hurry and protection glasses
does not let me see a shit;-)

It is never too much insulation

Or is it?


Mario told me that this oven like 25 cm pipe extension. Here we go!

Drill bits used

I got 2 but one did all and survived...


To put nails in concreat one need to drill holes. My old 15$ drill
that served me for years could not make a dent even with titanium bit.
I have to get 60$ hummer action one. I love power tools! New one went
in like knife in butter. Before too long it was over:-(

Nail time

I think you need like 20 of these but we got 10 each. I did my best,
but conections are not perfect so.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fine assembly

I put it ON today. No nails yet... I need to get more of insulation I
think. It should not hurt. It look like oven parts can not be properly
aligned. No matter what there are some gaps. I guess Super Mario IS
right. Italian may be sloppy indeed , go figure. But thus not a bug
deal for pizza oven: it should work perfect.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Italian Picaso :-)

I am at a critical point now. I have to assemble oven heart. I hope that flat parts do not have sides, but I am not sure. Main issue is these roof stones. I wish I had manual. RTFM... But there is none. Italians are too creative or do not like LEGO, do not know :-) Dan has same set as I do : 2 heavy and 2 light and we both got lucky : we have F-M match. Mario, seems to get screwed again. After taking broken part for the team, he said he only have one light arch ! I asked him to weight again :-) Assuming he got same shit 2-2... where lighter arc goes ? Closer to oven mouth or back ? Our favorite theory is light to front, because fire is in the back, so heavier stones get more heat there and both halves should be ready at the same time. Hm... Less popular theory say : do reverse. Heavier stones closer to mouth will help to keep temperature more stable, because heat loss is bigger there. Ideally, company that made oven should tell us what to do... but time is ticking and I want my pizza:-) Should we just ask a woman and do opposite ?! Last minor issue is internal oven mouth gate ( not decoration one). It has some kind of cave , but very small on one side. I wonder if I should put it out or in. I do not know if this is for door, if you do not buy decoration or to create some fine air flow if you turn it inside. :-) I like to do things right... and even if any configuration will some how work and nobody will pay atantion, I do not want pizza god look on my creation from heaven and laugh that I put oven nose on it's ass :-) in Italian Picasso kind of way :-)

Pizza oven floor on base!

I utilized nice weather this morning to mount some insulation and oven
pre-casted floor . That should mainly hide my mistakes and molded
part should look and work perfect. I hope that multiple layers and
cavities as well as reflecting material should provide enough
insulation. The more the better, of course, but I was a bit afraid to
put too much fiber wool under oven: it may allow movement by reducing
friction, so it can potentially shift and crack walls . Even small layer
is some concern: I do not know for sure how much insulation it
provides and how much it reduce stability. But it feels just about
right and I think it us good from many point of view: it is also allow
base stones to better seat of not perfectly flat bricks and should
accommodate shrinking and expansion of base when oven is working, so
foundation bricks should be safer from cracking. I used bricks and
marvel tiles to position thing right and allow enough space for walls,
side and back insulation wool and front table . Front table will be
big, but it should be nice and we will need to use pizza and bread
pilers to work out with fire. It is a bit late to change design and I
still like it. Look on it: it looks good! We will have pizza soon!!!!

Brick foundation is done

I finished this yesterday. It started to be dark and I did a sloppy
work. Main mistake are my design: blocks have holes, I should be
putting some thing to have flat leveled surface. The face corner looks
OK, but I failed to do the rest really straight. In general it is fine
and I oven should hide all my issued:-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Brick and mortar time!

I started to lay bricks. It is fun, but harder then I sought. My wife
laughed: you are so DEV. I am not sure if this meant as negativism or
not, but I am DEV and proud to be one: I love to make things and do
not care if it takes me longer then I thought: it is done when it done
and let marketing guys solve their own issues ;-)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

First raw

Here it is: perfecto!

Work site

I restatyed work. It looks that concreat it solid. I instaled Quick
Shade( that cost me 75$) and work under rain. It is not that bad;-)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Feedback ...

I was working hard this Friday and night before after long wait, but I did not rush:

I designed and counted and "sleept on it" for a few days after I got my Italian stones.

I asked friend's advice: location and design seems to be nailed before I started to dig.

Mario and my kids got all exited about work site in my backyard. :-)

My best part provided some points on the project :

1)Will pressure be too much so it will rip open corner? ( Weight of oven and stones).

I think not: it is distributed over 4X6 and soil should behave much "better" then water ( or gas) for Pascal law, so, even that little pressure increase ( like one man standing on top) will not get fully delivered to wood, that is very massive and should handle much bigger pressure. In any case, if we will see any signs of land slide we should repair : that may happen but as result of general soil movement on our hill area. I any case I would be more concerned about our house then small oven for that scenario.

