Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Baking in the Cookstove

Ok, question...
I can foil-top my pies...I can flip my biscuits upside-down...but my yeast bread...what can I do?

They simply over-brown. The dogs and chickens don't mind. Honestly, the family isn't whining either. We can cut the cajun crust off...

But they aren't pretty at all :o( In case you didn't know yet, I'm very Type A. I'm probably a borderline Type A sort of Type A person. It's just how I'm wired. Nothing to do about that now.

But this weekend, and this coming week, being bake-element deficient in the other range, and being so blasted ice-chilled here, I'm using the cookstove. And we are very much a starch family here. We need bread, plain and simple.

Ok...I realize the type cookstove we have doesn't lend itself well to finite baking adjustments, but there has to be a way to control the browning a bit more. I've opened the damper more to allow less heat around the oven box. I've tented my pies with foil to allow the underside to bake well, then uncovered to brown the top. I've baked incredibly tall and fluffy biscuits (oh you can't imagine how much better they are!!y and had to flop them upside-down to bake the bottoms. My danish did the same thing...great top, pale-as-cream underside that was a bit under-cooked.

But loaf bread. Obviously I'm not going to flip them upside down to bake the in-the-pan portion.

What basic little knowledge am I missing here? It has to be simple, I just know it. Anyone? Thoughts? Help?

5 comments:

LizBeth said...

I love to bake bread, but I'm not horribly scientific about it. The only things I know for sure that cause over-browning on top are milk and/or extra sugar (especially molasses and honey). When you figure out how to make a woodstove cook evenly, let us all in on it. I have heard of people foiling the top of bread. You might need to use dark pans.

As for Type A, I highly recommend "plod." Every time I feel my teeth starting to clinch, I take a deep breath and let it out slowly, all the while thinking "plod." Or take a lapdog break. That is soothing. Dogs beat Zoloft all to thunder.

Good luck, Liz

Jackie said...

Hi Deanna!
Does your cookstove have runners for shelves in the oven?
My Rayburn comes with a solid metal shelf, which you put *above* when you don't want to over brown.
You could maybe rig one up, somehow, it works in my oven if you use a plain baking sheet too, it rests on the runners.
hth and that you are all fine and well, we are in the grip of a big freeze (well for england, anyhow)
love
Jackie
x

Anonymous said...

You are such a wonderful woman and your cookstove is beautiful. What wonderful meals must come forth from it.

Could you try tenting the top of your bread like you would a turkey? I have a gas oven and sometimes the same thing happens to me. If it works with your pies it might just work with your bread.

Carie said...

I have absolutely NO experience with wood cookstoves and would probably burn everything I tried to cook in it......however, I was thinking that if flipping something over was working to bake it evenly could you make your bread loaves without pans? Kinda an artisian loaf? I don't know if it would work or not....just my mind turning. FWIF, it would bother me too! Good luck :)
Blessings,
Carie

Jackie said...

oh and you know, you can flip bread in pans too, you tip it out when it's three parts baked and rest its round little top down into its square little pan while its bottom gets brown lol.
I have been known to do that, when things got a little overheated :D

Jer.6:16

Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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