Bread in the solar oven

by BC
(St. Louis, MO)

Solar cooking has been going well, but I’m still struggling with cooking times. I made beer bread in the solar cooker, but I left it in too long, and it turned dry. I was surprised that happened because everyone seems to leave feedback saying it is difficult to ruin anything in the solar cooker! I have not necessarily found this to be true. I have left foods in for a long time, and they never burned, but they have gone dry, sometimes nearly unpalatable so (as with the bread).

Next, I have a new recipe for gluten-free chocolate zucchini bread, and I’d like to try that tomorrow—if the weather cooperates—in a double batch. I figure I’ll leave one in for about 85 minutes, and then take it out and test it. Hopefully, that will be enough time. At any rate, I have plenty of zucchini for mistakes! I have made this recipe in the oven, and it was moist and very good, so I have high hopes for it turning out well in the Sun Oven, now that I know not to leave it in for 3 hours!

My main concern is that I will take something out too soon, and then all the heat will escape when I open the door to check. If I have to put it back in, the cooking will be arrested because it will need to come back up to temperature. Has anyone done this?
Is it bad for baking bread items? Or desserts?

This is a whole new learning paradigm for me, and I’d like to have a better handle on it before the cold weather moves in!

Thanks for any tips!

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Aug 05, 2014
Overcooking in solar cookers
by: Jim La Joie

I do not necessarily agree with the notion that you cannot overcook in a solar cooker. Depends on your cooker's design and your cooking methods.
I have burned corn bread, white bread, lasagna and many other foods because i have left them in too long.
So they do require watching.
I am not a good baker so will give no advice on that. But for meats and stews, I always cook covered and with a thermometer inserted in the pot. That way I never open the cooking area.
Chicken is cooked at 170º (?) but after reaching that temperature I will let mine simmer and rise to 190 or even 210. Because it is in a covered pot, it does not dry out and becomes increasingly tender.
Gonna try cornbread today.
My cornbread pan is a 9 inch Lodge skillet with a cast iron lid from the Lodge 2 quart serving dish. I make my cornbread gluten free and southern style - Cornbread, corn flour, buttermilk, egg, baking powder and a little salt. Never add sweetener of any kind.

Aug 04, 2014
Something else
by: BC

I didn't do the bread today, but I did put a small deer tenderloin that has been marinating in the fridge for a few days in the solar cooker today. I took it out after about 2 1/2 hours, and it was perfectly cooked--tender, fairly moist, and delicious!

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