Easter is nearly upon us and spring has already sprung with us here at cheapoutdoorovens HQ. We've been outside clearing up many wintry quick cooking dashes between the rain and windy conditions around our oven and outdoor kitchen. All those times cooking in the fading light of winter and not being so tidy with our ashes really was beginning to show in the brighter days of spring! We've tidied the boarders and cleared the dead woody parts of hardy herbs that have helped protect them from the snow and windy conditions.
Whether you celebrate Easter religiously or not, like Christmas, it normally involves catering for family and friends. We will have our outdoor oven fired up and chugging away for a feast hailing from Portugal, England, Greece and further afield. The usual day starts with pizzas to keep the kids happy and pad out the wine followed by a spit roast and finishing with delicious cakes from Portugal and England to keep our multicultural family happy.
If you haven’t tried baking cakes in your oven yet, give it a go! By the time Easter comes you'll have mastered the baking technique. It's not as hard as you think and the light smokiness the oven will introduce to your puds is unique to what an outdoor oven can deliver opposed to a conventional oven. Below are a few points for the first time baker to consider.
Before baking consider what you want to bake in. Using a metal tin will conduct the heat considerably quicker than a terracotta dish, just because of the thickness of the terracotta. A deep lasagne dish is good if you are catering for a larger number of people ... so what if the recipe says round dish and yours is rectangle!
Once you have fired up your oven and it has reached its optimum temperature of around 450°C, scatter some of the embers across the floor of the oven. This will ensure the heat will penetrate the oven floor creating a more temperature across the oven.
When your fire has lost its flames to glowing embers, the oven will have cooled to an ideal baking temperature. Use your thermometer to check the temperature of the oven floor is between 180-200°C before gently pushing the embers to one side of your oven.
As you bake, your oven temperature will slowly drop off. Keep turning your tray or dishes to ensure an even bake. When using conventional oven recipes, if it says say 1 hour baking, knock approximately 20 minutes off.
For some great Easter recipe ideas, have a look here: