The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking out of an RV

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Baking out of an RV

Anybody have experience with this? I am temporarily in an RV, waiting on my home to be repaired from a fire. Want to continue my bread making lessons and am trying to figure out how to go about getting set up for it.


1. Work space-Where the heck do I shape/work with this dough without making a royal mess? I'm thinking about pulling up a large folding table but my outdoor table is a rough/plastic surface. What could I use ontop? The giant cutting board got packed and don't want to spend lots of money on a duplicate.


2. Cooking in the gas grill and/or tiny oven. I'm going hunting for Saltillo tiles Friday. Home Depot didn't have them. (in Phoenix of all places!!) Will line grill grates with tiles for baking. Baked a "1st lesson" bread in the tiny oven Monday in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep in my new "house". The oven worked surprisingly well, although I'd like to check the temp to see how accurate it is. I cooked it in my salad bowel. I need to go hunting for some cheap pans or something as well. Cookie sheet won't fit and don't want to cook outside all the time. Other than my necessary sub of high gluten flour (no AP) the bread would have been wonderful. I wish I had thought to cut the gluten with some whole wheat!


3. Where's a good place to buy some inexpensive bread utensils? My stuff got packed out of my house in such a hurry I didn't have time to even think about what I would really want to keep in my RV. I'm lucky to have a couple of plates and a set of silverware. I also would like to buy a food scale while I'm at it.


Well, thanks from my front yard in Mesa, AZ!!!


Tracy


 


 


 

will slick's picture
will slick

I use a silicone baking mat that is meant for a full sheet pan on my counter. It fits my small space perfectly and reduces the need for to much four. It also cuts down on the mess. The name brand ones can be pricey they all serve the same purpose so look for a deal.

moreisee's picture
moreisee

When I'm camping I use a piece if 3/4" Birch veneer plywood of a cheap surface. Put a piece of that no skid shelf liner cloth material under the board to keep it from sliding around. IKEA is a decent source for utensils or a restaurant supply store is always an interesting adventure. I've not heard of using Saltillo tiles but I have used unglazed terra cotta. 

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

hi tracy


i live in phoenix az. the home depot south of me carries saltillo tiles. why don't you call a home depot & see if they can locate them for you.


i'm also interested to find out how you use them in your gas grill - possibly under the grate on top of the rocks? i have not had success baking bread in my gas grill. would appreciate any tips.


try a walmart superstore or a restaurant supply store for bread utensils. bed, bath & beyond has food scales.


sorry about your house fire. i was you good luck & blessings.


claudia

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

My grill gets really hot. My husband cooks a mean turkey at 350 with two burners off and one outside burner on. I think my biggest challenge is to keep the bottom from burning but honestly, I don't know.


Wish I hadn't packed my dutch oven. That would have been my answer, other than pizza. I think I'll put two 16" tiles on top of the grills and just put my pans on top of that. Get oven to whatever temp I need.


Which Home Depot do you know of with the tiles? I'm going through south Phoenix to the VA hospital tomorrow and could hit just about anywhere along the way.


All of you have given me a lot of ideas. Bed, Bath and Beyond will probably have the silicone mats. I'll check there. Thanks!


Erik is sending me new SD starter so I'll be cooking SD again this weekend. And, I ordered a new scale so finally I can really weigh instead of eyeballing it! It's digital and I found it on Amazon last night for $21.00. I don't need anything fancy if it gives me grams down to the single digit. I can do math just fine. Has to be better than the coffee cup eyeball handfull capful method when I'm still trying to figure out what dough even feels like!!


Now I'm going to watch Julia and Julia. My weekend starts tonight!

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

What a wonderful movie! Meryl Streep was amazing as Julia Child. If you haven't seen this and like good romantic comedy this is it. It's everything a movie should be!


Now, what should I cook this weekend? I have to get something going tomorrow. Pizza tomorrow night. Maybe I'll get some WW dough started for baguettes of some sort for the weekend to practice a slack dough? And, Erik's SD starter should arrive tomorrow too!


I'm going to start putting some of my stuff in the freezer. Would you suggest freezing the dough after shaping or before? I'm simply wasting too much when I bake a whole recipe. I need to bake about one half or less of a recipe.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

quick trick with foil.... if needed


Make a insulation layer for under the pot...  Crunch up a piece of foil about 4 times bigger than the bottom, crunch up as a sheet (not into a ball) until the size desired to protect the bottom of dish or pan.  Lay flat and with another flat object press the foil to make a 1/4 inch high matt.  Scrunch and form.


Mini

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Thanks. What kind of pans do you use to bake in your grill? Or do mean in my mini-oven> by your name I'm guessing you mean the oven?


By the way, other than the size I really love the gas oven! Man, I hate my electric oven. Can I say the again. I HATE ELECTRIC OVENS AND STOVES!!!!!


I WANT MY OLD ONE BACK. I WANT TO MOVE BACK TO OKLAHOMA!


I just want to take my new husband with me.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

fry pans and baked in them.   Two the same diameter can be stacked using one for a lid if you need it in the grill.    Too bad the dutch oven is packed.  What about picking up a deep pyrex caserole with lid? They work pretty good in small ovens and you can bake a variety of foods in them from bread to roasts etc. and still see how it's baking.  The alu idea was for the grill, how did the salad bowl work? 


