Friday, March 15, 2013

Food Storage Friday #29: Cooking with the Sun Oven
















You know what the best part about working at Honeyville is? Trying out all the new products before they hit the shelves of our online and retail stores. So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out we would be carrying the brand new All American Sun Oven. My first thought, of course, was: "When can I get my hands on one!"

Well, thanks to the good people at Sun Oven, it didn't take long. They sent over an oven with specific instructions that we test and try it out for ourselves. With 95 degree temperatures in Mid-March (hot, even for Southern California) "testing" it was exactly what we did!

Let me start off by saying that this oven is awesome! Over the course of two days we baked both cookies and bread in the oven and were simply amazed at the results! The Sun Oven not only cooked each product thoroughly, but evenly as well. And because the oven doesn't create any hot spots, you don't have to worry about burning what your cooking. In fact, your biggest concern might be wondering when to take your item out of the oven, because not only do items not burn, they don't brown either. Keeping an eye on your items while they cook will help you know how long is long enough in this oven.


One of the cool new features on the All American Sun Oven is the E-Z Sun-track indicators. Think of these as your dials into the sun. This helps you align your Sun Oven correctly, getting the perfect amount of sunlight to heat the oven. The way it works is the light of the sun shines through the top hole on the indicator, projecting a small round dot of light on the inside of the indicator. Move the oven from side to side and adjust the rear alignment leg so that the round dot is centered over the bottom hole.


Keep in mind that the earth is constantly moving around the sun, so you'll need to make continual adjustments while your cooking. But don't worry about your food. The dual-purpose leveling rack inside will keep the item from moving around inside the oven, even if the oven is moving around on the outside. In fact, we even had a gust of wind knock over our oven during baking, but the bread loaf was left unharmed thanks to the leveling rack (we should have used the Wind Resistant Alignment Legs, included in the kit, to keep it from blowing around).

Another cool aspect to the oven is how quickly it heats up. We reached our cooking temperature of 350 degrees within 15 minutes of setting up the oven. That's the same time it takes a conventional oven to heat up! And even with the oven cooking at 350 degrees, the four reflector shields were cool to the touch, making it super easy to pack up the oven once cook time was complete.


A lot of people have asked: "I know it can cook emergency meals and heat up freeze dried products, but can it really bake a loaf of bread?" I'm here to tell you not only does it bake it, but I've got the perfect recipe for you to try with it.

Sun Oven White Bread


Ingredients:
3 cups Honeyville All Purpose Unbleached Flour
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tsp Sugar
2 1/4 tsp Dry Active Yeast
1 1/4 tsp Salt

Directions:
Activate your yeast by dissolving Sugar and Yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. This should take about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine Flour and Salt. Combine Yeast and 1 cup warm water and stir until soft dough forms.

Remove dough and knead on floured surface until dough is smooth. Place dough in a large, greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour. Remember to keep the dough in a warm place to help bread rise.

After 1 hour, uncover and punch down dough. Cover and let rise an additional hour.

After the additional hour, remove and roll dough out on a flour surface. Roll up tightly and place in one of the bread pans included in the Sun Oven. Cover, and let rise for an additional 30 minutes to an hour.

While bread is rising, set up your Sun Oven. Open up reflectors and adjust oven using the Sun-track indicators and alignment leg.


Let oven heat up to 350 degrees. Once bread has risen and oven is warm, place bread in oven and bake for 40 minutes. Remember to continually adjust oven using the indicators for optimal sun exposure.


Delicious Bread Recipe? Check. Warm weather on the way? Check. Now all you need is an All American Sun Oven for yourself!

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