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7 Infused Water Recipes That Will Make Your H20 Much Tastier and Even Healthier

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      Stones can be mortared in place with the earth mix for an Old World look..fireplace hearth with reeds image by steven hendricks from Fotolia.com

      Pile the bricks, cement blocks or flat sided rocks into a platform/floor for the oven. Build this platform 4 or 5 feet high, making easy access to the oven door for the baker. Ensure the floor of the oven is level and as flat as possible. Mortar is not necessary, although the earth mix can serve as mortar if desired, or if you live in a high activity earthquake zone.

    • 2). Unload two buckets of clay soil onto your ground tarp. Most dirt has a clay content. Add straw slowly by the armful, while also adding small amounts of water while mixing with your feet. Stomp, twist and smash the mix together while pulling the corners of the tarp into the middle. Your mix is ready when it begins to look like a folded burrito, or feels like uncooked bread dough to your feet.

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      Most people mix adobe with their feet for many good reasons, including health.adobe2 image by SHERNA from Fotolia.com

      Compact sand into a container you feel is big enough for the inside of your oven. Use a container the same shape as what you want for the inside of oven. Wet the sand and press the sand in tight, then turn it upside down on top of your platform floor. Shape this wet sand-mold if needed. It will form the inside of your oven.

    • 4). Pack the mix around your wet sand mold layer by layer. Apply the thick earth by hand loads, pressing and shaping it into an outer egg-shaped shell. Shape and load this wet clay until the dome is completely covered. Then make a complete shell of very thick clay-soaked straw at least 3 inches thick; it can be thicker even than the clay layer before it.

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      This indoor adobe bread oven on a rock platform is covered with white gypsum plaster, available at any hardware store for less than five bucks.brickoven image by Ralph Petty from Fotolia.com

      Shape and apply another layer of earth over this layer, again at least 3 or 4 inches thick. Smoothing the outermost layer with a wetter earth mix with less straw offers a smooth outer oven look. Find a piece of art that can double as a door handle or use a nicely shaped, thick piece of wood. As the damp earth dries to a leathery consistency, insert your handle firmly into the area you selected for the door.

    • 6). Cut the door out around the firmly placed handle when the earth is almost too dry to cut into; serrated knives or small handsaws work well for this. At this stage the oven should have lightened in color and cracks may have started to appear. Use leftover mix to form a new door if you have any problems. Use the dried door by pushing it into the opening with the handle. Use leftover mix to fix any structural or aesthetic issues. Remove the sand inside by scooping it out when everything is very dry. To test how dry your oven is, observe the changing color from dark to light as it dries and the natural cracks that will begin to show. These can be covered completely, with the application of a thick, clay-slip or plaster, smoothed over the surface. Some builders even add colors or dyes at this point.

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