Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baking Bread on the BBQ

I know this will amuse my southern readers, but it is really hot here. By hot I mean 32 degrees celsius (90 F) and humid. We have no air conditioning, so it got pretty stuffy and hot inside. By keeping the windows shut we were able to keep the house at a balmy 26 degrees. That meant bread baking was out of the question even though we were down to our last slice. Then I thought, why can't I just bake it on the BBQ? Why not, indeed. It worked splendidly.

First, I removed the grill and placed a cast iron pan underneath for steam.
I then replaced the grill and put a clay dish on top to raise the baking stone off the grill a bit. This way the stone does not get too hot and burns the bottom of the bread before the loaf is done. You could also use metal cans or something else fireproof. Just make sure not to raise the stone too much--you need room for the bread to rise.
On top of the dish went the baking stone and a thermometer to get an accurate idea of the temp.
I made Reinhart's Italian Bread recipe then preheated the BBQ for about 15 mins to get the stone hot and to make sure I had a consistent temp around 450 degrees. I put the loaves on the stone and poured a cup of hot water into the pan below. I did not bother with spritzing the inside with water 3 times as I do with oven baking since I figured I would lose too much heat. Instead, I baked at 450 for 10 mins, rotated the loaves, then baked for another 12(ish). I kept an eye on the temp but tried not to fiddle too much (or lift the lid too much). The end result was perfect.

15 comments:

tomtenmama said...

How Cool! I wish I could do that! I live up here in alaska and I don't think the grill would get warm enough even! Maybe I just need a new grill. Great ideas. I am always so impressed with your blog. Thank you for the inspiration!

kirsten said...

Brilliant!

Cara Sheppard said...

Yum! I've been making bread directly on the grill lately using this recipe: http://www.thedinnerfiles.com/2010/06/11/grill-bread/ I veganize the recipe by using unflavoured, unsweetened almond milk, and I've been brushing it with garlic-infused olive oil just for a little extra flavour. It's always a huge hit in our house!

Marisa said...

Great idea to do bread on the BBQ. In South Africa we have a thing called roosterkoek (griddle cake - but it's not a cake, it's bread) that we also bake on the BBQ. We put the dough directly onto the grill, so it gets those characteristic grill marks and the smoky flavour of the bbq - it's really really good.

veganola said...

You're a genius! :)

stephanie said...

I tried this with muffins not long ago, and it was not wildly successful. I burned the bottom of the muffins quite a bit. I suspected that raising the stone would help, but I also notice that your stone is signficantly thicker than mine. I can't get a good measurement from the pictures. How thick do I really need?
Thanks!!

Bianca said...

Genius! Of course, I don't own a proper grill so I can't try it. But it sounds like a great idea. In Memphis, temps have been in the mid to upper 90s, but it's the humidity that makes it feel like 100-plus. I actually love the heat though! I'm still using my oven in this heat. :-)

Marja said...

That is very cool. I am impressed!

cage said...

As a fellow Ontario(ian?) reader who loves to bake bread, but can't do anything because of the weather, you are a hero.

Because I love to can, I wonder if any of that can be done on the grill. Ideas, ideas.

Amy and Jeff said...

Wow, this is pretty incredible. I know I avoid baking breads in the summertime, but now I know that I don't have to! Just do it on the grill. :)

Nicole said...

This is awesome! I've got to try it out. The bread looks like it came out beautiful.

Veg-a-Nut said...

Brilliant! You are amazing. I never would have thought!!

Eric said...

those loaves look amazing...

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christy said...

We had the same problem yesterday at our house... but last fall we built a cob oven in our back yard and baked bread in it for the first time last night. It was so amazing!!! It cranked out an impressive amount of heat and maintained the temperature for HOURS. We could have baked our whole neighborhood's bread. Next time we are gonna make some calls and round up some more bakers. I am going to try this grill idea of yours sometime soon too...