Step 1. Find a fairly flat spot, dig it down a few inches and start building a square of bricks.
Step 2. Continue to build in a vertical fashion, cementing the bricks with a mortar made of the clay that you dug out of the bottom of the future bonfire pit.
Step 3. Build until you have a chimney about three or four feet tall.
Step 4. The next morning go out and fill the chimney with every kind of solid rubble you can find. There are stones in the alley behind the neighbour’s yard which are very handy for this.
Step 5. Put a cow-pie sized dollop of clay cement on top, and…
Step 6. …level it out.
Step 7. Go out to the alley again and grab a piece of rusty steel screen from under the weeds. Install on the chimney top, leaving the long side jutting out two inches over the front edge.
Step 8. Add another cow-pie.
Step 9. Spread that one out too.
Step 10. Start adding a layer of bricks on top of the screen. Let them overhang a bit so you can get enough bricks on there, but let the ones on the right cantilever out a bit more.
Step 11. Cover the top and prop up any risky bricks with sticks. On bricks.
Step 12. Build a bird-cage out of sticks that are laying in the alley and cotton string.
Step 13. Set the birdcage on top of the chimney, a bit right of centre.
Step 14. Build around the birdcage with bricks, again keeping the structure a bit to the right.
Step 15. Build up and over the birdcage, using it as a form.
Step 16. Build up to the point where there is just not quite enough room to put in three bricks on top.
Step 17. Put them in anyway.
Step 18. Once the oven is all nicely finished step back and admire the beautiful structure.
Step 19. Start a fire in the oven, take a picture, and send it to all your friends.
Step 20. Remove the props on the right hand side and wait for the fire to burn out the birdcage. Voila!
This is how I built my wood-fired bread oven in my (rental- shh!) backyard. Now I just have to wait for my forearm splint to heal (thanks to being unaccustomed to doing masonry) before I can build a metal birdcage and use some actual cement to put the top back on. At least the bread that was meant to be baked in there turned out well enough in the electric oven that I’ll be able to eat for the next few weeks!