Do any of you have much experience with solar baking? Since it's so hot here in Baltimore today I figured I would finally try it! Trying to bake a loaf of bread right now... I'll check on it at 3 p.m. and see how it looks.
I parked my truck in the most open, sunny spot of the parking lot this morning and let the pan pre-heat from 9 to 11:30. Then I dropped the dough into the oiled roasting pan and closed it back up. Around 1:30 I moved the oven 180 degrees so that it's still getting the full rays of the sun. There are intermittent clouds today even though it's very hot, so I'm not sure if it's going to work, but we'll see!
I'm also a little worried since I forgot the clear plastic that goes over the pan to hold in the heat, but hopefully the black plastic liner of my truck will help keep the temperature raised. Also, I probably could have figured out a better parabola for my windshield reflector to maximize the heat a little more.
Not sure if bread was the best first experiment since bread really does better at super high temperatures to get that nice crust, but I'm curious to see what the results are in any case.
Maybe a better first experiment would have been dehydrating some tomatoes or peaches... perhaps I'll try that tomorrow!
Anyway, here's the dough when I first put it in at 11:30 a.m....
We'll see how it turns out!
It would be even more awesome to do this experiment in the big basket on my bike for the ultimate renewable energy machine! I thought about it this a.m. but biking to work with a big bowl of dough, windshield reflector, and huge roasting pan was a little too much to figure out last minute. Maybe next time!
The original blog post, which also contains a link to the recent Kojo Nnamdi show about an American diplomat's experience spreading the word about solar cooking in Afghanistan, is located here: http://www.baltimorediy.org/2011/07/its-scorching-out-lets-solar-ba...