Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cranberry orange bread in the sun oven

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, just it was all weekend, and I finally remembered to use the sun oven. Twice! First I made cranberry orange bread:
It looked beautiful when I took it out. Then it collapsed. And, as I feared, when I ate it this morning I discovered it wasn't fully cooked. I knew it should have taken 1.5-2 hours, but the toothpick came out clean after just an hour and there wasn't a soggy spot in the middle like I've seen before. So I trusted it. But it wasn't really done. Luckily, even gooey bread is still good to eat!

This recipe is from a generic fruit/veg bread recipe for the bread machine. It's the one thing I make ALL the time in the bread machine. It just seems easier and faster, and uses less electricity than oven. Of course, even less with the sun oven, but I can only use that on clear sunny days, usually only in May-Oct here in Maine (same in WI), and typically only on the weekend since I work during the day. The recipe works just as well in either oven.

Fruit/Veggie Bread
2 eggs
3/4-1c sugar
1/2 oil OR 1/4 c applesauce + 1/4 c oil
1.5 cups flour (up to half whole wheat, or ww pastry)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Banana bread: 2 or so mashed bananas, 1 tsp cinnamon. 1 tsp vanilla
Zucchini bread: 1 c grated zucchini, 1-2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla
Pumpkin bread: 1 c pumpkin puree, 1/2 c raisins, 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp vanilla
Cranberry: 1 c cranberries (I like to cut them in half if large ones), 1-2 Tbs orange zest, 1 tsp vanilla
Rhubarb: 1 c chopped rhubarb, 1-2 tsp cinnamon
You get the picture, use whatever YOU like!We like cinnamon and vanilla ;-)

In bread machine, just add everything and use the Cake cycle. For the oven, grease your pan (or use a non-stick pan like the one I have for the sun oven). Put in the eggs and beat. Mix in sugar, then a'sauce and oil. Put in dry ingredients (sift if you must) including spices, then vanilla, then veg/fruit. Bake at 350 for about an hour. For the sun oven, bake for 1-2 hours, covered for at least an hour.

Chopped nuts may also be added. I also play with the spices, adding some nutmeg, allspice, ginger, etc., when I think of it. The fruit/veg amounts are flexible. I usually use zucchini and pumpkin that I've dehydrated, so I just put what I think looks like enough in a bowl, add what looks like enough water, and let it sit overnight (when I think of it in advance, otherwise, use almost hot water). I rarely measure carefully. Can also throw in leftover oatmeal. Or uncooked oatmeal--which works very nicely but I tend to forget it as well. This is the one recipe I've memorized, but I didn't originally put in oatmeal, so it's not in the memory bank (yet).

I've rarely gotten the perfect fruit bread look out of this recipe, but I don't really care. I think it's the bread machine, whole wheat flour, not caring about exact measurement of the fruit, and throwing in things like oatmeal. But it still tastes great.

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