Baking bread in a fired (oven) place-

It has been very cold.


VERY cold.

Frank decided to have the fireplace heat the family room and kitchen and I decided to keep the

rest of the house between 60 and 62 degrees Farenheit.

Keeping a small fireplace like ours going all day is like babysitting- diligence and timing is all important.



The first day I spent watching the fire- running off to do some laundry- dishes- make meals-

etc.  and it seemed like a real burden.  But I kept a faithful watch and decided to do the

second day differently.  Because I had been keeping an eye on the ashes underneath the

grate and they were hot and substantial by mid day.


Look at all those hot coals!

So – yesterday I made a loaf of bread- a white bread with olive oil and high gluten flour and yeast.

Just a regular small loaf to experiment with, you know?


and around 3:30 PM I placed my baking stone into the hearth on the grate.


Placed my dough in a cast iron kettle with the lid on, closed the front windows of the

fireplace and left it in there for 25 minutes or so.


It baked it up – burned the bottom slightly and gave me a large loaf of slightly smoky bread.



Which went perfectly with my London Broil steak sandwich for lunch.

I should have gone sourdough with a more complex flour- but it was an experiment.

Which turned out very good.

(Although Frank said the house was too smoky and I let the fire go out so he had to start it up

again.  He isn’t a bread lover.  He likes store bought- so what does he know?)

15 thoughts on “Baking bread in a fired (oven) place-

      • Smokey flavor … and then you keep adding more descriptions – London Broil steak, black olive mustard spread ….OH!!!!! MY!!!!! Wish we had a wood burning fire place as our gas fireplace will never allow this yumminess to happen. I’m a tad jealous, but glad that you could experiment and enjoy!

        • Martha- what I really want is a masonry oven, where you light a huge wood fire and then when it is all hot coals, you push them into the back of the oven and put in the loaves of bread , close up the door and 20 minutes later pull out 20 loaves of bread with a wooden peel.
          But this was fun- the bread is good- and, yes, the black olive mustard was perfect on the sandwich!

  1. It was at least a good use for burning a fire all day long!
    I don’t think I would make a good camper- I would be looking for a clay pit to build an enclosed oven.
    This just seemed to justify all the work of keeping a fire going throughout the entire day- I like temperature to be cooler- spring and fall temps- not summer and winter.
    I should move to San Diego where they say the temperature is in the low to mid 60’s all year round.
    But I enjoyed the sandwich! 🙂

  2. That’s fun! No, if you could convince Dad to cook some meat in the fireplace….that’s what I would be doing if I had a fireplace.

    • I’m afraid of the dripping fat and juices from the meat.
      Hey it is great to see a comment from you here!
      I thought you had forgotten that I blog, too! 🙂
      I did once make a beef stew in the fireplace- remember that huge ice storm when the electricity was off for like 4 days?
      Dad percolated coffee, and I made a beef stew in the fireplace?

  3. That looks soo cold. I think you have given that fire a multipurpose existence now. I love your Dutch oven baking trials and wish I could have joined you in that fine looking sandwich. I once tried baking pizza (sort of ) in a barbecue with a hat thing and it burnt on the bottom. Very hard to regulate temperatures, wonder if you put a fine mesh grill (like a little stand) inside the pot with a sheet of parchment or silpat and then the dough on top it would stop the bottom burning quite so much ?

    • I make pizza on the grill in cast iron skillets with cornmeal on the bottom of the dough and even if it scorches a bit, I can use a brush and get rid of the burnt parts.
      The sandwich was very good. I had the leftover steak sliced very fine- and added some red onions and the black olive mustard with just a skim of butter on the bread (so the mustard wouldn’t soak in) – it was totally delish!
      I just kept thinking , as I was feeding all that wood into the fire- I should utilize this heat in a way that makes me happy! 🙂

  4. Heidi have you been still using the fireplace? What about some flat breads that are done really quickly over the hot coals?
    With all the wonderful bread you make, Frank still prefers shop bought? That’s crazy! 🙂

    • We had a real hot spell for 3 days- and now we are headed back to single digits and below freezing temps- I had also thought of flat breads, Brydie- but since Jordan moved out I am the main bread eater
      and to do the flat breads would mean I’d have to be close to the HOT fire. I figured I couldn’t eat too much flat bread- and I don’t like HOT- even when my backside is cold- I’m not thrilled to hear up my face!
      There is no understanding my husband’s taste buds- he won’t even try fish, still doesn’t ;like veg and would rather eat a store bought bread or cookie than most home made. Go figure.

    • Thanks, Anne-
      The bread was pretty good, although the crumb was a little dense. But the flavor was smoky and perfect for sandwiches!

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