I mixed up the French Bread dough first, early this morning so that it would have time to rise and plenty of hours to cook. Baked in a Sun Oven or other commercial oven, a loaf of bread can be finished in as little as two hours. But in my simple camp oven, baking requires 3-5 hours.
Start with a basic French Bread recipe. I used the recipe on this page, adding a small egg to the liquid. The egg helps the bread to hold it's shape and to brown, which can be challenging in solar cooking. Adding milk, sugar or honey to bread recipes also helps with browning.
After the first rise, place the dough in a greased loaf pan, preferably a black pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the dough, and cover the pan with a clear loaf pan. Covering the dough helps with glazing so that you end up with a nice golden crust. If you don't have a clear glass pan, you could cover the loaf with the dome of a clear cake safe or tie it into an oven bag.
Place the pan on a rack in your solar oven, and keep an eye on the thermometer every half hour, or so.
When the interior temperature of the loaf is 180 degrees Fahrenheit, it's ready! If you have added eggs or milk, however, let the temperature rise to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the loaf from the oven and take the cover off. Allow the loaf to cool for 15 minutes, remove the loaf from the pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
While the bread is rising, place your oven in the sun so that it can heat up and prepare your pot roast. I prefer to cook a chuck roast for solar recipes, but top of bottom round work well, also..
First, place a half cup of flour in a zipper bag and add spices of your choice. I add a teaspoon of cardamom, a few shakes of salt and pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning salt. But you can be creative and add your own favorites.
Place the raw roast in the bag and shake it up to coat the meat with the flour mixture. Remove the meat from the bag, and place it in an oiled sautee pan. Brown the meat well on all sides.
As the meat browns, assemble your veggies in the bottom of a black pot or roaster. I add potatoes, carrots and onions. You can add your own favorites.
Lay the seared meat on top of the veggies, cover with a lid, and place the pot on a rack in the preheated solar oven.
These are a family favorite dessert, and they are so easy to make! Start with any tart apple, such as Granny Smith. Slice the apples in the middle, leaving a top half and a bottom half. Typically, apples are sliced from tip to bottom, but we want them to stand up like little cups in the pan, so slice them straight through the middle. Remove the stem, flower remnants, and core.
Stand the apples,, cut side up, in a dark roasting pan or pot, and squeeze lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar and allspice. Place a pat of butter in the center. If you happen to have cinnamon imperials, sprinkle a few on top for color and flavor.
Place a lid on the pot, and put the pot in an oven bag. Close the bag and place in your solar oven. Apples will take 3-5 hours to bake, and are ready when you can cut them with a fork.
To learn more about solar cooking, go here.