With the weather battering the house recently and there being little prospect of making it into the garden to get any jobs done, what else could be better than making some fresh, wood-fired bread in the oven of our Little Range Cook Stove!? A perfect excuse to experience the joy of preparing some fuel for your tiny stove with your trusty little axe, before lighting a nice warm fire and combining some simple ingredients to conjure the magically evocative aroma, and taste, of freshly baked bread!
- 500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour
- 15g/½oz crushed sea salt
- 55ml/2fl oz extra virgin olive oil
- 20g/¾oz dried yeast
- 275ml/9fl oz water and one clove of crushed garlic
- 10 turns of a quality black pepper mill
- 170g/6oz black Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 55g/2oz sun-dried tomatoes, from your garden if possible
- Mix all of the ingredients (apart from the olives and tomatoes) in a large bowl. Take care not to put the yeast in direct contact with the salt when they are first added to the bowl!
- Knead well with your hands and knuckles until the dough is elastic, smooth, and shiny. Cover with a piece of cling film and leave to rise for one hour.
- Divide the dough into two, add half of the olives and sun-dried tomatoes to each dough.
- Mould both the doughs into roughly round shapes and press down firmly. Sprinkle white flour lightly over the top and mark them with a cross.
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper (silicone paper) and prove for one hour in a warm place.
- Bake at mid orange on the Little Range’s oven thermometer (220C/425F/Gas 7) for 35 minutes until golden-brown. You may need to rotate the bread 180 degrees halfway through, as the oven temperature on the right hand side is slightly higher due to it being located next to the firebox.
- Remove your freshly baked bread from the oven and leave it to cool on a wire rack!
Before you can do any baking in the oven of your little wood burner, you’ll need to have prepped the stove and brought the oven up to baking temperature (the orange section on the Range’s thermometer). To do this, take a small axe and make a small pile of kindling wood. Combine the kindling with 2 wood wool firelighters and place it in the middle of your stove’s firebox.
Next, you can then open the bottom door and light the fire, leaving the top door pushed to but not fully closed. After about 30 secs, close the top and bottom door, leaving the air controls fully open. If you start the fire nice and small then this will quickly generate heat in the flue pipe, which will initiate the draw. On the other hand, overloading the fire will produce smoke but little heat, and the draw will be slower to start.
Once the kindling is burning well, you can start to add a few small logs, building up the size of the fire in stages. For best results we recommend that you use good dry hardwood logs, such as ash, beech or oak. We have found that combining the pressed sawdust eco-logs along with some dry wood logs will give you the best results, and it will produce higher and much more consistent oven temperatures!