Saturday, June 19

Solar No-Knead Bread II Chased by Mackerel Sky

Solar No-Knead Bread Under a Mackerel Sky
The gods were testing me, yesterday. I wanted to retry the fantastic no-knead bread recipe of a few days ago, just to see if it would react differently with bread flour rather than all-purpose flour and a fresh packet of quick-acting yeast. After the second rising, the bread was ready to bake and I went out into the sunshine to open up the solar oven. What a gorgeous day -- well, under my part of the sky, it was a gorgeous day; but, off to the northeastern horizon, slowly working its way to my neck of the woods was the first mackerel sky I'd seen in months.
 Not fair! Everyone knows a mackerel sky is a portent of some seriously bad weather. No, no, no, the bread must get done, first!  I will push forward. 



The oven had heated up to 250F and my second batch of no-knead bread had risen beautifully. If you recall from my first attempt, the dough barely made it halfway up the bowl. This new batch begun yesterday, has done so much better.
I'm sure it was using the bread flour and fresh quick acting yeast that made the difference. I was going to use the same process as last time (the middle stainless steel mixing bowl with my 5-quart saucepan lid) when I found, hiding in the back of the cabinet, my pyrex covered casserole dish. Aha! This may be just the thing for the second rising.

It was! Isn't that beautiful!

Time for the solar oven -- and, an ominous mackerel sky... It was 11:06 AM when I put on the cover and set it in to bake in the solar oven -- wait! because I added one other step.  I used a SolarWear(tm) Heating Pad, heated in the microwave for five minutes, directly under the casserole to keep heat surrounding the bread. The bread rose to meet the inside of the casserole cover. Now, this is more like it, a nice loaf of bread.  I put the timer on for 35 minutes and went out to check the bread before removing the cover for the browning. Another 20 minutes and it was perfect.

And, just in time, too, because the rain had begun and solar cooking was over for the day.  This worked so well that I'm going to use this casserole dish for all my no-knead breads -- and, make them, I will, because they're delicious. The crust was crunchy and you can see the beautiful height and texture in the first picture. I hope this helps you decide on whether or not you're going to try this wonderful bread for yourself.

14 comments:

  1. It´s so important what kind of flour one uses! So I belive the difference is due to that. That bread looks so nice!

    My baking bread season is over for now and starts again when I start using my fire heated stove again in autumn, it gets so much tastier in that than in the electric one.
    Have a great day now!
    Christer.

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  2. Wow. That is beautiful. I always want to make fresh bread but I rarely take the time.

    There is nothing better than fresh warm bread. I'm glad it got done before the rain moved in though!

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  3. I love to cook and bake, but I have not really made bread yet. Something to try! Thank you for visiting Mama's Little Chick! You will see me around! I always look for new recipes!

    Mama Hen

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  4. My goal this summer is to lay off the bread. Looks good though!

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  5. That bread looks yummy! Thank gosh the sky cooperated with you! Thank you for stopping by my blog for the SITS potluck!

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  6. yummy I can taste it already! Oh and I like you new layout!

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  7. Christer - I believe you're right, it is the flour...this one was so much higher and lighter inside a great crunchy crust...

    Krista - I'm glad I beat the rain, too...it was so yummy...this is the best bread and so easy, it takes no time, at all...

    Mama Hen - Hello! And, welcome...start with this bread and then add what little herbs and spices you want to try...

    Lori - Well, when you get to fall and your first bread, this is the one, because there's no sugar, fats, or milk, so you can eat the whole loaf -- all by yourself!

    Debbi - Hey, Debbie! Thank you for stopping by...hope you'll come back, often...the sky is usually very cooperative...but, we've been having some weird weather, of late...

    Christina - It sure is good...thanks for the layout...I've been trying for something readable and a little different from the standard templates...wanting to stress mainstream...what do you think?...

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  8. Hey there SITSta! Thanks for visiting the Millennial Housewife. thought I'd pop in for a visit here....interesting reading over here. I will definitely follow!

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  9. Your bread looks so good, I even think I can smell it from here. You must have known the way to my heart is through good ole bread. Thanks for sharing the how-to do it instructions for those of us that need all the help we can get. Hugs !

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  10. What?! No knead bread?! I'll have to try it out...there's nothing better than warm, fresh baked bread :)

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