Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sun Oven Chronicles- Bread on a Cloudy Day

So, this was a sad day in SunOven land...  But I'm glad I tried it, so now I know!

I've really been wanting to try making some bread in the SunOven.  It just doesn't seem like it would really work, for some reason...  and if I'm planning on using this with my Emergency Preparedness and it doesn't bake bread, what am I going to do with all that wheat I have?

One thing that was hard was the glass got all fogged up, so I really had to open up the oven to check on the bread and see how it was doing.  Also, since the bread doesn't brown as well in the SunOven, it's really hard to tell when it's done.
Something else I wanted to note is that it was the first time I've tried to use it on a cloudy day, and as you can see, the temp hovered around 200, instead of staying at about 350 as usual.
As you can see...  it totally deflated.  I think it might be because of 1)too low of baking temperature- it would probably still work great for, say, chili, but not to great for something requesting over 300 degrees. 2) I had to open the oven door several time and decided to use an "instant read" thermometer to determine if it was cooked all the way through.  However, my thermometer is anything but "instant" despite what its name would like to convince you of.  3) does poking several holes in your break cause risk of losing precious "fluffing" air bubbles?  anyone?  4) I'm pretty sure slow bread braking can also cause it to over-rise and then there is too much air to support the shape and it can collapse from that.

I will say, it still tasted good- it was moist and not too dense, despite what it looks like.  I haven't given up, I'll just have to try again.  Next time I'll:
-make sure it's a sunny day, with a consistant temp of at least 300 degrees.
-maybe put it in before it's done rising in the pan all the way, allowing it to continue to rise during the slower baking process.
-give myself an excuse to buy this thermometer ? :D (in pink, obviously....)


Lindsay said...

Do you do much dutch oven cooking? If you had an emergency on a cloudy day and really needed to make bread you could whip up a fire and do it in the dutch oven. It wouldn't necessarily be in the shape of a traditional loaf (individual rolls most likely) but it would be darn tasty!

PS. I totally forgot I wanted to see the sun oven on my visit yesterday! Next time...

AngelaMuir said...

you have such a scientist brain :) i would have given up on the sun oven long ago. that thermometer looks awesome.

Howard said...

This is awesome!