The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Big changes ahead.... advice is welcome....

SallyBR's picture

Big changes ahead.... advice is welcome....

Not sure where to post this, but here we go...


August 28th will mark the beginning of a new phase in our life: me and my husband will be arriving in Los Angeles for a 10-12 months sabbatical at UCLA. We will drive there with our pickup truck and two old dogs... what an adventure!


of course, it is very exciting on a professional level, but it turns out that the tiny house we rented doesn't have an oven..... :-(


We decided to take our electric, convection oven, a Breville - but honestly, I don't know if it will work to bake the kind of bread I love so much (Vermont sourdough, Dan Lepard's white leaven, baguettes, etc etc).   Maybe we'll get a two burner stove top, but we will wait until we get there to assess the situation.  The house has an outside grill, so that's a positive aspect


Any advice you can give me as far as baking in less than ideal conditions go, I'll be all ears!


(I haven't been too vocal lately, life has been a bit frantic, more than usual....)







dmsnyder's picture

You're gonna thaw out, you know. No sour cherries but you will get spoiled by the wonderful fruits and veggies. And who needs seasons? Surf's up!

Hmmm ... That beach house in Malibu doesn't have an oven?


1. Make friends with a neighbor who will loan an oven in exchange for a loaf now and then. Or try a UCLA faculty colleague or grad student.

2. Learn to bake bread on the grill.

3. Build a WFO.

4. Locate the nearest TFL member to your house and propose baking together.

5. See if UCLA has a Home Ec. or Nutrition department with a kitchen you could borrow on weekends.

If you are willing to consider more desperate measures, let me know.


beeman1's picture

I have been using a cuisinart brick oven. I have a Mobile Home with an ols Oven. It works for two loafs.

jlewis30's picture

I have the Cuisinart brick oven as well, it does a great job for small batches

RobynNZ's picture

Hi Sally 

Maybe RLB's post today will give you some ideas:

Regards, Robyn

SallyBR's picture

That was awesome!  Helped me a lot...    I will be trying that method once we get there.  Actually, I probably should practice a little in the next couple of weeks using our grill here and see what happens.



rhomp2002's picture

I have a Breville and it works just fine for 2 loaves.   The only problem I have is that I can't use my LaCloche in it as the LaCloche is too tall.  So long as the breads you bake are not too high you should be fine.


I also have a Hamilton Beach rotisserie oven that has the same 12 x 12 floor as the Breville but it has a lot of height and an extra shelf.   Costs about $100 +/-  and works very well.   I can use the LaCloche and also I can use a steam try in it.


Both work well for me.  The Breville is better insulated but both have convection capabilities and both heat up enough to bake pretty good bread.   The other one I was looking at is the Cuisinart Brick oven and it also looks as if it would work but I don't think it is any taller in side than the Breville is.

SallyBR's picture

Good to know that the Breville is bigger than the Cuisinart -  I don't think I would buy the brick oven, since i own the Breville already anway, but knowing it is not bigger was a good tip


I have a clay baker that is not exactly a La Cloche, I have to see if it fits


thanks, everybody!  I am feeling slightly more optimistic now

highmtnpam's picture

You have my sympathy.  What about offering to house sit? (sp?) There are big beautiful status kitchens in Brentwood and Beverly Hills which border UCLA. You might only need to feed the animals.  


rhomp2002's picture

There are places that make clay bakers that are a little smaller than the La Cloche.  Finally found one that will fit in the Breville and is the perfect size for a 1-1/2 lb loaf.   Not cheap but well made and does just what I needed.

alldogz's picture

I just purchased a book by Lisa Rayner (Wild Bread), but she has also written one on using a solar oven (In CA that should work pretty well) and she references using the solar ovens (what type etc) but she has written a book on nothing but using a solar oven...The book is titled "The Sunny Side of Cooking:Solar cooking and other ecologically friendly cooking methods for the 21st century" you can go "off grid" if you like. Haven't read that book , but i love her Wild Bread book.

Her web site is  ( i got mine at amazon because i had ordered some other stuff).


Good luck on your sabbatical.  Alldogz/Becky

SallyBR's picture

Very interesting... I'd heard of these solar ovens and read a little bit about them last year.   It seemed to me that the main drawback is the time it takes to cook stuff, but maybe newer "models" overcame this problem


I bookmarked the site, will indulge in it later...   thank you!