About a month after building the oven in Mogotio (in November), it was dry enough to start baking in it! So while Anthony led TLT, the same group of ladies came to put test out the oven they built. I have to say, they made a really beautiful oven.
During the first day of TLT, Jane, Dinah, and I baked, just the three of us. That way, we could all be teachers when the whole group of ladies came the next day. Jane's youngest son hung out with us sometimes too.
We learned an important lesson from that first day of baking: even though the oven was dry, it wasn't completely dry. Even after the three hours of fire, it didn't get up to the expected temperature of around 500F. I realized that this same situation had happened the first time I used the oven I built in Soroti and the first time we used the oven the students built at Berea college. So, now we know that you really shouldn't expect to be able to bake everything the first day of using the oven, unless you spent a previous day just burning a fire in it to completely dry it out. But it was okay, we still were able to bake bread and cake and people enjoyed eating them.
The next day, though, we successfully heated the oven to optimal baking temperature.
We made all sorts of good things: pita bread, a free-form loaf, a braided loaf, loaves in bread pans, a giant cornbread, strawberry flavored scones, and 50 sugar cookies (aka biscuits).
Preparing to braid bread dough:
Cutting out strawberry scones:
Everyone already knew how to read a recipe and measure ingredients, from steaming cakes, so it was a very fun and relaxed day, other than having to keep track of when this bread had risen enough and when the other one needed to be put into the oven.
As soon as it was time to taste bread, children appeared:
People were a little freaked out by how much sugar was in these cookies (1.5 cups!), but considering that we made 50 cookies from that batch (so about 1Tbs. of sugar each), they were probably not much worse than a cup of tea, which often has a good 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar in it. But at that point, I decided not to share about how much sugar is in desserts Americans like to eat...
Here are most of the bakers, with many of the things we baked, minus what we had already eaten.