The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My oven died - is it flatbread until it's fixed?

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Felila's picture
Felila

My oven died - is it flatbread until it's fixed?

Fortunately, one of my friends is an appliance repairman. Unfortunately, the part he needs costs $95 and has to be ordered from the mainland (I live in Hawai'i).


What can I bake on the stovetop? Am I limited to pancakes, scones, muffins, and flatbreads? Or would a cast-iron Dutch oven, with a cast-iron lid, over low heat, pinch-hit for an oven?


 

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

Boy Scouts cook meals all the time with dutch ovens and charcoal brickets, put them into a round metal oil pan (same as you use to drain oil from your car, just never used for that).  Here's a website to help....


http://www.cowboyshowcase.com/dutch_oven_cooking.htm


Joanne

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

certainly you have a grill in Hawaii.  Or try searching Green egg bread or pit baking.

Felila's picture
Felila

Ah, I see I didn't include enough information. You folks are assuming that I live in a suburban home, with a back yard where I can build fires or keep a BBQ grill.


I live in a condo. I have a tiny garden, but no grill. BBQing is forbidden (smoke bothers the neighbors). I have a tiny camp stove, for emergencies, but I wouldn't try to bake bread on it.


It's stovetop baking or nothing.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

My Aunt introduced this method way back when in the peach corps.  You will get a browned top on the loaf in the dutch oven if you insulate the lid.  So put a sheet of aluminum foil on top and fold a towel on top of that.  No peeking until the time is up.  Watch the bottom heat, I do believe she said something about a trivet between the bottom of the pot and the bottom of the pan holding the dough or cake.  :)

Roo's picture
Roo

I would still use your dutch oven on your stove, it is going to be easier to regulate your temps more so than with charcoal.  However I believe most baking in a dutch oven is done with top heat.  Perhaps you could preheat your lid, then place the oven over low heat and place the lid on top.


Yes it does sound like a lot of work, but think of the fun and excitement you would have trying to find out. 


 

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

You could probably get enough heat to make biscuits or very thin breads by putting something in the dutch oven to raise a biscuit pan off the bottom of the dutch oven.  How about steamed breads though?  If you had a pot big enough to put a coffee can in you could even make bread that is a decent size loaf.


Joanne


Updated:  http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/1976-11-01/You-Can-Bake-Steamed-Breads-Right-on-Your-Stove-Top.aspx

larryparis10's picture
larryparis10

On a recent skiing vacation I brought along flour etc to make  bread in a gas barbecue, not expecting anything worthwhile, but I was wrong. I made the best pizza ever, and the boules were very good too. I baked in a cast iron pan and sometimes used the shelf. Of course it takes a bit of finesse and patience, like any new "stove." But it was fun getting acquainted with it. Larry R

BettyR's picture
BettyR

If you live in a condo you probably have a bakery fairly close to home. I would consider this a good reason to visit and enjoy someone elses cooking for a change. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

It's 10F here and snowed all yesterday so I will offer to come to your home and show you my secret stove top baking method. You have to see it to believe it. I won't charge anything, it will be my pleasure.


Eric:>)

Felila's picture
Felila

OK, but you have to pay for the planefare!


It's cold here too. Gets down to 70 degrees at night :) We're used to 80.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Still tempting.


Actually I'm thinking about trying to bake a loaf in a dutch oven with a trivet inside. I'll preheat the top over a separate burner and get both parts good and hot along with the trivet. Then place the dough on the trivet maybe with a small piece of parchment to prevent the dough from settling in the holes. Cover and keep the heat at medium for maybe 45 minutes or until I can smell bread baking.I think I could hold 300F or thereabouts. The time is the big variable.


Eric

Felila's picture
Felila

Steaming bread sounds more do-able, actually.


Except I don't have a coffee can. I don't drink coffee. If I did, I would be the kind of coffee snob who buys beans and grinds them herself just before brewing.


I don't think I have any container that would take the place of a coffee can. Hmmm.


Naan. That's the ticket. Naan.

keriann's picture
keriann

It's actually very easy to make steamed rolls in a pan designed to steam vegetables (you know, the kind that has a bunch of little  holes in the bottom and sits over another pan that has water in it).  I haven't tried a lot of variation, but here in China steamed bread is a staple of sorts. Usually they make a simple white bread dough (without any oil or sugar), shape it into small rolls, allow to rise a little, then put in over the boiling water and steam for about 15 minutes. On their own the flavor is somewhat bland, but the Chinese usually eat them with vegetables (instead of rice). The texture is a little like a bagel. Give it a try, it's kinda fun!

Jo_Jo_'s picture
Jo_Jo_

I had a crockpot that had option of buying an insert that was a metal pan for making bread a few years ago.  It was similar to the steaming method.  Oh, and you can use any size tin can, but I bet as long as the pan had tall sides it would work for steaming bread. 


Joanne

Felila's picture
Felila

I gave away my crockpot and my little metal steamer with the folding flaps. I wasn't using them. However, I suppose I could buy one of those cheap bamboo steamers and put it inside one of my big pots.


Someday, if I ever have the $$$, I'm going to buy one of those three tier metal steamers found in most Asian households.

margieluvschaz's picture
margieluvschaz

Do you have a flat top or a pan/ stove you could also make English muffins.


I've had great luck making bread on the grill in a deep half pan with foil or in my La Cloche on the grill.


good luck my oven died for about two weeks last year so I feel your pain!


Margie

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Hi Felila


I often make bread in my cast iron frying pan. I've made pizzas and rolls in there with great success.


Here's a quick soda bread, but you can also make yeast-risen breads in there:


http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/11/bread-in-13-minutes.html


Best wishes, Paul

ssor's picture
ssor

You can make a stove top oven with any large pan with a tight lid and trivit for inside and a smaller pan for the bread. Put the dry pan on the burner and turn the heat on medium and heat the large pan with the lid on and the trivit in place, Put the pan of bread on the trivit and put the lid back on. If you hang an oven thermometer inside you can monitor the temperature.

dutch oven bread man's picture
dutch oven bread man

Hello Felita


For 2 years now I have made all my bread in my dutch oven on the stove top.


I make sourdough and start it 24 hours before in a transparent plastic mixing bowl.


Method:


Make a sloppy mix with sourdough starter, flour (I use wholemeal spelt at this stage) and warm water. leave for 12 - 18 hours, untill the sourdough mix has reached its peak, then add more flour (white bread flour), salt and a little more water if needed. Mix and shape to a round flat shape (about 2" thick). No kneading. Leave in plastic bowl. When it has risen and you can see bubbles through the transparent plastic, then it is time to cook.


Heat the dutch oven and the lid. Heat them till the oil is smoking especially the lid. Then turn the heat right down low. Gently ease the bread out of the plastic bowl. Hold it upside down with your hand underneath the dough. Place in hot dutch oven and put the lid on. Leave on a very low heat for about half an hour. Then remove the lid taking care to wipe all the water off the lid. Heat the lid again for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile turn the bread over using wooden spatulas/spoons. Replace the hot lid again and cook for another half hour.


The result is a 2 - 3 inch thick flat bread. It can be slightly burnt just above the gas burner. I have started using a griddle plate below the dutch oven to spread the heat better. The flavour is amazing, better than anything I can buy. I find this the easiest way to make my bread. Easier than a bread machine, and no need to heat the oven


Clearly you will need to experiment as your situation will be different (much warmer I expect) but this method really is very simple and effective


 


Tom.