2)Oven height: oven table will be 16 inch higher then corner: nice height for table, but she is concerned it is too high: we will see about that, I am more afraid that it is a bit low.

3) 2x4 foot marble area seems too big and may run too hot ( next to oven door), but I think it
should be nice , I do not think 2 foot is much for pizza oven front tray, from what I saw.

4) Roof arch is not perfect arch ( as Turkish used to make). May be she is right, but I will just try to do same shape oven stone have to make it visually match. Nobody gona walk on
it (I will kick that person ass if they will try) and any locking shape (bricks locks in this one ) will be more then oven needs. In any case, all red bricks is for look only: it is decoration and I will try to match oven door and front stone shape: round shape will not work with parabolic shape of oven mouth well, I think.

Anyway, if you have any other feedback about design ( location feedback is closed : I put a slab alredy), give it to me ... before it will be MORTAR time ( I will start put first layer after I am sure slab is really solid) :-)

Slab is ... Done ?

I put all 20 bags of 30 min concreat. Two trips. First 10 covered
rebar reinforcment and last 10 covered them flat, but did not reached
top. That is fine actualy. Instead of renting mixer I got nice plastic
borow and got extra shovel for like 10 $. That worked good and cost as
1 day rent if mixer. I am going to use same setup for mortar and then
still keep for my garden. I tried to put more water to last layer and
may be it is not perfectly even and too much . I tried to make it
flat, but some water acumated in some areas. I hope it will cure nice
and will not bite me in the ass!

Roof arch mock up

I could not resist but to aseble this arch :-) nice ... Even if we put
zero gap with mortar, I will only miss 3 such arched full of bricks.
That make me think that I probably should have some extra bricks after
asembly ...we will see

Stones on the diet?

When I was unloading stones I paid attention that some of the side
arch are heavier then others. I atributed to my streatched left hand.
Today I weighted all 4 side arches . While all were diferen 2 was 39
and 38 kilogram, while 2 others like 24 and 25. That is very diferen I
would say. They look a bit diferent too, lighter ones more grainy and
less dence. At least in my case I got 2 pairs so one may be front and
one back. I can only speculate that closer to fire or door you need
diferent termal properties: lighter ones will not retain as much
energy. I would say it may be 2 times diference. It may be that they
have light and heavy oven models or just have a very loosy quiality
control. Mario please ask ASAP: I do not want to monument my mistake
in stone;-) I would also recomend both of you weight at least side
peaces: in ether case most unlikly you want have 2 diferent on each
side: oven should probably be at least symerical in this dention:-)

Mock up is done!!!

That is about it Simple design by Russian space engineer and rocket
scientist. Note that mortar goes between bricks so it will be less
bricks but more chalange to align sizes. Also I will put orange marble
2x4 tiles on front as table for pizza preparation. It may be a bit
hot, but my back yard us not as big as Marios. Also I can use extra
table if needed, but having nice big area in front of oven seems a
nice idea to me anyway ... I still have bricks left: these and what
left after mortar spacing will go for roof. I would like make round
roof just like oven shape . Insulation come in gap and I got some more
for back just in case. I will need to work out chimnay and front
finish as well as may be painting or paving blocks. We will see. I try
to get some extra space by spacing : 4x6does not look like a huge
space: it is all very compact despite almost 3 tons:-)

Walls are up!

Walls up and arch in place... We started to lay table layer.

Base stones

Two layers of material with lot of cavities should provide good
insulation I think. Man... This oven stones solo heavy... No shit!

Finishing foundation

My little helper did a nice job. I said it is his new Lego set:-) he
liked it but said that it is a but heavy...

Rain proofing chimnay

After I returned track I picked this up in Home Deport. Not sure if
that what Mario got but it was only 6'' diameter there. It looks kind
of futuristic. Hope it will work well:-)

Mock up foundation

Stacked in back yard

I did 20 at a time and it took me like an hour or so ...


Finily, I did a math and bought bricks . They sell even fire bricks.
Wow! Now , without fork lift I have to do what Mario did with stones ,
but one brick at a time . I got 340 bricks ( 280 with holes and 60
solid) and 27 blocks. Going for my workout now!

Work site

I worked very hard to put foundation. I did only half. I need to put
10 more bags of concreat. I burned Mario himself on the start as he
admired , but I cheated working at night and taking day off today so I
can do my project without my little hellers and sweet wife. Hope they
will be happy to see end result.:-)