The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No oven for a month or 2..

  • Pin It
Bohemian Mama's picture
Bohemian Mama

No oven for a month or 2..

So today I made some awesome sourdough, and as suggested in the lesson, I  used a bit of steam.. maybe too much, because  the oven blew up and lost power. Admitedly it had a pre existing problem with a live wire in the light socket.. anyway I digress.

The landlord will be replacing the oven, and I have a  happy starter  that needs to be used.  Any  suggestions on  some sort of bread , or  flat bread, that can be cooked on the hotplates or pan, I have a cast iron pan, and some dutch ovens.

Thanks in advance.

loydb's picture

Naan and flour or corn tortillas would be my choices. And once you get making them down, you'll never, ever buy a plastic bag full of them again. Heck, they even give you an excuse to get a tortilla press (though I used a flat-bottom pan for decades before getting one).


Bohemian Mama's picture
Bohemian Mama

Oh yum,  i never buy store brought, but do love the tandoor cooked naan down the road.


I had a nice recipe with dry yeast, but I wonder if can be used with sourdough starter.will have to continue exploring the site, it is so large will take years


jannrn's picture

How about English Muffins?  I love to do those in my cast iron skillet!


Janetcook's picture

When my oven was broken and we had to wait for it's replacement about 5 years ago I bought an inexpensive toaster oven to be used in it's place.  It is my kid's 'go to' oven on a regular basis now.....The 'regular' oven rarely gets used anymore.  

Check out dabrownman's blogs.  He bakes regularly in his toaster oven and gets better than fine results :-)  Even steams his loaves in it!

Good Luck,


GrapevineTexas's picture

you can do pizza's ... and you can do bread!  

My oven blew out during the holidays one year.  The gas grill and toaster oven became my new best friends.  (It can be done, and it can be done well.)  

If no grill or toaster oven is available, I simply encourage you to 'wing-it' to see what you can do with your stove-top.  Sometimes we come upon the most unexpected, and often, greatest of surprises.  


Bohemian Mama's picture
Bohemian Mama

Thanks for the suggestions. No grill, might be a   month  till I have the money for a toaster oven. 

I  was thinking  some bread baked  both sides like a pancake. And..  duh I have the breadmaker..  lol

gmagmabaking2's picture

Sounds like it is time to perfect your technique on some great Sourdough English Muffins!!! 

Bohemian Mama's picture
Bohemian Mama

Oh Indeed.  I think so, I saw a recipe before. I am so excited a bout  flat breads.  I ordered some fennel seeds, after seeing a PIDE  bread recipe on here too

English muffins, imagine how nice they willl be fresh, I have only ever had packlet mix once

copyu's picture

This staple 'bread' of South Asia seems to be (slightly) ignored here on TFL. Perhaps it's too simple? Atta (fine wholemeal flour), water, salt and a spoonful or so of ghee or oil, plus a little time (1-2 hours' development) is all that it takes!

"What? No yeast?" (I can almost hear people say...) "THAT'S NOT BREAD!" I understand that feeling, but I think it's closer to the 'total human experience' of "daily bread"', worldwide, than the yeasted stuff. It's healthy food, easy to make without an oven, easy to digest and doesn't need any extra oil on the skillet/kuali/tandoor that it's cooked in. The bonus is that it tastes absolutely great! It'll puff up, like pita/pide if you hold it with tongs over coals or a gas fire for a few seconds after it's cooked...

Half-Recipe (2-3 Persons)

200 g Atta

1/2 teaspoon salt

120 ml (4 oz) warm water, to start

2 teaspoons ghee (or oil)

Add all the ingredients to a bowl, starting with the dry ingredients; mix together. Knead by hand and add extra water, very carefully, by teaspoons, but only if needed! Object is merely to hydrate all the flour. Let the new dough rest for up to 15 minutes. Then knead it thoroughly for 8-10 min. Place dough into a bowl and cover with plastic, leaving for 35-40 minutes, at least (but over an hour is better!)

After the 'autolyse', knead again for 1-2 minutes. Then pull or cut the dough into about 6 or more walnut/golf-ball-sized pieces and form into balls by rolling between your hands. Toss the dough-balls around in atta (or regular flour) and then roll them flat with a rolling pin or a wine bottle as thinly as possible, while keeping their circular shape. Go for 15-20 cm (6-8 inches.) Cook, one at a time, on a 'medium-to-hot' ungreased griddle, or in a small, heavy based frying pan. When the chapatti swells or bubbles-up in places, flip itover and cook the other side. Butter or ghee may be added to the first-cooked side for extra richness and flavor. Serve with any kind of curry or dip.

Really worth a try!




dabrownman's picture

you can make naan, pizza, pita, EM's, any flat bread really, corn and flour tortillas, other Indian flat breads, pancakes, cornbread.  

