Baking Bread in an Old Wood-Burning Cookstove

Here’s how B. Touchstone Hardaway bakes whole wheat bread using an old cookstove.


| January/February 1971



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Learning to use an old cookstove is a skill that is worth the time for every cook.


PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

It can be a ticklish thing, this baking bread on a wood-burning range the first time. I have had many a failure and many successes. We eat the failures as well as the successes.

This is a basic whole wheat bread recipe I'd like to share with you:

2 1/2 cups milk, scalded
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
One pkg. active dried yeast, softened in 1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons cooking oil
6 to 8 cups whole wheat flour 

Blend milk, honey, salt and nutritional yeast. When this cools to lukewarm, add softened yeast, oil and three cups of the flour. Beat until bubbles rise to the surface. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that comes away clean from the sides of bowl. Turn dough onto floured surface and let rest 10 minutes, then knead until smooth and elastic. Place in oiled bowl, turning dough over several times to coat with oil. Cover. Let rise again.

Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Shape into balls and let stand for five minutes, then mold into loaves. Place in oiled bread pans. Let rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about an hour. Bake about an hour in moderately hot wood-burning oven.

Tips for Cooking in a Wood-Burning Stove

I always start my fire when I place loaves in bread pans for last rising, which takes about 30 or 40 minutes. This gives the fire time to get "moderately" hot.





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