SOLAR COOKING: Making Bread Outside

by Tammy Taylor

*affiliate link

As I rose early one morning and glanced out the window at yet another beautiful Taylor-Made sunrise, I wondered if the day would be good to bake bread outside.  The clouds are beginning to burn off and a quick check of the forecast shows that the weatherman promises lots of sun and low wind.  Of course in a solar oven you need the sun to bake bread, but wind can wreak havoc with the reflectors.  I decided to go for it!

SOLAR COOKING: Making Bread OUTSIDE! I use my solar oven to bake my bread. No purchased fuel to bake this delicious bread - gotta love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

You’ve just got to love those precious souls that wake up eager to greet the day. You know the ones – they spring out of bed with a smile on their lips and a song in their heart?  Well unfortunately that’s not me.  Oh I love mornings but I’m certainly in slow gear until I receive coffee-inspired motivation.  So into the kitchen I shuffle, yawning and still half asleep – morning coffee still firmly gripped in my hand.  Luckily I know myself well enough that I’ve already premixed the dry ingredients for my bread recipe and placed them in baggies in the freezer.  I simply pull out one of the premixed bags and mix it with yeast, warm water, butter and an egg, then set it aside for the first rise, punch down and shaping.

SOLAR COOKING: Making Bread OUTSIDE! I use my solar oven to bake my bread. No purchased fuel to bake this delicious bread - gotta love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

By the time the loaves are shaped I’ve set up the *solar oven and it’s ready to go.  Since the winter sun here in North Texas is still pretty low in the southern sky, the oven is tilted pretty strongly to the south to channel the sun’s energy directly into the oven.

SOLAR COOKING: Making Bread OUTSIDE! I use my solar oven to bake my bread. No purchased fuel to bake this delicious bread - gotta love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

The bread pans go into the oven to rise a second time.  I keep the oven door ajar so it doesn’t get hot enough to actually bake the bread but offers a warm environment which will allow the bread to rise beautifully.

SOLAR COOKING: Making Bread OUTSIDE! I use my solar oven to bake my bread. No purchased fuel to bake this delicious bread - gotta love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

When the second rise is complete I close and latch the oven door.  Even though the temps today are a chilly 40 degrees, the temperature inside the oven rises quickly to over 300 degrees.

SOLAR COOKING: Making Bread OUTSIDE! I use my solar oven to bake my bread. No purchased fuel to bake this delicious bread - gotta love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

About thirty minutes later I brush melted butter on the crusts to both soften and add the flavor my family loves.  Fifteen minutes later this bread is ready to come out of the oven.  (inhales deeply….)

sun-oven-coupon-299

There’s nothing like the smell of fresh-baked bread!  Hummmm….  I see someone sneaky just couldn’t resist helping themselves to a slice while it’s still hot…

SOLAR COOKING: Making Bread OUTSIDE! I use my solar oven to bake my bread. No purchased fuel to bake this delicious bread - gotta love it! #TaylorMadeHomestead

I’m still pretty new to solar baking but I’m already in love with it.  Our climate in the summer is stiflingly hot and humid and I hate to turn on the oven and pump even more heat into the house.  Although I often make homemade bread I seldom do so in the summer months because of this. I’m anxious to try this solar oven for baking bread this summer. I also plan to use it quite heavily to dehydrate garden veggie excess from our garden.  I’ll simply keep the door ajar so humidity can exit and the heat doesn’t get too high.  Can’t wait to give it a try.

Have any of you tried a solar oven?  Do you have any advice to share?

UPDATE: My bread recipe always seemed result in a pretty heavy and dense loaf, so I’ve changed to a Taylor-Made  KitchenAid Sandwich Bread recipe that delivers a light, fluffy loaf every time!

~TMH~

You can see our other SOLAR cooking articles here

 

C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page – it’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea – lots of good folks sharing!  You can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus. If you’d like to receive an email each time a new blog post goes live it’s EASY to Subscribe to our blog!