For pizza, once you get one side brown spotted then flip it over; sauce, cheese and top it - then cover with a lid till the cheese melts. Same for the pita. 

jannrn's picture

Adam, what exactly is fine wholemeal flour? I am in northeast Tennessee and usually can find what I am looking for...but am not sure just what that is. Is it like Durum or Semolina?? Or like whole wheat??

Thank you!


baybakin's picture

The Atta this recipe calls for is fine ground whole wheat durum flour (which I can't even find easily here in the SF bay area of California, I don't know about TN).  A good replacement would be a fine-ground whole wheat flour.

copyu's picture

but it's wholemeal, which 'pasta flour' or regular durum semolina is (almost always) not. Many Asian groceries around the world will sell this stuff. [I wonder whether KAF white wholemeal flour would work. (Has anyone tried?)] The Atta itself is almost white, a sort of 'beige' color, because of the fine grinding, but it quickly takes on the brownness of wholemeal when it's hydrated.

Extra Info: [but a bit off-topic] I can buy large or mini naan in supermarkets almost anywhere in a Japanese city. In Indian groceries I can often find frozen paratha (aka: roti prata/roti canai...) In CostCo, I can even buy frozen corn tortillas for very low cost, but the 'masa harina' necessary to make them at home is not available anywhere in the country. Funny thing is, I've never seen chapatti on a menu, or for sale—not even in Indian/Pakistani/Nepalese restaurants, of which we have many in Tokyo. Perhaps it's too simple and "down-home" for the restaurateurs to offer to their customers. It might be a "cultural cringe"—just imagine the customer reaction to a British restaurant that offered 'bread and dripping', an American eatery that had 'corn mush' or a Jewish deli serving 'Schmalzbrot' as one of their 'dishes'. Tasty, maybe healthy, but not "classy" enough to sell to customers who can get this at home almost any day of the week...just some thoughts!


Colin2's picture

The conventional Indian wheat flour for this application is a low-gluten whole-wheat flour that's quite tasty.  There are definitely Indian grocery stores in Knoxville, if that's close to you, that will sell you the stuff.  

And there are lots of Indian flatbreads incorporating other grains.  Naan is a whole 'nother subject, as it really needs very high heat to turn out right, but there are yeasted flatbreads with some fat in them that will work on the stovetop.

_Flatbreads and Flavors_ by Alford and Duguid is a nice source of ideas.

Bohemian Mama's picture
Bohemian Mama

Thank you, I used to make some  fried bread that had no yeast, it had salt and sugar and was very tasty but absorbed a lot of  oil  yum so tasty.

I love my cast iron frypan. I am thankful for the recipes and advice. I still  havent seen one for sourdough naan.


I am keen to make the waffles too. It calls for baking soda. IN autralia we may have different names, not sure if you mean bicab soda or baking powder. You can buy baking powder that does not keep for very long. Or I was told you can make it with bicarb mixed with cream of tartar I think?

Anyone can clarify?

copyu's picture

Bicarb is "Baking Soda" in Oz, and all English-speaking countries. "Baking Powder" is, as you said, a mixture of Bicarb plus 'cream of tartar'. I've made it a few times and didn't like the first results very much...maybe it was all in teaspoon measures, or something—or I was just in a big rush! I measured the ingredients carefully and stirred them together with a spoon. The 'pikelets' ('drop-scones') I made with that tasted absolutely bl**dy horrible!

It seems that it takes a bit of time to make good BP at home...I learned from a web-site that it takes a LOT of repeated sifting of the two or three basic ingredients, together, to make a nice BP that won't spoil the taste of your scones, damper, etc. Average formula (for emergencies only!) is 1 part Bicarb to 2 parts cream of tartar, with one part of corn starch or similar (optional, but recommended). This worked really well for me. Weigh the ingredients, mix and shake them together, on and off, for about 10 minutes. Then sift the mixture repeatedly into a bowl, about 10-15 times. Store in an airtight container for a couple of months (at most!) Good, home-made BP results.

Commercial baking powder usually contains corn starch or potato starch, plus several chemicals that are not very common in the average kitchen, to make it "double-acting"—cold action when you add water and then delayed, hot action in the skillet or oven. It's too hard and expensive to make at home (really!) and it's cheap enough everywhere to replace it every month or three. The formula in para 2 works well, but is recommended by me only for emergencies and I strongly recommend the "optional" corn/potato starch, so that when you measure the BP into your recipe, you don't get an excessively bitter or soapy (alkaline) or sour (acidic) taste in your baked or fried goodies.

Hope this helps,



Wild-Yeast's picture

This is a "gold" recipe from King Arthur:

Use vegetable oil instead of butter for a crisper waffle.