The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I'm a simple girl.  My only requirement of my kitchen appliances and untensils is that they work, and work well, for the application I intend to use them.  This, among other things, is why I replaced the oven that came with this house as soon as financially possible.

I'm a gas person.  Always have been and always will be.  I can't cook very well on an electric stove.  When we went looking for houses before our baby was born, I looked at the range in every house and said no to almost every house that had an electric one.  We didn't really have the money to get a new one right away at the time.  Almost every house...except this one.

There were other very nice things about this house, though.  4 bedrooms.  1.5 bathrooms.  Big dining area that could, someday, turn into a very dreamy kitchen for yours truly.  Big patch of rhubarb on one side of the garage.  Big patch of blackberry bushes on the other side.  A peach tree in the backyard.  Plenty of room for a garden, and a patch that was partitioned off with beams of wood that could easily be turned into some sort of melon or strawberry patch without the rest of the garden being overgrown.

The not-so-nice things were many as well.  Electric range.  Carpet upstairs that didn't look as though it had been changed since the 70's.  A kitchen floor with linoleum so old that it had little bits of dirt permanently ground into it.  Very little counter space.

We got it anyway due to the aforementioned very nice things.  I've always wanted a space for a garden.

Fast forward a few months.  I'm about 5 months pregnant and the annual friends and family sale is going on through Electrolux.  My boyfriend works at the plant here in town, and his sister works at the Beam plant.  So we get the list of things and start perusing, not really thinking of getting anything.  Lo and behold, on the last page, sits my dream: a 5 burner gas range with 5 cubic ft. convection oven.  Big enough to do 4 9" cakes in.  Big enough to bake even the biggest batch of bread that I felt I could handle.  If we'd gone to Lowe's to pick up the same oven, we would've paid close to $1200. In the sale, it was less than $600.

My grandparents wanted to get us a housewarming gift anyway, and so we asked both sets to chip in and then we paid the rest.  I *cried* the day I used it for the first time.  Cookies come out perfect.  Bread bakes up so beautifully.  I thought the crying thing was just because I was pregnant, but sometimes I still get a little teary-eyed when I think about how great it is to have a range that won't burn things on the bottom and leave them raw on top.

So I wanted to say thank you to my oven.  I feed it good dough and it gives me good bread.  Such a harmonious relationship.

ehanner's picture

Gas VS: Electric oven quick response pls

September 6, 2008 - 10:16am -- ehanner

I just found out that I have to bake at or friends home later and they have a gas oven. I'm doing a couple Kalamata cheese loaves and they can't be covered. My question is, is there any consideration for a gas oven? I know there is supposed to be more moisture with gas as a by product of combustion. I have Electric at home and have never baked in gas before. Anyone have experience with that could offer assurances?

Thanks,
Eric

somegeek's picture

Oven w/ oven light for proofing - good stuff!

June 2, 2008 - 3:38pm -- somegeek

My starter has been active but no leavening after seven days.  Started with 1C flour and 1C water.  Replacing half of the starter w/ fresh AP flour and distilled water every 12 hours or so.  I get small bubbles and hooch but no big rise.  I'd read a tip to use your oven as a proofing box by turning on the oven light to heat the inside.  I am reading 78ºF on the middle rack where I have my jar of starter and now have about 1/4" of leavening above my mark.  Good stuff!

nosabe332's picture

Oven in an Oven, what about shrinking your Oven?

May 23, 2008 - 3:27pm -- nosabe332

Hi,

So i was mulling over baking techniques and adding a few things together. Namely:

- professional restaurant ovens are optimally sized to bake whatever they're baking. eg pizzeria ovens are just tall enough to clear a pizza. this reduces wasted energy, heating only a volume of air that is in contact with the baked good.

- heating a small space is cheaper and quicker than heating a large space.

- the Oven in an Oven method traps moisture from the dough and keeps it close to the crust.

ClimbHi's picture

My New "Kitchen Gadget"

May 13, 2008 - 8:15am -- ClimbHi

Here's a look at my newest kitchen toy -- a wood-fired oven ala Alan Scott. It's just outside my kitchen door on our back porch. This thing is a blast to use and turns out great meals, including bread. One of the neatest uses we've found so far is that, after the bread is cooked, the oven is just right for loading up with a large pork butt or two. 12-14 hrs later, perfect pulled pork to put on those fresh sandwich buns!

ClimbHi

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