The popularity of TV shows like the Great British Bake Off and its South African counterpart, is proof that baking has indeed become very trendy.
What can you bake in your Big Green Egg you ask? Anything your foodie heart desires! Think crispy baked Pizza with your favourite toppings, decadent desserts like a Butterscotch Baked Apple or traditional Sticky Date and Toffee pudding or perfect Rosemary and Sea Salt Pull-Aparts.
Why bake in your Big Green Egg and not your oven? While energy efficient appliances are on the rise, the reality is that most ovens still cost in the region of R70 – R100 per hour in electricity. That cost certainly makes your Sunday roast a bit more expensive, doesn’t it? The Big Green Egg’s incomparable fuel efficiency was put to the test recently at Food Hospitality Africa where a pork roast was cooked for 8 hours with approximately 4.5kgs of our own range of All Natural Lump charcoal! Not only is the EGG fuel efficient, it’s ceramic insulation makes temperature control extremely accurate – and that’s what every baker needs!
What else is needed for the Perfect Bake? Here are some of our favourite baking tips:
- Start adjusting the EGG’s top and bottom vents when the temperature gauge shows you’re about to reach your target temperature. Because the EGG retains heat so well, it is harder to bring the temperature down than it is up. Even when you open the lid to put in the bread – or whatever else you’re baking – you’ll see the temperature stabilises again fairly quickly.
- One of the accessories pioneered by Big Green Egg is the convEGGtor and this is the one item you need to cook indirectly. A popular configuration for baking pizzas or breads is to place the convEGGtor onto the fire ring in a “legs up” position with the stainless steel grid resting on top, followed by the Baking Stone last.
- Pre-heating the baking stone and/or convEGGtor is a must, even if only for about 15-20 minutes. You don’t want to pre-heat it too much otherwise you will end up with a burnt base.
- Having a pizza party at home? Remember, the more sugar your dough contains, the more likely it is to burn.
- Pay attention: To your ingredients (weigh and measure carefully), the environment (humidity and altitudes can affect how breads sometimes turn out) and temperatures (of your ingredients and your grill).
- When baking bread, the recipe often calls for kneading the dough until it is elastic and smooth. How does a baking novice know when this is done? Take a walnut size piece of dough and stretch it until thin and transparent like a balloon or wad of bubble gum. If the dough tears quickly or easily and you can’t stretch it that thin, knead that dough some more.
- Invest in good baking equipment like a digital kitchen scale.
- More than one baking tin in the EGG? Rotate them halfway through to ensure even browning and baking as sometimes the back of the EGG gets a bit hotter than the front.
Last, but not least, have fun! Baking in the kitchen or in your Big Green Egg should not be too serious. If you’re baking this weekend, be sure to share photos of your treats with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram #biggreeneggbake.
Keen to hear what other bakers think about Big Green Egg baking?
- ‘I have one of those ‘wouldn’t want to be anywhere else’ moments of pure contentment, when baking with the Big Green Egg” – Chef Megan Kate Swan of Sophisticated Chef.
- “You don’t have to be a master baker to produce artistic bakes” – Gerhard Koekemoer, Miele in-house chef.
- “Fondant chocolate desserts are moist and gooey in the middle and baked to perfection” – Christie-Anne Wolmarans of Cookingfoody.