Traditionally fired using wood as fuel, these highly efficient ovens retain heat due to their large thermal mass (thickness and type of the masonry), so that even after the fire has subsided in the oven, the heat is retained allowing many hours of baking from a single firing.
Despite its low-tech origin, modern masonry oven construction is a highly technical science incorporating both centuries old ingenuity and the most up to date engineering technology.
Modern professional electric deck baking ovens, common in large scale production line bakeries with their stone floors and steam injectors, are all modelled on the good, old-fashioned masonry oven. Unfortunately a copy is never as good as the original. With its massive stone hearth and its specially constructed brick dome, the masonry oven combines all three types of heat transfer (convection, radiation and conduction) in the most efficient way possible whilst retaining the natural moisture of the product being baked. The highly prized masonry oven is therefore the prime choice for baking high quality artisan breads.
The S.A.B.I masonry oven is an Alan Scott original. Alan Scott, co-author of "The Bread Builders" (1999, Chelsea Green Publishers) is one of the world's leading experts in masonry oven construction. Built according to the strict guidelines in Alan's custom plan and with his constant guidance throughout the building process all the way from Tasmania, the S.A.B.I masonry oven is one of only two such unique ovens in the entire Middle East.
Constructed with century old bricks imported from Belgium and with its Shakespearean, Tudor facade, our oven is not only the tool of our trade, it is a wonder to behold and attracts tourists and baking enthusiasts from all over the country.
Seeing one of the largest masonry ovens in Israel (definitely in the Shomron), is a captivating and somewhat primordial experience. It is rewarding to watch the flames lick the brick interior of the oven, in the knowledge that our ancestors baked this way and that we are continuing their fine tradition.
Click here to see the oven being built.