My oven is not yet built. The slab is poured, and the base will be completed this weekend, but I have not built the actual oven, though I am in the throes of planning it.
A comment yesterday from Pizzanapoletana really got me thinking. My plan is/was to build a 28X30 "Barrel vault" oven a la the ones made in "The Bread Builders" by Alan Scott. It's rectangular in shape and has an arched vaulted roof.
I realize that that is pretty small for an oven, and it will be only a 1-pizza oven. Moreover, the Barrel vault design is intended to bake bread using retained heat, as opposed to pizza using direct fire.
Then I visited the Forno Bravo site and looked at their "Pompeii Oven" design. They had a very good discussion of why round is better: http://www.fornobravo.com/pompeii_oven/why_round.html
So here I am: not yet committed, but seriously thinking that I should scrap my plans to build a barrel vault and go for the dome. Fortunately, I have not yet purchased anything that I will be unable to use in building the dome as an alternative (Except the $100 I spent on the barrel vault plans, but I've learned a lot, and it's money well spent).
My problems is space limitation: The slab is poured, the base is built, and I have a challenge. Due to my poor planning, I only have 48" (122 cm) X 56" (142 cm) to work with because that is the size of my block base. From this I have determined that, with a minimum of exterior housing (yet allowing for insulation using refractory board), I can probably build an oven with an inside diameter of 33-35" (81-88 cm).
1) Do you agree that a dome is the proper configuration for a direct-fire pizza oven?
2) Is it worth the extra trouble to build a dome oven? I'll have to cut a LOT of bricks, and build a very tricky dome based on shims, etc.
3) Will a dome oven of the size I am planning give me any more space to cook an extra 10-inch (25cm) pie? Even if I'll be able to cook only one pie at a time, I think the heat characteristics of the dome are superior.
4) Are you getting tired of my flurry of questions (don't anser that one!