Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Can't Believe It's Home Baked Bread!

I just may have made the biggest solar cooking discovery since the Sun Oven. By chance I picked up a cookbook titled "Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads by Nancy Baggett". It sounded too good to be true. My electric mixer died, the bread machine is not powerful enough for more artisan type breads, and for some reason kneading dough by hand just doesn't appeal to me. I had to give this a try.

At first glance it does not seem all that fuss free. The rising times are long, extremely long, 3 to 10 hours in the fridge followed by 18 to 24 at room temperature and another 2 after that. But once you've got the timing figured out, you're practically done. The ingredients are mixed and rise in the same bowl. All you have to do is move it from the fridge to the counter and deflate it once. When it's ready to bake, transfer the dough to a pot and bake. Pretty simple.

The author gives detailed instructions for each recipe. The first part of the book outlines the method and explains how it works. I will not go into that here. The author obviously put a lot of work into perfecting the technique. Buy her book, or check it out from the library; you won't be disappointed.

Now back to my results. Today's loaf is actually my second. When my first one was all ready to go the sun was nowhere in sight. As much as I hated to do it I had to turn on the electric oven. That was on Friday. I started a new batch that same evening and today the sun decided to cooperate.

It pains me to admit it, but the conventionally baked loaf came out better - this time. It was as good as any bakery bread I've ever had. Today's loaf was not quite as good. I didn't let it bake long enough. I'm sure with some minor tweaking and a little more patience I can get equal, if not better results with the Sun Oven. I'm going to try again on Wednesday.

Oh, and after the bread came out of the oven I had enough time to make a pot of solar cooked red lentil curry. I even mixed in the leftover pumpkin from yesterday, so that's one less thing I need to worry about.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know whether I want to try that one, or not. Before my processor, kneading bread wasn't all that bad compared to the patience of waiting almost two days. Will have to think on this. What happened to the pumpkin chili? Hmmm? I guess I'll just have to be patient.