What better way to celebrate the summer solstice (June 21st) than by baking a loaf of bread in a solar oven?
A sun oven is actually quite simple – a box surrounded by mirrors to reflect the sun’s rays. You can easily make your own one too. The sun oven we have at the Green Ninja lab is quite nice – insulated with nice mirrors to reflect the sunlight into a black box. Amazingly the temperature easily gets over 300F on a sunny day – no fossil fuels required!
I decided to bake a simple organic whole-wheat loaf with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. After the mixing and kneading stages, I let the bread rise in a warm spot outside. Around 11:30 am, the sun was getting high, and so the solar oven was moved toward the sun to begin preheating. Within 20 minutes, the temperature was around 320 degrees F. By this time too, the bread had doubled in size and was ready to be placed into the oven.
One hour later the bread had turned golden, and it was cooked.
And now for the fun part…the taste test. The bread had quite a soft crust, with a stretchy texture and a beautiful yeast aroma.
This bread was truly delicious! Perhaps I could taste the sun’s rays since this bread was baked without any external energy. The next part was putting my favorite condiment – peanut butter & jelly – on top! Do you feel hungry?
So, how did you celebrate the summer solstice?