So, I just had my first experience, ever, really baking...like, really baking: kneading out dough, 'proofing', 'knocking-back,' and all of these other terms I had to Google. My newly built Earthen Oven in my backyard has sparked a sudden interest in learning to bake artisan breads and other goodies. So far, we've cooked in our oven using a live fire (like with the pizza) or hot coals burning and 'sizzling' food. In order to bake artisan breads, you cook in your Earthen Oven in a slightly different manner which allows you to bake over a long period of time. I decided to start with 3 loaves of bread and then used the (10 hours) of remaining retained heat to cook dinner which consisted of curried vegetables and rice. I then followed this up with a pot of beans to slow-cook over night, much to my surprise and amazement.....the Earthen Oven strikes again with perfectly cooked, non-mushy beans! I removed these the next morning. I'd like to share my experiences baking breads and other delicious foods in my earth oven as I experiment and eat. I'll post a few of my recipes along the way too!
Fresh Baked Hearth Bread
|dough after kneading|
|letting dough rise|
|dough ready to go into oven|
|heating up oven|
|hot coals spread across hearth floor|
|first peek at the bread!|
|letting bread cool|
|hot damn those are some golden buns!|
Hearth Bread Recipe
3 1/3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/3 cups water
1 teaspoon honey
Mix flours, salt, and yeast in large bowl.
Stir in water and honey.
Knead dough for 8-10 min.
Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit in warm place until dough doubles in size. Place dough on floured surface and gently flatten dough. Shape into round ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size. Place dough on baker's peel (floured) and slice 'X' into top of loaf. Once oven is ready, transfer dough into oven, close door, and wait 20-30 min, or until golden brown. Rotate 180 once half way through cooking. Spraying dough with water prior to inserting in oven may increase steam production.
Earthen Oven Veggies, Rice & Beans...Oh My!
|slow-cooked beans overnight|
Unlike my baking recipes, when I cook, I measure nothing. Here's my recipe for curried vegetables:
Earthen Oven Curried Vegetables
1/2 sweet potato sliced
1 small onion sliced
4 cloves of garlic minced
3 tablespoons of ghee (indian clarified butter)
1 bunch of kale chopped
2 dried red peppers chopped
1 tablespoon of red curry paste
a pinch of sea salt
a few large shakes of curry powder
a dollop of honey
Combine all ingredients in a cast-iron pan except for the kale. Mix.
Place in oven and close door.
Stir after approximately 15 min.
Add kale. Cook for another 10 min. or until veggies look tender and done.Serve over coconut milk rice.