(Forkish) Crusty Bread baked in a Sun Oven?
canned Forkish bread in the solar oven
So, I haven’t used my solar oven in a couple of weeks. Mainly because we have been sidetracked by evil people. (Have you heard the quote by Edwin Burke “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing”. Well, we have decided that doing NOTHING is not an option and unfortunately are suffering the consequences because of it. )
ANYWAY, we are now in a temporary resting period and I have decided that it is time for some solar oven experiments. I have been very impressed with Ken Forkish’s book Water, Flour, Salt, Yeast (right order?) and successfully made some wonderful, crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, beautiful looking loaves worthy of the label Crustique Breads.
Ken Forkish overnight white bread
So, I wanted to see what would happen if I used the same recipe and method but instead of baking it in a dutch oven within the oven, to bake it in in a dutch oven within the solar oven. My solar oven maxes out at 350 F (at my location in sunny California) whereas my kitchen oven goes up to 500 F; so, what would happen to the crust?
Well, I will tell you what happened. There would be no point in writing this blog if I wanted to keep this earth shattering experience to myself, after all. People, I am so ecstatic! And mind you, I am NOT prone to exaggeration (well, maybe sometimes; but only a little bit, I assure you). I was so ecstatic because I realized the far reaching, HUGE impact this would have on the survival community and homesteaders all over the world!!!
I am not a big fan of ‘soft crusted’ bread (isn’t this an oxymoron?). I am, however, a big fan of my Global Sun solar Oven in which I can bake bread without a power source of any kind (well, technically the sun is my power source but I don’t think of it in such terms since the sun does not send me a fuel bill). So far, any bread I have baked in my solar oven has been very well received by others but snubbed by me. Why, you ask?
Having been raised in Germany, I am slightly partial (ok, hugely partial) to crusty bread. And so, with this statement I have just proven that I am truly not prone to exaggeration but actually the opposite of it. (Which is what? Underxaggeration?) I have also just proven that I am very easily side tracked.
Ok, let me rope myself back onto the trail. Crusty solar oven bread, can it be done? Below are a few pictures from the early stages of my experiment:
Baguette, dough in banneton and bean cans under cover and on the rise…
Sunnyboy Solar Oven warming up
Dutch oven pre-heating
canned Forkish bread in the solar oven
The cans are bean cans I had saved for some other experiment. What experiment, you may ask. Well, I was going to make me a rocket stove! I still might, but currently I was more interested in taking my solar oven to new heights and those cans were just the thing I needed. So, bottom of dutch oven goes into solar oven to preheat while dough goes into tin cans to rise. Rise, rise, up to the sky… Well, not quite. Cans with dough go into pre-heated dutch oven and lid gets closed. And voila!
Cans hiding inside
And before you know it… Well, truth be told, it did take a while. But who cares? I was off doing other important things and since I didn’t have to worry about fuel expense, it mattered none to me how long the cans wanted to remain in the dutch oven.
So, when I came back from my important business and went to peek inside my dutch oven in the solar oven, here is what I saw:
CRUSTY BREAD from my solar oven!!! People, I cannot tell how excited I was about the results of my experiment! Me and my solar oven are going to go down in history for our contribution to the survival community. And the crunching sound of a crusty crust following us all the way to bread nirvana…!
OVER AND OUT.