The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Solar Oven Bread

moodswt's picture
moodswt

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?

Christina

moodswt's picture
moodswt

I would love to show my solar bread but am at a loss as how to post photos. I only see the green tree icon for the code verification. What am I missing?

moodswt's picture
moodswt

Turns out My husband had Javascript disabled - 'sposed to be a current security issue...Got it turned on because I just had to show you guys my solar oven yeast bread!! 

 

Rocketcaver's picture
Rocketcaver

I have made bread in my Sun Oven also.  I don't like to bake in the summer and heat up the house, so thought it was worth a try.  I did like you did, kept adjusting the aim so that it tracked the sun better than usual.  I had to extend my bake time of course, but it turned out fine.  Mine was one of the no-knead bread recipes from Breadtopia.  I usually make sourdough breads, but this was a regular yeast version.  It didn't brown as much as it does in the regular oven, and the crust wasn't as crispy and crunchy, but otherwise it turned out fine. 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

350 F in 30 F weather then any bread normally baked at that temperature like some Challah, panettone, sweetbreads like banana, zucchini, etc, should be fine ones to try out.  What a great idea.  The first photo didn't come though but the crumb shot looks great.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

If ambient temps are above 100F in the summertime, and the sunlight is intense, you might be able to do lean breads without firing up Old Betsy or her little sister.

Paul

moodswt's picture
moodswt

A belated thank you to commentors of a few weeks ago! I need to review my email notification process as I didn't realize you had posted! I also found a couple of old solar oven posts here  - one describes a successful lean dough bread, so I'll have to try again. The Frigidaire part never arrived so our warranty gave us our purchase-price money back! We've bought a GE Profile dual-fuel oven but it is sitting in the dining room now waiting for my husband to install the gas piping into the kitchen! I'll probably go on a long bread baking frenzy once I'm able to!