Debra Best mills her own flour to make bread. If that doesn't paint a picture of how serious she takes her breads, nothing will. Since Debra has had her Anova Precision® Oven, she's been baking multiple loaves a day and leaving us with maximum bread envy!
Take a look below at some of Debra's creations, and see how she's been using the Anova Precision® Oven to bake better bread.
Q&A with #anovafoodnerd Debra Best
How would you describe your style of cooking?
I’m a home baker & cook who views baking and cooking as an extension of my other artistic interests. Even as a child I would say my style leans to an open up the cupboards and fridge and see what speaks to me. I love inventing new food combinations. It’s actually hard for me to stick to a recipe as I always want to put my spin on things. With my sourdough baking, I’m consistently trying new flour combinations or different inclusions in the bread to see what works and at times what might not be quite as flavorful as my mind’s eye imagined it would be. Lately however I’ve been honing in on consistent results and processes more than experimentation and I believe the Oven is helping with that goal.
How does the Anova Precision Oven improve this?
I bought the Anova Precision Oven for one main thing, the steam feature to use in my sourdough bread baking. So far it is the only home consumer oven with this feature at a reasonable price. As soon as a friend shared a link about it I knew I wanted one. Before the APO, I was using a variety of dutch ovens and roasters to bake my bread in. Some of these vessels weigh in excess of 26 pounds. Being vertically challenged I feared falling into the oven when either putting the bread in or taking it out. With the APO I simply preheat the oven and my cast iron griddle that fits perfectly in the oven rack slots, set the amount of steam and time. Then wait. I did experience a learning curve since my breads contain various amounts of fresh milled whole grains and repeating exact results can be difficult. But the oven makes it so easy to adjust temperature, steam etc that after about a dozen bakes in a week’s time I’ve found what is working best. I also started using the Oven for actual meals!
Any tips and tricks to share with the world about using the Oven?
Don’t be afraid of it or adjusting the settings for some of the preset recipes in the Anova Oven App to fit your particular needs. And most importantly the amount of steam coming out of the vent is normal! For my bread, the sourdough bread app wasn’t the best fit, but it gave me a starting point to know what I needed to change. The oven gets hot and it has a convection fan. I learned quickly I needed to lower the temperature and how long to set the timer for some of the grains and flours I use.
How has the Oven changed how you cook at home?
I am loving how everything I’ve cooked in it so far just tastes better. Keeping the moisture in the food by utilizing the steam function is a game changer. No more dried out meat or vegetables. It has also replaced our microwave almost completely but once I can figure out how to soften a tub of ice cream in the APO it’s gone! Plus most importantly for the hubs, it makes great toast.
Do you think it has made a difference in how you cook?
Yes I believe it has. I find myself thinking about how I can use the APO instead of the stove.
What recipe in the app (not from you!) are you super interested in trying?
Since I love everything ginger I can say without a doubt it will be the Triple Ginger Cookies!