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Solar Oven Challah Bread
(light brown variety)

  Solar Oven Challah Bread

-Recipe 23 in the Solar Hot Pot

I love Challah (Jewish braided bread) and wanted to see if it would work in the Hot Pot.

Prep by making the dough, which can then be refrigerated for a day or two and set out early to rise the day you will bake.  It will probably take almost twice as long to rise the first time from the fridge, though, depending on the temperature where you set it—maybe up to 3 hours.

I’m going to go ahead and give the recipe for a normal loaf; the Hot Pot will bake only 1/2 of this at one time, but the rest of the dough you can bake later or even freeze for up to 3 months and use another time.  (Or of course just cut the recipe in half.)  Sometime I actually want to do a little loaf in each of our Hot Pots, but today we want the other Hot Pot for Taco Chicken, so I’m going to save the rest of the dough to bake Thursday.


Mix in small bowl:

  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 1/4 c. warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • drizzle of honey

While you wait for this to bubble, mix thoroughly in large bowl:

  • 3/4 c. very hot water
  • 1/8 c. olive oil
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

Then add to flour mixture:

  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • yeast mixture (which should be bubbly by now.  If not, try again with better yeast.)


picture of bubbly yeast

raw dough ball ready to rise the first time

Let rest 5 min.  Then add:

  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 c. unbleached white flour

Knead 10 minutes.  Cover and put in fridge OR continue with recipe (I’m putting half of my dough in the fridge today).


Put in greased bowl, turn to cover dough with oil (or butter).  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise 1 1/2 hours in a warm place. 

(While it was rising, we did some quick broccoli in the Solar Hot Pot:  preheated the water and later tossed in the cut-up broccoli—chopped stems on the bottom, florets on the top, Alton Brown-style.  Broccoli was in the Pot about 35 minutes and then “coasted” with cover still on, on the counter, about 10 minutes; turned out delicious.  Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled recipe.....  LOL)


Punch down dough.  Divide into 3 pieces and shape each piece into a rope about the length of the Hot Pot diameter.  Braid these pieces into pretty loaf and brush with oil or butter.  (I think traditionally you would brush with egg white, but I’m feeling like oil or butter would be better for the Hot Pot.  Maybe next time I’ll try egg white and compare.) 


Braiding the Challah

Finished Challah Braid

Make a ‘disc’ of foil to set in the bottom of the Hot Pot, thereby making the Pot ‘flat-ish’ on the bottom; heavily grease disc with butter.

11:30—set dough on buttered disc but do NOT cover with glass lid (only with plastic wrap and a towel).  Let rise INDOORS; don’t want the bread to begin baking until it has had a chance to rise first.  Set timer for one hour.


Buttered disc in Hot Pot

braided dough on disc in Hot Pot

12:30—make sure bread has risen, remove plastic wrap and towel, cover with Solar Hot Pot lid, set up Pot facing the sun, set timer for one hour.


(1:00—for us, we are now starting Taco Corona Chicken in our other Hot Pot for supper.  See separate post for that recipe.)


1:30—adjust to sun, set timer for one hour.


2:30—check bread to see if it is done.  Actually, I’m not sure how I’m going to do this until I try....  I’ll come back in a bit and tell you what happens.


Later....  When the bread looked dry-ish on the outside (almost exactly 2 hours of baking), I opened the Pot to see how it was doing.  When I pressed on it, it seemed firm and done (and it was). 


The top crust was a little on the dry side (and looked anemic  LOL), but the inside texture was nice and moist!  The bottom crust was crunchy and good.  The loaf was gone in a flash (except a little piece I squirreled away for tomorrow on the road).  (smile)  Very good snack, warm with butter.

 Solar Oven Challah Bread

Proofed challah dough

Solar Oven Challah Bread

(light brown variety)

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