John Lison’s Solar Oven Whole Grain Bread Recipe

Used aboard in Florida and in Puerto Rico

This post is from our sailor friend John Lison!

Whole Grain Bread Ingredients 

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (organic if available)
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached white flour (organic if available)
  • 2 T. dry instant yeast*
  • 2 cups water (give or take a bit)
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil (or coconut oil, or your oil of taste)
  • And some of the following (depending on your tastes):
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Sunfloweror sesame seeds
  • Walnuts or almonds, chopped
  • Wheat germ
  • Honey or brown sugar or molasses
  • Flax seeds
  • Oatmeal flakes

* The brands “Red Star” and “Mauripan” make dry instant yeast in 450 gram (almost 16 ounce) packages for under 5 bucks and they have lasted in the tropics onboard my sailboat for at least a year without refrigeration…longer with, I presume.


I used to let the dough rise once or twice ‘til I studied the instructions closer on dry instant yeast, which state “No Rising Time Needed.” The bread rises as it starts to bake, but I once tried it in a convection oven and it flopped.  Too much heat, too fast.  But in the solar oven it has time to rise before the heat kills the yeast. 

This recipe takes only about 20 minutes prep time if you have all the ingredients out and handy.

I mix the dry ingredients first (including salt), then the water and yeast.  Keep one hand dry and the other for kneading “in the bowl” so there is less clean-up.

Baking time in the solar oven?  Two and a half to four hours depending on the sun’s intensity and whether or not you’re using the reflector. 

I have never burned a loaf by being away too long – just a nicer crust. 

By the way, I have found you need not use water for hard or soft boiled eggs in a solar oven.  Just leave them in the cooking post for maybe one and a half hours.  Gotta experiment and if they are in too long the outside layer may look a bit brown, but they still taste fine.  Oh, and no need to make a pinhole in them as you might in a microwave, as it is a slower and less intense type of heat in a solar oven.

Good luck and cheers from John onboard sailing vessel “Verso!”




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