 

Affiliate Link Disclosure*Sun Oven affiliate

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

39 thoughts on “SOLAR COOKING: Making Bread Outside

  1. Cathy

    Wow that’s awesome! Your bread looks delicious. I’ve never heard of a solar oven before. What a great idea for summer months when you want to keep it cool indoors. Glad I stopped by from the ‘Good Morning Mondays’ link-up. : )

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I love my solar oven Cathy, especially during those hot & humid Texas summers. So glad you stopped by. ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Heather Marie

    This looks super cool! Our family is interested in homesteading in the future (as soon as we can get some land) so I’ll have to investigate your blog some more! We are also in Texas: San Antonio. So I can totally relate to the weather 🙂 I found you on the Pretty Pintastic Party #94

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      How exciting Heather, looking for land and dreaming of our future homestead was a very exciting time for us as well. Follow your dreams. ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Audrey

    Wow, I didn’t know they could get that hot on a cold day. And nothing warms you up like a piece of freshly baked bread. YUM! saw you on You’re Gonna Love It.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      We do love homemade bread here in the Taylor Household Audrey. I’d say RancherMan is a fresh-bread junkie. LOL So glad you stopped by. ~TMH~

      Reply
  4. Rosz Cutler

    Hello, I found this outdoor oven very interesting. I make bread all winter but when hot weather hits here in Ct.forget it! I used to love to plant my own garden, but I developed an allergy to the sun. I haven’t had a garden in 3 years. However grandkids are older and want one so my husband will give it a try. I’m thinking that I can help with the garden at night.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      The solar oven is especially nice in the summer time Rosz. Here in Texas that summer heat & humidity really packs a punch. ~TMR~

      Reply
  5. Nancy W

    I have never used a solar oven although we have used a solar wax melter to melt beeswax! Thanks for sharing on the HomeAcre Hop hope to see you again tomorrow. – Nancy The Home Acre Hop

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Nancy I’ve become so enamored with the fact that the SUN can cook my food or dehydrate my veggies. I use it often to make sun tea and even to warm the milk I’m about to make homemade yogurt with. So versatile and FREE energy is a good thing! ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Kathy

    this is fascinating, the bread looks wonderful! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday, Kathy

    Reply
  7. Small Footprints

    I love this idea!! I’ve never tried a solar oven but would love to. I’m curious … did you buy one or make it? I’m pretty sure that I NEED one! And I love that you were able to make a beautiful loaf of bread when it wasn’t all that warm out. Just proves that it doesn’t have to be a hot day … just a sunny. Thanks, so much for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I love my Sun Oven, I bought this one –> http://amzn.to/1lZwT9D (affiliate link) Just yesterday I baked breaded pork chops in it, they were delicious & ready in just over an hour. You’re right as long as the sun is shining it doesn’t matter what the outside temps are. ~TMR~

      Reply
  8. janetpesaturo

    Another great post from TMR 🙂 Very interesting – have never used a solar oven. Thanks for sharing on Home and Garden Thursday.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Homestead

      Thanks Janet – I’m getting geared up to be cooking in the solar oven quite often since I can cook in it any time the sun is shining, winter or summer. Today it’s baked pork chops & steamed carrots with fresh rosemary. I’m totally fascinated that the free resource of the sun can so easily perform this task! ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Lynn H @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

    I know absolutely nothing about solar cooking so I was very interested in your post! Thanks for sharing with us at Four Seasons Blog Hop~ Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

    Reply
  10. Carrie Groneman

    I LOVE this!!! I really want to give it a try and your pictures are fabulous. Stopping by from Ducks ‘n a Row party. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Thanks Carrie! I really love solar cooking, tomorrow I’m making baked pork chops & steamed rosemary carrots in my solar oven. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  11. Lisa

    I have never used a solar oven but it would be amazing to cook with in the summer! I’m going to have to check it out! Thanks for this great post! Lisa

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Lisa, I was surprised to find you can easily cook with it in the winter as well as long as the sun in shining. I’d be making our baked pork chops in it today if it weren’t for this blasted wind! ~TMR~

