Monday, November 29, 2010

Solar Cooking and Bread

I love to bake bread and the solar cooker is fun to use. It doesn't cost anything to use while fresh baked bread makes even the simplest meal very good. In most instances, the bread will cook in one to two hours. You may want to use sugar, egg, or honey to help the bread brown on the top. The best time to bake bread is starting at 11am when the sun in high and hot. I have changed the way that I eat so I don't eat 3 meals at normal times. Often, I will eat one large meal in the early afternoon along with a nice breakfast in the late morning. No use conforming to time constraints when you have so much freedom.

How to do it
The dough needs to rise before you bake it so let it rise once in a warm humid area. Now, you will need a black pan with a lid on it. The dough gets punched down after the first rise and placed in the pan. It will rise again in the pan even in the refrigerator. Let the solar cooker warm up to 220-230F before you start to bake. It will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to bake the bread.

Bread recipes
There are a lot of bread recipes but here is one that doesn't use anything but basic bread ingredients. If you aren't familiar with making bread dough, find a good cookbook with the finer points of making bread.

French Bread

1 package yeast
2 cups water
4 1/2 cups white flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Dissolve yeast in one cup lukewarm water. Sift flour with sugar and salt into a large bowl. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add just enough of the second cup of water to hold dough together. Mix until dough is sticky. Cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled. Butter or grease a round roaster and add dough to dark pan. Let rise another half hour. Cover. Bake in solar oven until golden brown, about 2 hours.

Solar Cooking
Solar cookers work great, are inexpensive, and use no fuel but the sun. They work great when boondocking in the desert. There are a lot of things you can cook in them. They make a great slow cooker to have a meal ready in the late afternoon.

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