Solar Oven Bread
I'm going crazy waiting for my Frigidaire electric oven thermostat part to arrive! I bake all our own bread so I keep trying different things - like the microwave bread recipe. Yes, it was edible, barely.
I've used my Sun Oven brand solar oven to make quick bread before but until today I'd never tried yeast bread. I usually bake lean, artisan-style sourdough bread and I don't think that type will work since the solar oven only holds well at 350 degrees. Today I grabbed a "One-Rise Honey Wheat Bread" recipe off the internet and followed the instructions up through the kneading part then just took it outside and set it in the oven. The outside temperature was up into the high 30's at noon time (That was warm! We've been going through a freaky 4-day extreme cold snap here in Tucson!), the oven was at 375 degrees and dropped a little below 350 when I lifted the glass door and put the bread in. I rotated the oven's turntable every 15 minutes to make sure it was tracking the sun exactly to keep the temperature up. It took about an hour and a half to get a nicely browned crust and rose like crazy! I had scored down the middle but it really expanded and stretched out of the blue glass pan beyond my expectations. I didn't wait for it to rise because I got started late and knew that what with the low winter sun that I only had a couple of hours to bake in. The oven does tilt forward to compensate but it's a more intense heat when the sun is higher in the sky.
It turned out beautifully! And tasty! I have a couple of pictures but I've never posted photos before so I'm not sure I can get them in here....Anyway, I just wanted to tell my solar oven story and wonder if any of you have tried yeast bread baking in a solar oven?