My new kitchen was lovely. The new gas hob was lovely. The new cupboards were lovely. The new gas oven was … burning things. (And the fan was horribly noisy.) Roast potatoes were black on the underside. Meat was sizzled. My loaves had black bottoms.
The problem seemed to be that the burners in the oven were on the bottom and were firing directly up into the baking tins. My old gas oven had burners tucked safely away at the back, so the flames hadn’t been burning stuff.
I pressed on with the new gas oven but after many months I still couldn’t solve the burning problem. Neither could the internet – I wasn’t alone in finding bottom burners difficult. (And the noisy fan was driving me nuts.)
In December I went to the Good Food show to sell my company’s smart app to retailers. Instead a talented salesman sold me a British made electric oven with a whizzy new feature, an induction plate in the bottom of the oven! I sold the gas oven on eBay and my super new oven was installed three days before Christmas Day.
The turkey for family Christmas dinner roasted OK (phew). I made a casserole and cooked it on the induction plate. It was horrible – the meat was really tough. I tested the induction plate. It never got warm. An engineer visited and mended it. It still didn’t get warm. A second engineer came and mended it; it still didn’t get warm. A third engineer came and put a new induction unit in. That didn’t get warm either. I got stroppy and a fourth engineer replaced the oven with a similar model without an induction plate.
At last I had an oven which didn’t burn everything and didn’t have a super new feature that didn’t work and I could start worrying about bread instead. My loaves weren’t perfect, but I recognize that it takes time to get used to a new oven. I felt that I had experience with a large number of different ovens, I had always managed to produce a decent loaf of bread after a while, and so it would be with this oven.
Two years on and I am still struggling to bake a decent loaf of bread.