Last month we challenged our readers to do some powerless cooking. Summer is a great time to practice your powerless cooking skills. A couple weeks ago it was seriously hot around here (it still is actually). We were out of bread in the house and I couldn’t face turning on the oven. I decided to pull out my Sun Oven and skip the heat in the house. Half way through making the bread I decided to take a loaf of the dough and make cinnamon rolls in the oven. Why not? Well they turned out great and it’s probably something I’ll be doing again. My regular oven has been kind of quirky lately and dries things out. The Sun Oven however made these rolls turn out amazing! So moist and delicious.
Before starting your dough get your Sun Oven out in the sun and pre-heating. It won’t matter if it keeps heating for longer than it needs because the energy you are using is free and plentiful. If you are lining your Sun Oven up correctly your oven should get to 350 degrees within 20-30 minutes.
For the dough I use my regular bread recipe. Since this recipe makes 6 loaves I usually make a couple pizzas, some bread, and this time some cinnamon rolls.
Emilie’s Whole Wheat Bread
(From Deals to Meals blog, directions are modified for Julie’s methods)
5 c. hot water (120-130 F)
2 T. salt
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey or 1 c. sugar (we like honey the best!)
2 1/2 T. bottled lemon juice
5 c. whole wheat flour
Mix together the first three ingredients in your mixer with a dough hook (we both use and love our Bosch for this). Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes (this is called sponging). Add salt, oil, honey or sugar, and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes very soft dough.
Spray counter with pam and take dough out of the bowl. Do NOT flour your counter, this will add dryness you don’t want in the bread. You basically want your dough to feel a “little” sticky. Separate dough into bread pans, and let rise until double in size. For conventional ovens bake at 350 for 22-30 mins or until browned. This depends on your oven, just watch it a little and cover with foil if it looks like it’s getting brown too fast.
Cinnamon Roll Modification
This recipe will make 6 loaves of bread. Take about 1/6 of the dough to make a medium size pan of cinnamon rolls.
Cinnamon Roll Filling
1 c. packed brown sugar
1-2 T. cinnamon
1/3 c. butter
Cream ingredients together and spread over rolled out dough.
After you have the butter and sugar rolled out on dough, roll dough into a ball. A trick to getting evenly cut (not smashed rolls) is to use dental floss to cut the rolls. Take a long piece of floss and place it under the dough. Pull the floss up and cross it to make the cut.
Place in Sun Oven and cook for 30-40 mins if the oven is at 340 degrees or above. If your oven isn’t getting that hot (due to time of day or cloudiness) let them cook a little longer. The beauty of cooking them in the Sun Oven is that they won’t burn and they stay moist!
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder