A Stir The Pots Post

Alan Scott

by | Feb 7, 2009 | Uncategorized

photo credit ©Art Rogers/Point Reyes

While we don't want this to be an obituary site,I would be remiss for not paying memory to Alan Scott. A lot of bakers will have recognized the passing of Alan Scott, brick oven builder extraordinaire. My mate Graham has a great interview on his site, along with photo's of Alan Scott, Dan Lepard , John Downes while they were honored guests at first gathering of The Artisan Baker Association. 

For a good profile of Alan, see today's NYTimes. Quoting from the piece, let's lay out his significance. Several thousand amateur bread bakers and thin-crust pizza
makers now have backyard brick ovens, many with cathedral-like arches,
that were built either by Mr. Scott, with Mr. Scott or according to
specifications he laid out with his protégé Daniel Wing in their 1999
book, “The Bread Builders” (Chelsea Green Publishing).

than a how-to manual, Scott's book is also a meticulous treatise on the
history of bread making and the physics of baking, with instructions,
for example, on how long to let the dough rise. Mr. Scott, who held
instructional workshops around the country, played a role in bringing
brick ovens to hundreds of bakeries and restaurants as well.

I don't own or use a brick oven in my apartment, but I have used a bodger oven in Wales while baking with my friend Rick, aka Moonbake.Rick installed a brick oven at home, and was advised on all technical aspects with the aid of Alan Scott and other bakers who shared in the art of oven building and bread baking. As home baking and oven crafting work hand in hand, we can thank Alan Scott for his inspiration. And it's my wish that we could have one of his ovens in our home to bake, cooking slowly in the old way with his modern adaption of this ancient technology. Following Joe Ades' death, this is the second time this week that we've had to say good-bye to someone who genuinely honored the world with their generous presence. May the rest of us be similary giving, having fun with life and giving it, in return.


  1. Art Rogers

    You have a lot of nerve ripping off my photograph of Alan Scott from the NY Times without asking my permission yet alone the courtesy of a credit line and a link to my site http://www.artrogers.com. I see that you expect that from people who view your site which appears to be for profit, that is, your profit. Art Rogers

  2. Jonathan

    Art, it was lack of foresight (mine – the editor – going through a bout of flu), not nerve that led us to use your photo without request. Didn’t mean to “rip off” anything. We linked to the web site where we found it. Anyway, photo is down. No offense intended. About profit, I only wish you were even a tenth of an inch correct.

  3. Art Rogers

    apologies accepted…thank you for your gesture of integrity. I make
    my living solely from my photography. This happens to me all the
    time. You are welcome to use the photograph of Alan on your site if
    you give me a photo credit ©Art Rogers/Point Reyes and a link to my
    site http://www.artrogers.com. Alan was an old friend of mine and I’m sure
    he would have felt the same way.

  4. Jonathan

    Thanks for letting us post it, Art. Guess it’s keeping with that spirit of the man in the photo of sticking to your guns but also sharing what you can.

  5. Mr. Meesh Aplin

    Sheesh! You stick handled your way outa that one with aplomb!

  6. Maedi Prichard

    Thanks Jeremy. We’re building an Alan Scott Oven at our new bakery!
    Best wishes,

  7. Jeremy

    You know that is a scoop I can’t miss out on, will I get the exclusive “Stir the Pot” interview with Graham and yourself?


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