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First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

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First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  neo111 on 31.03.12 18:26

I posted this before but it has vanished so I will try again.

Well, I thought I would dive in at the deep end and make some bread in my new halogen oven. I am not a cook normally, so this really is a leap into the dark.

So, I popped up the supermarket and bought some bread mix. Simple stuff. Just mix with 300 mls of tepid water (half a pint) to get the yeast in the mix started I guess and start to form into a ball once throughly mixed.

I loved this part. Getting my hands into the sticky mess and gradually working it into a non sticky ball.

Once the dough had rested for 5 mins' I then kneeded (It's nice to have some dough and be kneeded!) and stretched the dough for another 5 mins' before shaping it, placing it on a buttered non stick pan that came with the oven and covering with a damp cloth to rise for 40 mins.

I put the central heating on to aid the process because it's a cold day today, and covered the dough with a damp T-Towel.

That is as far as I have got so far. Never cooked anything in a halogen oven before and never baked bread in my life so this will go one of two ways.

Any bets.......?

The bread mix I used and I found in my local Co Op is called 'Wright's Mix Grain Bread Mix.'

I am thinking that I will let this cook halfway then cover the top for half the remaining time with some cooking foil so I don't burn the top or over brown it before it is done. I shall remove the cover for the last part of the cooking time to brown everything up. I am not sure if that is the right way to go about it, but it seems like a good idea to me, because this thing cooks from the top down. That much is obvious.

By the way. I got this oven from Maplins because it was on special offer at £30 and I thought why not? They have some more for that price if you live near a Maplins. Check their web site.

Its quite big. I have no idea how big though, as there is nothing on or in the packaging to tell me. Even so, I was able to get it home OK in a cab and it was not too heavy to carry. It came with a steam plate and frying pan plus two racks and some tongs to lift things in and out of the bowl with. It has a one hour timer and a tempreture setting up to 250 degrees Centigrade.

One thing that is a major worry for me is what happens when the halogen bulb blows? Is it easy to replace? Where do I get replacements from? How long should it last?

I may invest in a stand for the top and an extension ring because I can see me needing both and some You Tube research has shown me that is probably a good idea.

OK. Just got back from checking on the dough and it is rising like an old man on viagra. I am amazed at the size of it now. I shall make a cup of tea, drink that and then start the thing cooking.

Gulp.

If this works out OK I am going to start experimenting with bread baking using these easy mix packets and I already have some ideas. I want to make all kinds of bread though and hope to get away from the easy mix stuff eventually and start to make my own mixes. I just love the smell of freshly baked bread and the thought of eating it hot with loads of butter. Hmmm!

Tonight though I am going to cook some steak and veg in the halogen cooker and I am looking forwards to that.

OK. It's now 4:08pm and time to start cooking. I shall report back when it is all done. Wish me luck guys and gals......


OK. I pre heated the halogen oven for ten mins' at a tempreture of 270c before putting in the dough. The instructions on the packet say to cook for 30 mins at 230c or 210c in a fan assisted oven. I have heard that these halogen ovens cook faster than other types so I am a bit stuck to know what timings and heat to use. I settled on 20 mins at 225c and I am keeping a close watch on it. The coarse grains in this type of bread make the dough look like a block of concrete under the light in the cooker. I hope that is not a sign of things to come!

10 mins to go and the bread is browning nicely. It smells wonderful. I shall give it a few more mins' and then cover the top with foil to prevent it burning during the rest of the cooking process.
So far, so good. Fingers crossed.

First problem encountered: The tin foil keeps getting sucked upwards off the loaf by the fan. I had to tuck the ends under the loaf slightly to keep it in place. No big deal. Just unexpected. I added two mins' to the timer to allow for the time I took cutting and placing the foil and then messing around with it to get it to stay in place.

Cooking time over. Took out the loaf and tapped the bottom to see if it sounded hollow as the instructions on the packet said it should. It did not; it felt soft and sounded soggy, so I have turned it over and replaced it in the oven for another five mins.'

Gulp again!

Having turned the loaf and cooked it for another five mins' the hollow sound has now appeared and so I have removed it from the cooker and set it on a wire rack to cool.

The 30 mins' timing on the packet seems to be right for this bread so no time savings there. Because of the top down cooking and despite the hype that claims the fan evenly distributes the heat around the bowl, the fact is that in this case, that is not true. The bottom of the loaf was very soft. However, it was standing on a buttered pan and not a wire rack, so the heat was always going to have problems getting under the loaf. A fact I shall remember when using the pan in future. Meat etc., cooked on the pan will need to be turned to get cooked evenly.

The bread has been cooling for five mins now. It's 5:00pm and time for a hot bread tasting test. Back in a moment.

OH WOW!

It's great!

Yummy.

It is only a small loaf so not enough to feed a family, but enough for two. The outside crust is crunchy as I bite through the large grains and the centre is pleasantly soft but firm. The butter melts its way into the bread making it taste wonderful all the way through. It kind of tastes the way a hay barn smells if you know what I mean and that is not a bad thing. It's like biting into the country side. The colour is a sandy brown on the outside crust and a more grey/brown inside.

So this is what our ancestors ate before the big bread manufacturers appeared and started selling us their bleached white sliced rubbish. I wish you could taste this for yourself. If, like me, you have never made your own bread, give it a go. It is so satisfying and delicious and with pre mix packs, easy.

