Thursday, August 6, 2009

100% Whole Wheat Bread Take Two

This is my fourth attempt at solar baked bread and my second at 100% whole wheat. Today's solar cooked loaf is definitely the best so far. I used to bake bread weekly with my bread machine and had tweaked the recipe until it was perfect every time. Unfortunately, I never actually wrote it down. I stored it in my head, which in retrospect is a very bad place to store anything. The following recipe is as close as I remember.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/2 cups water
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 TBS dry milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS honey
1 1/2 TBS vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup flax seed
1 TBS molasses

Set solar oven out to preheat

Put ingredients in bread machine following manufacturer's instructions. Set on dough cycle. Remove dough from machine, form into a loaf and place in loaf pan. Let rise in pan approx. 1 hour. Place in preheated solar oven and bake for approx. 1 hour or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.


  1. I am new at sun oven cooking. I tried it this past summer while camping. I cooked on a hot day and watched the sun, but was never able to get the heat to 350. Please tell me how I can do that. Your recipes talk about 350 - 400 degrees for cooking. I made some brownies and couldn't get the pan to stay even on the tray so they were thick on one end and thin on the other. I really want to make this work please help me. I also tried some rolls from the little carton you break open. They cooked but I cooked them to long because I was waiting for them to get brown. I'm a good cook and love it so I am enxious to solve my problems.

  2. Hi Gaye,
    Let's see... Where should I start. As for the temperature, my Sun Oven usually reaches between 300 and 350. I simply increase the cooking time if the recipe calls for a higher temperature. In most cases this does not affect the quality of the food because it does not dry up. Browning is tricky. It really depends on the quality of the sunlight. I have noticed that on days when we have a high pollution warning my food will just not brown even if it seems like a clear blue day. I guess it's because of the particulates in the air that are invisible to the naked eye. At they recommend a light spray of water to facilitate browning. I always forget to do that.
    I would suggest starting with things other than baking. My best results are with foods that normally cook in a moist, low heat. Slow cooked meats are a good example. I also often make soup or chili. Anything you would make in a crock-pot is ideal for Sun Oven cooking.
    I've never had a problem with the leveling tray. I may get a slight tilt, but not so much to make a difference.
    I hope I helped you. Many of your questions are answered on the FAQ page at The people at Sun Ovens Int. are very friendly and I'm sure they'd be glad to help you get the best out of your Sun Oven. Tell them that Gabrielle at sent you!

  3. I will add my two cents as well. I have been using my over quite a while as well. At first it would not reach high temperatures and I was dissapointed. By using the over a lot it now reaches the high temperatures. I think the gasket between the front glass and the body of the oven needs time to seal good.

    At first I could see where the gasket was leaking and tried to think of ways to make it seal better. However I didn't do any thing and now I can hit just about 400 degrees when the oven is empty. I can boil a pot of beans when the oven hitting 310 degrees and the front glass if fogged over.

    So, my expectation suggests that you should set the oven out as often as you can and let that gasket settle in.

    Additionally, I have noticed that at the edges of the over, under the gasket on the oven, are open vents. If the temperature becomes a problem you might try to seal these up. But be careful, as that gasket settles in, you high have an over that will get too hot.

    If you have some questions you can email me and maybe I can send some pictures of things or help some how. (

    Best of luck.