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Old 10-14-2020, 10:29 PM   #1
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1984 31' Excella
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Baking bread in Airstream oven?

Hi everyone! We're in the process of upgrading some major appliances that came with our Airstream in preparation for full-time RVing.
I regularly bake sourdough in my home oven and would love to continue with that on the road. What oven/range combination would you recommend for that? Or is it just not possible with the RV-ovens and I should purchase something separate? Also, what range has the most powerful burners? The ones we got right now take forever to boil anything 😩

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:50 PM   #2
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You failed to mention what year your Airstream is, or the brand of your current oven. Generally with a 3 burner stove, the front burner has high BTU's and the other two are fine for simmering stuff. Some propane ovens do a decent job.and others are dreck. Ovens are generally not well insulated, and the doors do not seal well. Food in the back burns, in the front they barely get done. A pizza stone will even much of those problems out as will reinstalling the oven with extra high temp insulation around the sides and in the door.

You might want to consider one or two add on appliances for cooking... just remember space and weight add up, so the more general use stuff can be better than a one function gizmo like a bread maker or a pasta machine. Find and read the thread on Cast Iron Cooking. A good Dutch Oven works for biscuits, monkey bread, oat bread, sourdough, pies and cakes (adding a trivet), meatloaf, venison chili, mutton stew (garlic required in copious amounts), soups, etc. Start with a 12 inch Lodge dutch and coals on the ground... add on to your heart's content. Bacon...yum and no grease or smell inside. A big skillet of trout.... drool.

Darn it, there goes the diet!
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COHEK View Post
Hi everyone! We're in the process of upgrading some major appliances that came with our Airstream in preparation for full-time RVing.
I regularly bake sourdough in my home oven and would love to continue with that on the road.
. . .
Welcome to the forum. As Paula just mentioned, knowing more about your setup would help gather better advice IMO.

You might want to peruse the following threads/forums for more info.

The best "Pro-ovens" thread IMO: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...ven-28619.html
Stella's Kitchen forum: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f484/

Maggie's thread has lots of good baking advice [albeit for a home oven]: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f16...ii-133171.html

If you can bake bread at home, you can bake it in a smaller gas oven in the Airstream IMO. We have the OEM gas oven in our FC20, and had one in the 25' back in the 90's.

Cast Iron Cooking: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...ing-64047.html
Dutch Ovens: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...ing-40090.html

Happy trails,
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:26 AM   #4
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Baking bread with an RV range is kinda like:

- spinning straw into gold
- turning water into wine
- undertaking a wilderness expedition in search of Bigfoot

I am yet to find any product or appliance produced by this industry that actually functions to reasonable consumer expectations.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:35 AM   #5
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Sean, have you ever used a smaller traditional gas oven, like many apartments have? Please see links in recent post. After adjusting recipes for oven size, there is generally no problem baking anything IMO.

A sports car won't tow a heavy trailer, but they are fun on their own! Same for small ovens?

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Old 10-15-2020, 04:07 AM   #6
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I suppose my experience with dometic, atwood, and the other usual suspects has destroyed my faith in most RV appliances.

I’m that guy who hauls a beautiful trailer out to Yosemite to cook with a portable grill while depending on an ice chest to preserve our food and drinks.

Perhaps my experience is an anomaly, but after 4 fridge replacements under warranty, 3 penguin II AC replacements, and an oven that specializes in turning what began as cake mix into something resembling chocolate pudding with a seared top crust, I have simply lost the will to keep tinkering around with devices that consistently disappoint me with lousy results and endless headaches.

No hard feelings, this is the state of the industry – and we accept that for what it is.

We never expected the oven to perform like it was manufactured by Viking or Wolf, but my daughters easy bake oven does a better job of cooking brownies – however her superior results might have something to do with the fact that her ingredients are cold and fresh out of the fridge at home before she begins cooking .... ��
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:35 AM   #7
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Iíve cooked bread in my oven ( no knead) and I regularly cook bagels in it. I think I might have made baguettes in it once too. A few minor adjustments on time and careful watching is all Iíve needed. This is our second oven in this trailer and both worked fine. Not like a home oven but gets the job done. This is the gas oven, not the electric convection oven.
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karenjude View Post
. . .
. . . A few minor adjustments on time and careful watching is all I’ve needed. This is our second oven in this trailer and both worked fine. Not like a home oven but gets the job done.
. . .
Thank you for using a small brush to paint this picture.

Sean . . . your broad brush may be blinding you to the rewarding and satisfying possibilities IMO.

Like all other matters-RV . . . compromise and acceptance are also good tools to have in the tool bag.

There is nothing like some nice hot corn bread, fresh out the oven, while the snow is falling all around our mobile home!