      Reply
  12. Gentle Joy

    I am so glad you posted this……This is of interest to me since I want to try such, but have never had or used a solar oven, although I have seen descriptions on how to build one and have it in my “someday” file. 🙂 Your oven looks great and I have never checked in to an already made one. Thank you for reviving my interest in this subject. 🙂 Gentle Joy

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Living as softly as I can on this beautiful earth is something near & dear to my heart. It amazes me that the sun can be used to cook our food. I know that generating heat is the most energy-intensive act for a home so the more heat-generating things I can eliminate and do more naturally the happier I am. We line-dry our clothes year round to eliminate the need to run the dryer (which we have for emergencies) We also use the sun to brew our tea and often to dehydrate veggies from the garden. I’m always looking for ways to improve, and we can learn so much from each other. ~TMR~

      Reply
  13. Pingback: Using FREE Solar Energy Instead Of Kitchen Appliances #TaylorMadeRanch

  14. Pingback: Solar Energy: Passive and Free! | Taylor-Made Ranch Blog

  15. Hannah

    Very interesting! I’d love to live off the grid someday and this solar oven would be a nice addition! Thanks for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday. Hope you link up again today!

    Reply
  16. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

    Tammy, I’d wanted a solar oven for years but held back on purchasing one until last fall while attending a Homesteading Faire. I’ve been having fun with it ever since, although only between bouts of windy and/or cloudy days. This summer I should be able to play with it each and every day, living in east Texas! 🙂 ~TMR~

    Reply
  17. Tammy/Our Neck of the Woods

    Wow! This is so neat. I’ve never even heard of a solar oven before. Color me impressed! It’s awesome that it got hot enough to bake your bread, even when it was only in the 40s outside. I may have to look into solar ovens now 🙂

    Reply
  18. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

    Karen, I’ve always been envious of people who were creative enough to make their own homemade solar cooker – KUDOS! There are many levels of using the sun to cook, anywhere from sun tea to drying onions – but to actually cook something – I’m so pumped! ~TMR~

    Reply
  19. KarenLynn

    What a cool looking solar oven! I have done solar cooking but always with our own homemade solar cookers! This is such a treat to read about this and your bread turned out amazing! By the way I loved your sky picture! Just gorgeous! Thanks so much for linking up to “The Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post” blog hop! Hope you join us again next week!

    Reply
  20. Kristi @Let This Mind Be in You

    No! I’ve never tried a solar oven, but I really want to! Which model do you have? Thanks so much for sharing this at Farm Girl Blog Fest #21! ~Kristi@Let This Mind Be in You

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      My solar oven is called “Sun Oven” and it came with cookware to use in it. I mainly have used it for bread and I’ve made bread in it several times. I’ve made zesty baked tortilla chips only once but I plan to do more in the future (my hubby loves them). Of course I’m pretty excited to expand my garden dehydration efforts this summer using the solar oven as well. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  21. Nora aka Mrs. DaybyDay

    How neat! Makes me want to experiment in making this part of our homesteading life. Thanks so much for posting on this. I wonder though if during the summer months, when it is so hot, if it will take less time to bake the bread? Does it make a difference. I also like the idea of solar dehydrating, actually just purchased a book from Amazon.com on solar dehydrating. Currently, we have an Excalibur dehydrator, it surely can put out some heat while in use during the summer.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Nora, You’ve got a good one, I’ve always heard Excalibur is the Cadillac of dehydrators. I had been dehydrating garden overage with just the small household electric dehydrators and although it sufficed at the time I was anxious to put this good ole Texas heat to the test. My husband fashioned one for me out of 2×4 wood frame and screening – it worked pretty well last year but it was a bit bulky. This will be my first year using this one but I’m very excited to try it. ~TMR~

      Reply
  22. Sue

    That’s amazing! I haven’t used a solar oven before, but I sure would like to now! Thanks for visiting my blog today. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Sue, This is my first solar oven, but I’d wanted one for years. I’m pretty excited to be able to use it for dehydration as well this summer. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Please enter the Biggest Number