Hurricane Irene Bread! (Warning: Long)
Who knew that you could cook bread at almost 700F + fiery hot coals!
We live in RI and Irene was headed our way. So I made bread dough Sat. night, intending to bake it first thing Sunday morning. The best laid plans ....
Woke up about 5:45 to no electricity but well risen dough -- and, of course, no way to retard it. WFO to the rescue. About the time the oven cleared, we suddenly got electricity back. Joy! So I formed the loaves, put them in pans and turned on the indoor oven. Also, semi-closed the door on the WFO to slow down the burn so we'd have it for later.
Fifteen minutes later we lost electricity again (this time for 30+ hours; just didn't know then how long it would be). When the bread was ready, the indoor oven had cooled to 300F. Panic! Back out to the WFO. Temp just under 700. The rain was really coming down, so I just pushed the coals to the back and sides and dashed back inside.
Put three loaves on a half-sheet pan to provide some bottom insulation and a plastic cover over the top to protect against the rain. A mad dash out to the oven and shoved the pan inside (sans cover). The shove was a little harsh, and the loaves deflated a bit. Loosely closed the door to keep the rain out and went back inside to get loaf #4 and repeat the process. Much to my delight and surprise, there was a little oven spring. Second WFO rescue!
In 5 minutes, back out with tin foil to protect the tops. The outside loaves already were black on the edges. Kept checking at 5 minute intervals to switch pans front to back. I'm getting drenched. Must think about constructing a shelter over the oven!
Here are the finished loaves cooling on racks inside. A little lopsided, but not too bad given the way they were treated when proofed. When we sliced into one, it was pretty darn good! A bit smoky, but since it's whole grain bread, that wasn't too objectionable.
Later that morning we boiled water for coffee and tea (the oven was about 500F at that point). For dinner we heated up left over pot roast and veggies. We'd have roasted marshmallows if the rain had ceased.
We keep saying we need to get a generator for times like this (especially since we are on a well and have no water when we lose power). But we clearly don't need the indoor oven!
Re: Hurricane Irene Bread! (Warning: Long)
That is a great story. I wonder if others have any "How my oven saved the day" stories.
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