A lot of people think that baking pastry dough without an oven is impossible. However, there are various ways to circumvent or imitate the use of an oven. These methods can prove helpful whether you’re cooking outside and don’t have access to an oven or want to try something different.
This article will help to detail the different methods of making pastry without oven. We’ll see what these methods entail and how useful they are for baking pastry dough.
Baking Pastry Dough without an Oven
There are various ways to emulate an oven. The principle of most of these methods is to provide a good way to trap heat without making use of an oven. These methods will cut down on your electric bills.
Heating in a Ceramic Pot
One of the best substitutes for not using an oven involves heating in a ceramic pot. Ceramic conducts heat well, which allows it to provide even heat distribution like in an oven. This makes it a great alternative for making pastry dough.
Aside from ceramic being a good conductor of heat, it is also very sturdy. This makes it very useful if you bring it outside for camping. While a cheaper alternative is a cast iron pot, ceramic pots are not susceptible to rust. Ceramic pots are also easier to maintain and clean.
To perform this method, you can either use a ceramic pot or a cast iron pot. Follow the below steps:
- Get your ceramic or iron pot and make sure you have a lid. The lid has to close tightly onto the pot.
- Light a fire. If you’re outside, you can make use of your campfire or start a new one.
- Close the lid of your pot tightly. Now, place the pot over the fire. You can either hang it above the fire or make use of wire gauze to place the pot over the fire.
- This will cause the pot to preheat. It results in even heat distribution, and you should leave the pot like this for some time.
- Open the lid and place the pastry dough inside the pot. Quickly close the lid. Be very careful when doing this, and make sure you have heat resistant gloves on so you don’t burn your hands.
- After some time, open the lid and take the pastry dough out. Don’t open and close the lid multiple times as this will cause the heat to escape, and the pastry dough won’t be baked.
This is an easy alternative for baking without an oven. The only thing you might end up worrying about is if you have a small pot. It might be difficult to bake pastry dough in a small pot.
The earthen oven is a prototype oven of sorts. While there were older versions of an earthen oven, the modern ones are constructed using clay. A dome-like structure is made with a small gateway. Fire is lit inside, and a wooden slab or door is used to lock the gateway. This causes the heat to be trapped inside.
While it might sound odd to bake pastry dough in it, earthen ovens still see use. If you know how to, you can easily construct an earthen oven as they are quite effective. To bake pastries using this method, follow the steps below:
- You will need a foundation for your earthen oven. Generally, you will want to line some bricks in a circle. The size of the oven will depend on what you’re baking.
- Fill the floor of your brick circle with sand. This will act as insulation and make sure your pastry dough is properly baked.
- Line the top with fire bricks. Make sure there aren’t any gaps, and the bricks aren’t uneven.
- You will then need to construct the interior. This can be done using wet sand and building a dome with it on top of the fire bricks.
- Use a mixture of clay and sand to build a layer over the dome. Clay traps the heat, which is important to ensure the dough is baked properly.
- Leave it all to dry. After it has properly dried, cut a doorway into the dome, make it sufficiently sized so that you can light the fire inside.
- Light the fire inside the oven. This will preheat the oven. After preheating, you can place the pastry dough inside for baking.
The main difficulty of this method lies in constructing the earthen oven. If you have a friend helping you out, it’s much more manageable.
Pot over Gas Stove
This method does require a gas stove for it to work. However, you won’t need as much electricity or heat as you do when baking with an oven, so this method is still efficient. You will also need a suitable pot with a tight lid.
The method aims to fry the pastry dough lightly. So you’ll end up with lighter and fluffier pastries. To perform this method, follow the below steps:
- Uniformly smear the bottom of your pot with butter or vegetable oil.
- Turn the stove on and let the heat simmer for a bit.
- Place the pot on the stove and then put the pastry dough into it.
- Close the lid tightly. After some time, lightly lift the lid and flip the dough over to get it uniformly baked.
- When it is done baking, remove the pot carefully and take the pastry out.
It is one of the easier methods to perform. The resultant pastry dough also comes out nice and fluffy.
Solar ovens are a bit different from other ovens since they make use of solar panels. Since they make use of solar panels, you can only use these when the sun is shining. A solar oven is a box with a lid lined with aluminum foil. The foil reflects the sun-rays into the box, which proceeds to heat the pastry dough inside.
You can buy a portable solar oven. The other alternative is to construct a makeshift solar oven. You will need a pizza box, aluminum foil, clear plastic wrap, and black construction paper. Follow the steps below to make the solar oven:
- Line the bottom of the box with black construction paper.
- Align the walls with folded newspapers for insulation.
- Cut a lid on top of the pizza box and open it.
- Attach the foil to the lid and keep it open.
- On the hole created by cutting open the lid, place plastic wrap.
Afterward, simply put the pastry dough inside the box and leave it out in the sun. It may take a while, but you’ll have some nice baked pastry dough soon.
So it can be seen that baking pastry without oven is possible. These four methods are what we found to be the easiest methods, and they get the job done. Happy baking.