Meeting a new oven is like meeting a new partner. You don't know their personality. They can surprise, amaze and disappoint you. You are about to enter into the unknown and anything can happen.
Oven's of course are not human. But I do wonder if they have a little personality sitting inside just waiting to burst it's way into your baking. Yesterday we encountered our new kitchens' oven demons for the first time.
We made fifty bread rolls sitting waiting patiently to be cooked. Over the last few hours they have been kneaded into submission, proofed, prodded and rounded. They are now waiting for their final encounter - a hot blast in the oven.
We found some lovely big trays left by previous occupants; perfect size for the larger of our two ovens, or so we thought. Oven heated, water bath sorted, we fling open the doors and throw our trays in as fast as possible. "Shut the doors", I shriek. But we cannot shut the doors as the trays are too big for the oven. "Take them out", I cry.
Okay, so not disaster. We transfer to smaller trays, let the oven reheat again and go for gold. Take two. Trays in, so far so good. Ten minutes pass and I peer in expectantly. Peering back are bread rolls paler than my freckled face.
Instead of feeling a rush of hot air I am met with a gentle autumn breeze. The pilot has gone out. The oven is a 100C instead of 220C. We frantically relight the pilot and try again. We leave the rolls in as we are worried they will deflate like balloons. By some miracle after fifteen or twenty minutes they look okay.
Take three. Tray number two. Same thing happens. We dash the rolls over to our smaller oven which is electric and powerful. We end up with flat dark brown discs as we have had to transfer to even smaller trays in the oven spring stage of cooking.
Take three and we get our break. The pilots stay on and we get two trays that cook okay. Not my finest work or website worthy but they are okay.
The oven demons did not defeat me. Today.
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