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Old 10-15-2020, 10:20 AM   #9
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Hi

We have cooked a range of breads in our stock oven in the AS. Other than the constraints placed by the size of the oven, really no problems have come up. The same techniques we use here at home work fine on the road.

So what's the typical approach for us?

Bread dough is fairly wet / high gluten flour / yeast recipe. It gets to rise for a while. That may be a couple hours or it may be overnight. Depends on what we're doing.

Bread goes into a cast iron pot or a cloche ( = pottery pot) with the cover on for the first part of the bake. Cover comes off for the last part. ( so the crust gets nice and brown).

Again, the main issue is the size of the loaf. We could (but generally don't) do a much larger loaf in the home oven. If I'm doing the bread in the RecTec pellet grill out on the porch, it could be a *very* large loaf (or three). The gotcha is, with just two of you, what do you do with three 17" dia x 9" thick loaves of bread?

Fun !!!

Bob
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:34 AM   #10
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Buy a good oven thermometer and find out how accurate your AS oven is and adjust as needed. I think your current AS oven could do the job. Mine has worked well and during my last trip, I so craved toast once in a boon docking site (I do not carry a generator) that I figured out how to toast in the oven on the broiler function. I was most impressed.
BTW - my first AS oven (2005 model) was hard to light - it usually usually involved doing contortions on the floor, several prayers and took several minutes. Thank God my second AS (2019 model) is a dream to light.
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:00 PM   #11
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We have the Dometic CU434 Gas Range in our Globetrotter. My wife has baked bread, cheese bread, peach cobbler, casseroles, and warmed up all our leftovers in our oven. This morning she made what we call Breakfast Cake loaded with fresh blueberries. My favorite. We do turn whatever we're baking halfway through to make sure of even baking.

I tried to post a picture of her cheese bread but our internet where we are is so crummy I can't get it to go.

Steve
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:02 PM   #12
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I have baked bread in the oven that came with our 2006 classic many times with excellent results.
That said I would really like to upgrade to a new range.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:03 PM   #13
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Oven thermometer is needed, dial numbers are not accurate.
One RV oven had the door sprung, wouldn't close and seal.

Also the temperature probe on the back wall, make sure it is secured, not loose waving in the air from road vibration.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:18 PM   #14
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We were cooking a birthday cake when the power went down. Used the RV oven and saved the cake, we have made brownies chickens garlic bread, casseroles, with no problems, in our 45 year old RV oven.
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Old 10-15-2020, 03:08 PM   #15
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I bake bread at home. On the road I bake pita bread on a pizza stone on the gas grill. Same dough recipe... better result (for me) given the need for temp control, steam, etc. to get loaves, boules and baguettes to cook properly.

It’s an option...
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Old 10-15-2020, 03:43 PM   #16
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I bake bread in my oven - all sorts. Some tips:

It will be different than your home oven - you'll need to make friends with it.

1. Temperature: Notoriously inaccurate - put an oven thermometer inside and after you understand what the true temp of your oven is - adjust as needed.

2. Burner location - depending on the oven it's likely your burner is towards the center of the oven. That means that your bread pan will be closer to the heat source and you may not have as much head room you ideally would like. Again - adjust your loaf size and shape.

3. Consistent temps. I have a small pizza stone in my oven to help keep temps steady. Keep in mind that you will need to secure this as you travel down the road as it may damage oven interior.

4. Pans: Need to fit smaller oven.

Nothing smells better in an Airstream than fresh bread!
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:56 PM   #17
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I going to take a different turn in a way. Our experience with the gas oven in our Safari wasn't the best with what looked like some hot spots in the oven and over cooking of baked goods at the bottom of the pan or cooking dish. When we bought our classic we opted for the microwave/convection oven. Obviously you need electric and the type of pans (rectangular) tend to cause a problem because of the turn table. But if you can limit the pan sizes or use round pans, I find that the convection really works nice on backed goods. I made some cinnamon rolls on my latest trip, using a silicone round pan. Really worked nice. You do have to watch the items (glass window in door helps) to adjust the bake time. Mine cooked in 15 minutes vs the 20 minutes on the recipe.

Jack
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:03 PM   #18
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A reminder that the following thread, linked in Post #3, has over 500 posts from the fans of gas ovens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
FYI
FWIW
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:03 PM   #19
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We bake in our gas oven a lot in the airstream.

One tip is to get a smaller sized pizza stone and put in the oven. This diffuses the heat from the single row burner and results in a more even temperature throughout the oven.

I would also recommend for baking to get good quality heavyweight pans. (I like the Nordic brand, or cast iron.) For cooking we use disposable foil catering pans for things like chicken, salmon, or pasta.
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:43 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
You failed to mention what year your Airstream is, or the brand of your current oven.
Haha, yes, that would've been helpful! I was in such a hurry to post that I completely forgot 🤦*♀️
We have an '84 Excella with the original stove.
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