I came onto TFL with a very small oven and there are lots of tricks to solve problems, If you have baking trays for the oven, they can be turned upside down and pre-heated and then dough on parchment can be shoved onto it like a stone.   I can imagine you've had enough chaos for the holidays.   So you're camping!  Soooo romantic!  Enjoy it while you can!  Take lots of pictures too!  What's the weather like? 


Mini

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I'm cooking some good bread and other yummies in the rental RV mini-stove by adding a 2-3" thick brick paver stone which fits perfectly onto the floor of the oven. I also found a sandstone paver which fits the middle of my grill and made some mean grilled chicken tikka (made the naan, a first for me, in the oven) on the grill. The sandstone paver cracked down the middle during my last stages of grilling which was a bummer, I think maybe because when I was cleaning the sandstone it soaked up so much water and wasn't fully dry? I seasoned it with oil and heated it on low heat before cranking it up to the highest heat possible for cooking the chicken.


Mini, not sure you want lots of pictures of the front yard with the dumpster doing demolition work on the house but I'll be happy to post if you do. Weather is 60-70 daytime, 40 nighttime with about once a week freeze warning so that I have to protect the little garden from the frost.


Tracy

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

no need to share them.  Ten years from now when the grass is all green and house & yard are in shape, you can look back to cry & laugh about it.  

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

I couldn't agree more! 


Looking back over old photographs brings back so many memories you never think you'll forget - but you do. And today's pictures of your hardships will, years hence, make you appreciate your new house and garden - and good fortune - even more. We should take nothing for granted.


Sorry, I do tend to preach, it comes with age :-)

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher

 


That's a good tip, to use two frying pans, one as a lid. The Pyrex casserole tip is even better - but make sure it's well greased.


But having an oven of any size in an RV is a luxury. Our tiny caravans (10' and 12') have two burner hobs each, the controls are very poor. I use a charcoal firepot for making bread, with a thick cast iron skillet and a stainless steel cover to bake everything when we're camping. 


We often say that if our house burns down we'll live in one of the caravans, it's possible. Think of our ancestors who lived in very small houses without gas or electricity (within my memory) or even further back, with just a coal or wood fire. With a little thought anything's possible.


Camping CAN be romantic. Hard work but so what? Our caravans don't have electricity so no television - but we don't have it at home either so we certainly don't miss it :-)


Go to bed. That's romantic !


And yes, do post pictures.


 

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I have to admit this is quite luxurious compared to a 10ft caravan. We have a propane stove, oven, fridge, microwave, tons of storage space, two slide outs and we have even set it up for my husband's server in the bedroom with his 27" moniter to watch netflix instant streaming movies at night.


It's not home. But, it's the front yard. But, for $53 a day + all the other expenses that have been charged by the contractors and everyone else involved I'd expect at least a little luxury out of the deal! The movers billed our insurance company $30,000 to move/clean the house prior to demolition. I don't even know if that counts moving the stuff back yet.!!


I think it's a shame how companies seem to take advantage when they know insurance is footing the bill.


Oh well, we at least tried to go the least expensive route possible given they offered kenneling/hotel room for the entire time. (not an option)


Can you even imagine keeping the poor critters in a kennel and eating restaurant crappolla for 3 months or more?


In the past week, in the oven and the grill I've made multigrain, ww sandwich, ww english muffins, naan, cinnamon raisin bread, "surprise starter bread " that tasted just like french bread, and I have a SF San Joaquin loaf proofing.


Over Christmas, I think I baked about 6 loaves in 2 days. Maybe more.



 


 


 

Mary Fisher's picture
Mary Fisher


'I have to admit this is quite luxurious compared to a 10ft caravan. We have a propane stove, oven, fridge, microwave, tons of storage space, two slide outs and we have even set it up for my husband's server in the bedroom with his 27" moniter to watch netflix instant streaming movies at night.'


It IS luxurious but, as you say, not home. And I don't think you'd want it to be home although I wouldn't mind - under SOME circumstances..


'... for $53 a day + all the other expenses that have been charged by the contractors and everyone else involved I'd expect at least a little luxury out of the deal!'


Yes, although I don't know the exchange rate I think you shouldn't be charged anything - that is the insurance company shouldn't be milked. But they always are :-(


 


'The movers billed our insurance company $30,000 to move/clean the house prior to demolition. I don't even know if that counts moving the stuff back yet.!!'


That's disgraceful.


Can you even imagine keeping the poor critters in a kennel and eating restaurant crappolla for 3 months or more?


NONONO!


'In the past week, in the oven and the grill I've made multigrain, ww sandwich, ww english muffins, naan, cinnamon raisin bread, "surprise starter bread " that tasted just like french bread, and I have a SF San Joaquin loaf proofing.'


That's a tribute to your skill and determination.


'Over Christmas, I think I baked about 6 loaves in 2 days. Maybe more.'


That's even better. But I wonder if you ate them all? We hardly eat any bread over Christmas. There again, we're old and have shrunken capacity :-(


Your pioctures are great, I admit that the breads I bake when camping don't look like that, they're very - um - basic ... primitive ... well edible but not beautiful! 


Well done!