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which type of cooker for baking?

 
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alokin



Joined: 14 Aug 2007
Posts: 1
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:22 am    Post subject: which type of cooker for baking? Reply with quote

Hi, i am new to the forum and I like to bake bread.
however it uses lots of energy in a conventional oven.
I would like to know if I can reduce the energy used by making a simple
solar oven. Which model is suited to baking?
I would like to build something sturdy, not with cardboard. Something
what is washable when the dough (cake etc.) disboard the form.
Or are solar ovens not suitable for baking?
It would maybe be a good idea placing it on our nearly flat roof, however we would need some kind of stairs as I cannot imagine climbing a ladder with a pot or a baking tray in my hands.
Our climate is subtropical and we have sun almost all the year.
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SharonID



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Location: northern Idaho

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: which type of cooker for baking? Reply with quote

Hi Alokin,

Welcome to the wonderful world of solar cooking delights!

alokin wrote:
Hi, i am new to the forum and I like to bake bread.
however it uses lots of energy in a conventional oven.
I would like to know if I can reduce the energy used by making a simple
solar oven. Which model is suited to baking?


Box ovens are wonderful for baking. We've been baking bread all summer (I'm at about 47 degrees north) in ours and I love it. I let my bread machine make the dough (due to time constraints), and if I push it a bit I can make a two-loaf batch, which is more than it could bake, but it can make the dough if I fuss it a little. Solar baked bread is delicious! Especially the multi-grain egg bread recipe I've developed. I find that the bread behaves better with the longer, slower baking if there is some egg in the dough, by the way. If your recipe doesn't call for eggs, try substituting one-per-loaf for part of the liquid in the recipe.

alokin wrote:
I would like to build something sturdy, not with cardboard. Something what is washable when the dough (cake etc.) disboard the form. Or are solar ovens not suitable for baking?


Box ovens on a sunny day are very suitable for baking. If you can get the oven over 200F (mine will make 275 on a good day, but even at just a bit over 200 I have successfully baked bread if I get it out early), you can bake bread. I found some great dark-colored bread pans and I use them in pairs with the second one upside-down to make a lid. I hold the pans together with binder clips. Works great.

You may be discounting cardboard too soon. If you start with a really good box (like the double-wall corrugated printer box I built the Happy Sunshine memorial cooker out of) and give it the full cloth/glue/wax water-resistant treatment on the outside, the result can be very sturdy. If Elizabeth doesn't leave it out in the snow or lots of heavy rain or drive a truck over it, I expect it will outlive me (hopefully I've got at least a decade or two left! Wink). Your bottom tray should be painted steel (I use eighteen-guage cold-rolled steel, which I feel works much better than scrap metal and is well worth the price), which is washable, and if you make a replaceable foiled-cardboard liner, as I did for mine and Elizabeth's, then you can salvage your cooker if you should have a terrible boil-over or some other mishap.

But having said that, if you really don't want to try cardboard or you want something you can leave out in all weathers, you can make a freestanding version of the solar wall oven, which is basically wood and glass and is designed to be out in all weathers. I hope to have one of those myself one day. You can find information on the solar wall oven with links to further information at: http://solarcooking.org/bkerr/swo.htm

alokin wrote:
It would maybe be a good idea placing it on our nearly flat roof, however we would need some kind of stairs as I cannot imagine climbing a ladder with a pot or a baking tray in my hands.


That does sound tricky... I wouldn't want to try it either! Do live in a house or apartment? Anyway, anyplace that give you a good chance at prime-time sun will work (unless you have to worry about vandalism or animals, though in my experience dogs are not too interested in box ovens... once they feel the heat on their noses they back off quickly).

Continued in next response, as the server cut it off when I tried to respond in one go....

Regards,
SharonID
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Visit the Guild at: http://www.iwwg.org/


Last edited by SharonID on Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SharonID



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Location: northern Idaho

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:29 pm    Post subject: response continued.... Reply with quote

Here's the rest of my response, since the server chopped it off when I tried to post the response in one piece....

alokin wrote:
Our climate is subtropical and we have sun almost all the year.


Well, I don't do well in too much heat, so I'll try not to be too envious. Wink If I can make such wonderful bread in my climate, you should certainly be able to do it in yours! Of course bread isn't all you can do in solar ovens. So far, everything I've cooked with the sun tastes better, and meat gets wonderfully tender. You can use a box oven to cook just about anything you can bake, roast, simmer, or steam, with the exception of foods that really do need the shock of high heat to cook properly (popovers and thin, crisp type cookies/wafers come to mind) (and you can't make pies with a bottom crust—it will be soggy—but you can do a top crust or fruit crisps/cobblers and crustless quiche type things—aka 'impossible pie'—work splendidly). The food needs little tending and the flavors of even the simplest foods (like apple bits with a little sweetening and cinnamon) are incredible.

While you're pulling together what you want for your box oven, I suggest that you make one of the simpler panel cookers to play around with to start getting a feel for suncooking. They are quick to make and easy to use, and a really good one might even pull off a single loaf if you have something akin to the round black roaster w/lid to bake it in. The one made from a car windshield cover is wonderful, if you can get them where you live. I made one from a truck windshield cover (using a larger plastic tub rather than a bucket, with a large round wire grill from a broken fan for the grill), and it is a monster in terms of picking up heat. I'm sure it would do a loaf of bread in the round roaster. You can make all sorts of lovely dishes in a panel cooker, soups, stews, beans, grains, fruit compotes/sauces, rice puddings, meat dishes... all kinds of things.

Good luck with your suncooking adventures. I hope you'll love it as much as I do. It is wonderful to eat such delicious foods in such a cool kitchen! If you have any questions about solar cookery as you go along, feel free to email or message me, or post to the Food Processing board.Smile

Regards,
SharonID
_________________
Idaho Regional Representative, International Women's Writing Guild
Visit the Guild at: http://www.iwwg.org/
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Irenes



Joined: 02 Jun 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume one would have to make changes to the recipe to adapt it to solar cooking. This is a simple banana bread recipe that would be interesting to try.
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minotbob



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This first thing I cooked in my oven was bread. But since I was in it for a quick gratification I used Rhodes Frozen bread. I was also at about 47 deg N. It took about 2 hrs
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Minotbob
Nobody on their deathbed ever said "I wish I would've worked longer".
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