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Put some egg in your bread dough!

 
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SharonID



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:07 am    Post subject: Put some egg in your bread dough! Reply with quote

I've been experimenting with all kinds of sun-baked yeast breads, with far more successes than failures (and nothing has been inedible!). I've had a problem with some bread doughs over-rising in the sun oven and then falling a bit. They still taste good, but the appearance isn't quite as nice. It is seeming more and more to me that the bread doughs that include eggs in the ingredients are much less likely to fall. So if you're thinking about trying yeast breads in your box oven, look for recipes that include egg (or break an egg into your measuring cup and then add whatever liquid is called for up to the line and beat it together before adding to the dough). Eggs also give you an edge when it comes to browning, as egg doughs brown more readily than doughs without eggs.

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else's experience is similar to mine when it comes to sunbaking bread. Do you think egg breads bake better in a sun oven than bread doughs without egg?

Regards,
SharonID
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UnicornKabobs



Joined: 02 Feb 2010
Posts: 3
Location: wichita, kansas

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:54 pm    Post subject: i have yet to try solar, but.. Reply with quote

i make a 100 percent whole wheat bread in my bread machine that would probably translate well into a solar oven. i use this recipe every time because it always comes out perfect if you watch how much moisture it needs..depending on the humidity of the air and the flour. the only weird ingredient is vital gluten which isn't too hard to find. sorry to come back to such an old post, there should be newer ones! when i start this summer i will develop recipes and post them on this forum. hopefully this forum becomes more active during the summer because of the seasonal nature of the topic.. hmm. anyway, here is a potentially solar recipe.

Step 1
Measure 3/4 cup water into the bread pan. Crack two eggs into the pan and add 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil. Add 1 tsp. of salt.

Step 2
Measure 2 cups of whole wheat flour into the pan. Use a high grade whole wheat flour such as King Arthur or Hodgson Mills. Then place 2 tbsp. of vital wheat gluten into your 1-cup measure. Fill the rest of the cup with whole wheat flour. Place the mixture in the pan.

Step 3
Add 2 tsp. of sugar around the sides of the pan. Use sucanat or evaporated whole cane sugar for better nutrition. Use your teaspoon to make a small well in the top of the flour. Add 2 tsp. of active dry yeast.

Step 4
Use the whole wheat cycle on your bread machine. If possible, use the rapid cycle. Typically, the rapid cycle eliminates the third rising, which tends to fare badly when using only whole wheat flour. If your bread machine allows it, delay the onset of the kneading by 30 minutes.
(some bread machines allow you to just produce dough, and then you could put it in the solar oven, or just do it all by hand)

Step 5
Turn the whole wheat bread out onto a cutting board after cooking is complete. Allow the bread to cool completely. Place it in a plastic bag. Refrigerate if you prefer. This tends to make the bread more sliceable and it keeps longer.
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SharonID



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a good, basic recipe. I'll give it a whirl when the sun comes back. If you've never tried solar, this is the perfect time to get ready. Make a cooker or two and assemble the other things you will need before spring. You don't need box oven to bake bread (though they are wonderful for many things, if more trouble to make, and I wouldn't part with mine for pearls). I've made many wonderful loaves of bread in my panel cookers. One of the easiest ways to get started with solar cooking is one or another variation of the Windshield Shade Solar Cooker: http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Windshield_Shade_Solar_Cooker My first solar cooker was a windshield shade type, and I still use them sometimes.

You can see an index of plans other cooker models here: http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Solar_cooker_plans and you can explore even more designs here: http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Solar_cooker_designs

In addition to a solar cooker of some sort, you will either need (if you don't mind a round loaf) a round black pot with a lid that will hold your expanded dough or two matching black or dark (dark grey pans will work, but not shiny silver ones). For a loaf-shaped loaf, use one pan upside-down for a lid and hold it together with a couple of binder clips. Once your dough is in the pan and risen part-way (it will rise a bit more as it heats in the cooker, so put it in about half to two-thirds risen), secure your lid and put your lidded pan into an oven cooking bag or alternative clear cover arrangement. In a homemade cooker, it will often take 2-3 hours until the bread is done (in the gorgeous HotPot metal reflector, using my double-pan arrangement inside the HotPot's glass bowl, I can sometimes have a loaf done in about an hour and a half—if you want to buy a cooker, HotPot gets a ten-star rating from me). Give it at least forty-five after you see significant signs of steam before you check it, unless your nose is telling you it is getting too dark, but that would be rare in a homemade cooker.

You will soon develop a feel for sunbaked bread, and the flavor of sunbaked yeast breads is just outstanding. There is something about the slower cooking that really brings out the flavors of grains. Even the simplest, most basic white bread or bread from cheap frozen dough is more delicious, and what it does for multi-grain breads is incredible.

So I challenge you to set yourself a target. Unless you are farther north than I am (47 degrees), you can start baking bread by mid-April if it is sunny (possibly earlier, but certainly by then). By then, you could easily have assembled one or more simple cookers and acquired a few suitable pans if you don't have them already (light colored baking pans can be painted on the outside with non-toxic-when-dry spray paint if you are going to dedicate them to solar cooking, and many new baking pans can be found in dark gray and black).

You need to start early to bake bread... it is best to have it in your cooker by 11am. If you dislike getting up early to make the dough, you can make it the night before. Put the unrisen (but lively... it should be all ready to rise) into the pan and put the pan in the refrigerator overnight. It will rise slowly partway and will finish rising in your cooker (let sit at room temperature for at least a little while before putting in cooker).

I want to see a post from you by the end of April that you have baked a loaf of bread with sunshine! It may take you a time or two to get it just right, but once you get it, you can make the most delicious bread you have ever had the pleasure of eating. Feel free to email me (just click on my name to go to my profile for my email) if you have problems (and use a clear, descriptive subject line, to help me weed it out of the spam), but really, suncooking is very, very easy.

Make yourself at least two cookers if you can. With soup in one and bread in the other, your supper is covered.
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UnicornKabobs



Joined: 02 Feb 2010
Posts: 3
Location: wichita, kansas

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy thank you for the advice! i made a windshield cooker last week that i fortified with some wire duct-taped to the back to give it more stiffness. using magnet tape to close it and some sort of box to position it. i posted in the technologies forum about my search for the perfect combination of commercially available cookware that will be cheaper than the hot pot, easier to use than jars or random assortments of bowls.. specifically which pyrex bowl/graniteware pan combination will fit together the best and as large as possible. it would be easier if i could find more exact dimensions than the ones on amazon. i will probably just have to go for it, if they don't fit together then hey i have more cookware that i can use for anything and i can probably find something for one or both of them to fit into later anyway. round is my favorite shape.

i am planning on making a box cooker as i find the materials, i am actually thinking of using a giant steel stock pot as the box with insulation and black on the outside, with a glass lid, and some shiny thicker-than-foil gauge metal for the reflecting panels. i might try making a lid that has a double layer of glass with air between. i like heavy duty. i will like having the cookware for the panel cooker though because panel cookers can be so portable, it would be awesome to take them camping or to a friend's house.

believe me, sun cooking is one of my priorities! frugality in every respect, actually. i am busy planning my first vegetable garden larger than 5ft by 5ft, doing everything i can think of before planting time.. all i need is the right cookware and i'll be cooking. your enthusiasm is delightful, btw! can't wait for spring.
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