Well, I am plesantly content. My first ever go at bread making and my first time ever using the new halogen oven and both were a big success. I shall now settle down with my book and munch my way slowly through my efforts. Perhaps with some nice honey. OK. So it was an easy bread to make because I only had to add water and heat, but I still feel like a master baker (I said, 'baker' madam!) because I have never done this before and it worked out. It's a good feeling and gives me confidence to try more complex stuff later.

All in all I am pleased but, nagging at the back of my mind is still the issue of the halogen bulb and what I am going to do when it finally blows. For that reason I am not going to dump my old cooker yet. I would not want to be halfway though cooking dinner for friends when the lamp blew and not have a replacement ready or any way of knowing how to replace it. An issue that the over hyped Ads on You Tube duck, I notice. As long as that spectre remains it will be hard to fully enjoy the new cooker, but for now, I am very pleased with this new toy.

Hope you enjoyed this little journey into a new way of cooking. I shall post more as I get more experienced.

neo111

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  Admin on 31.03.12 21:08

Thank you for this wonderful post George or should I say “blog post” Laughing

and what a great start. It is not easy to bake bread in the halogen oven but you've done it on your first attempt clap


The Maplin halogen oven is a large one - 12 Litre size, 1300w. After your 12 month warranty if the bulb goes, you can replace it if you find one that is compatible.

Amazon.co.uk have a few - see here REPLACEMENT BULBS


thank you

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  junie on 01.04.12 13:20

Thank you George - I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post agree

I'm glad your bread was such a success. My mouth is watering at your vivid description.

I tend to use a temperature around 10-20C lower than the suggested fan oven temperatures. It doesn't save a lot on cooking times but tends to let the food cook through without over-browning.

You will get on better using the top rack and an extender ring, the hot air circulates more easily.

I'm sure you are well on your way to being a halogenius. Chef

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  ozziejude on 01.04.12 20:10

Hi George,
Loved your post.
I use the bread mixes also, I found a bread loaf tin that fits the HO and find the metal tin gives you more heat around the bread and turns out nice crispy.
I agree with Junie an extender ring makes a difference.
I got another top rack and my husband cut it down to 5cm in height, I use that the extender ring and cook my bread at 200c for 30mins, do not have to worry about burning.
I use the cut down rack more then the lower rack for nearly everything.
Happy Halogening, OzzieJude

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  neo111 on 01.04.12 23:03

Hey everyone, thank you so much for your kind words, advice and info. Do you think this style of posting is right for this site? I did wonder because it is blog-like. I wanted to make it interesting and give some info too. Too much, or OK?

neo111

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  Admin on 02.04.12 14:05

Your post is fine George. We have all enjoyed reading it.

cool

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Replacement Elements

Post  Halo Genie on 04.04.12 18:32

Hi George

According to one American manufacturer quartz halogen elements can have a life expectancy of around 5,000 hours. Since these may be getting some rough treatment, as well as contact with steam, fat etc., that figure could be a long way out. Best to let it cool off a bit before lifting the lid, and handle it gently. Thermal shock is not such a problem.

New elements are easy to fit. They are available on this site, eBay and Amazon to name a few: about £10.

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  wimplebum on 25.08.12 13:29

Thanks guys. I have to make my own bread because I put slightly under half a level teaspoon of chilli powder in because this helps my arthritis no end. Because I have a major health problem sometimes cooking is hard and my combo microwave/convection is a cheat because it uses microwave that doesnt go through metal of course. I have to get a new cooker but until that arrives I will see what happens with the suggestions. I love making my bread. My favourite is to put a teaspoon of fennel and a teaspoon of celery seed in (dont give to anyone with epilepsy or it will trigger seizures really fast).

I'll try what you suggest OzzieJude as that looks to be so simple. I have 2 loaf tins and make enough dough to make 2 loaves Smile I mix it all in the breadmaker but the shape in that is awful so see what happens.

Thanks again guys

Chef

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  ozziejude on 25.08.12 21:50

Hi John,
I must tell my friend about the chilli she suffers so much from arthritis.
I did not know about fennel or celery seed causing seizures, is it just the seeds or would it be fennel and celery if you eat them.
Take Care
Ozziejude

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  cooka on 28.08.12 8:04

Hi George from Sth Oz

I have just made and baked a loaf of bread from scratch and cooked in my normal oven. Never considered using the HO for cooking bread .. proving perhaps, with a cup of hot water, no heat. After all that mixing, kneading, resting, etc. would be rather wary of trying the HO, but your post has given me heart! Perhaps I will try a premix, not so labour intensive. I will try and post results when I try.

alien


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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  Rosie55 on 23.05.13 13:49

Thanks George! Finding your post inspired me to bake my 1st loaf in Hal today Very Happy So glad I did as it turned out great! I did cheat though and use a plain white, cheap bread mix...

There's a pic of it on my Facebook page! Wink
Rosie

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turning the loaf

Post  HALPETE on 26.01.14 10:15

In a conventional oven I place the loaf on the 3rd shelf and bake for30-40 mins at 180c.
When tipped out the whole loaf has the hollow sound and is ok.
I have done one in the HO and when tipped out the only part that was ok was the top.
I  replaced in turn for each side and bottom and when done had taken about 1 hour.!
What position should this loaf tin(2llb) be,should I use the extender ,and what time and temperature did you use.
I used the HO to do the rise set temp between off and min.
Thanks

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  Admin on 27.01.14 20:42

Hi Pete.
George hasn't been here for a while. Not sure you will get a reply from him. However this post may be useful to you [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

Post  HALPETE on 28.01.14 8:02

Thanks for the info re cake baking in the HO. I will subsitute the word cake with Bread and see what happens.

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Re: First Time Ever Baking Bread And Using The HO

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