Monday, 27 January 2014

Modern Microwave Oven and Ancient Baking

Oven is the heart and soul of baking process. The best way to judge the quality of oven is the cake it bakes. Initially cakes were crude in texture, not very soft or spongy. Time management had been a problem. Hygiene was a problem as well. Modern cakes have crisp base and are creamy and mushy from inside.

Ancient ovens

Egyptians were the first people to manufacture oven, the portable one. It consisted of beehive or barrel-shaped container made up of baked clay. It was divided into two parts with central horizontal partition. The upper part was called the baking chamber. The lower section consisted of fire box. Animal dung or dried wooden sticks or chopped logs are burnt to carry on the baking process. 

Jewish used the same oven but it was made up of hollowed stones. Instead of placing the baking mixture at the bottom, like the Egyptians, Jewish stuck it on the walls of oven with damp sticky edible material till the dough was totally cooked (baked). Still these ovens are found in rural areas used for making delectable recipes.

Dutch ovens

These ovens were used in early 90’s. After ancient ovens, with the advent of gas, cast iron dutch ovens and aluminum dutch ovens, the two oven varieties, gained popularity.

Cast Iron Oven
Aluminum Oven
Very heavy
Very light
Heats evenly and slowly
Heats and cools fast
Slow and even cooking
Quick risky cooking
Does not melt on fire
Melts on fire
Season to prevent rusting
Does not rust
Don’t use soap water
Use soap water

During the middle age, instead of earth and ceramic ovens, people used fire places along with large cauldrons. They were similar to the Dutch oven. During middle age, ovens underwent number of changes with time from wood, iron, coal, gas, and even electricity.

Modern ovens

Modern ovens have become more advanced in terms of cooking strategy. The microwave was discovered by Percy Spencer in 1946.

With the help of engineers, the microwave oven was patented. The microwave oven uses microwave radiation. This excites the molecules in food causing friction, and therefore it produces heat. So make and bake the trendy way!

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