oven loaf) which Timocles mentions in his Sham Robbers, where he says —
And seeing there a tray before me full
of smoking oven-loaves, I took and ate them. (THE DEIPNOSOPHISTS. [b. III. , 74])
Traditionally, food demanding the higher temperature, such as bread, was baked after the ashes and embers are pushed aside or swept out of the oven. The remaining heat was not wasted: food baked in lesser temperatures followed, and after that it could be used for preparing rusks and drying fruit and nuts.
Today wood ovens do a lot of meat roasting and less bread making.
Large ovens are more fuel-efficient. For this reason many old agricultural houses have really large constructions. They were used for baking large quantities of bread and barley rusks few times a year or for cooking for large groups of people.
A second, smaller oven was occasionally built for regular use.
Outdoor ovens are usually placed in the yard of the house, oriented to take advantage of prevailing winds for better dissipation of smoke.
However, Greeks keep up another old tradition; they pay a few euros to a professional baker to put pies, meat and other dishes in his oven.
Women used a piece of bread dough to check the oven temperature. Sometimes they let the dough be plain and prepared a quick, tasty bread for children.
for the bread
1 1/2 cup bread flour
Mix flour, starter, tomato, salt and 3/4 of water together in a large bowl. Knead for about 4-5 minutes. The dough will look very dry, so add more water and knead again. If the dough is too wet, add a tablespoon or two of flour, if it is dry add more water. In any case, knead for another minute or two, until the dough barely sticks on your fingers.
Spray the inside of a bowl with olive oil, place the dough into the bowl and cover it with a a piece of plastic wrap and a towel.
Let it rise all night.
Next morning, sprinkle the dough with some flour, knead it gently for 3-4 minutes and flatten it using your hands. Add the olives and the feta cheese, sprinkle with thyme and knead the dough into a small round circle.
Spray the inside of a baking dish with olive oil, then sprinkle some flour and place the dough on it. Let it rise for 1 hour and bake it until golden brown (preheated oven, 180C).