Monday, 19 August 2013

Baking on the coal range.

Since we moved into this house, and people have heard that we've got a coal range, one of the things I herar time and time again is that scones baked on a coal range are fantastic.  I've been putting it off for ages, but yesterday seemed as good a time as any, so I decided to give it a go.



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I should perhaps admit here, that this isn't my first time using a coal range.  Remember when I used to work at Shugborough Hall?  The range in the kitchen was used to bake biscuits when doing school party visits, and I thoroughly enjoyed using it then.  Actually I really enjoyed the whole job and would go back to work there again if the commute wasn't so far from NZ.....


This was a little different, for a start this range is much smaller, the damper at the back that directs heat around the oven is broken, which doesn't help either.  I've managed to get the oven nice and hot quite a few times though, and if our hot water (which it also heats) is anything to go by, then I couldn't see it being a problem.


I used smaller lumps of coal, as that's seemed to get it really hot in the past, and then waited until it was as hot as I could get it.  Now to me, it seemed to be ready, I couldn't touch the door handle without a cloth, but when I checked it was only around 114 centigrade, which is actually a lot cooler than my conventional oven would be.


I decided to give it a go anyway, mixed up the scones (date this time) and put them into the oven.  It took them rather a long while to cook, about 25 minutes, and I think the cooler temperature was why they didn't rise. 



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They didn't taste too bad though, as my husband said, he'd have loved them had he been given them and not told that they were scones.  The kids loved them too.  So, somehow, I need to get the oven hotter. Not sure how to manage that one.....