The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help with a new bread baking challenge...

firepit's picture
firepit

Help with a new bread baking challenge...

 

I'm going camping next weekend and I have been given the responsibility of providing bread for the breakfast on Sunday morning. Others are supplying things like eggs, meat and cheese, so I believe the plan is to make breakfast sandwiches of some sort.

I could make croissants, English muffins, or biscuits in advance and take them with me, but that removes a bit of adventure from the proceedings. So I'd like to take a shot at making the bread from scratch while "in the wilderness" (sadly it won't really be all that wild, but that's not the issue right now).

Does anyone have any suggestions for bread that would be:
a) Suitable for breakfast sandwiches
b) Created using only simple tools that I could easily take camping
c) Made using only ingredients that will keep for at least 48 hours in a maybe-not-so-cold cooler?
d) Cooked over a campfire?

I've thought about biscuits or something more like a stout pancake (sort of like McGriddles), but I'm open to any and all suggestions - the more interesting the better.

 

Thanks!

 

browndog's picture
browndog

You could try scones or even crumpets, which happily are a yeasted product, if you have something that can be pressed into service as rings. I'd get them well down before I tried them over a campfire, though. Yikes.

Susan's picture
Susan

Cornbread

Susan

firepit's picture
firepit

Susan -

Cornbread is definitely on the menu for the weekend - since it's chemically leavened, it's perfect for camping in potentially cold weather. I'm thinking I'll probably make it with dinner on Saturday night, so we may have leftovers...I'm just not sure how well it will translate into a breakfast sandwich bread, but if there is any left I will certainly find out.

 

 

beanfromex's picture
beanfromex

I think this bread wouldbe excellent for what you are describing.

I bake a 6 cup loaf in an enamel pan with lid. Works perfectly.

You could slow rise it overnight in the cooler depending on what the ambient temperature is.

Dont forget to take the cornmeal along.

This bread, due to the low yeast content keeps fresh for days...IF it lasts that long.

 Good luck.

firepit's picture
firepit

Beanfromex, I am guessing there was supposed to be a link to "this bread" somewhere in your post? I'd love to check it out, but I'm not sure where to find the recipe. :)

 

Thanks!

 

breadnerd's picture
breadnerd

I wish the weather was nice enough for camping here! We had snow yesterday! (sob)

English muffins bake quite nice on a skillet, so that might be an option--there's a sourdough english muffin on the site (somewhere) that's very good--plus the sourdough aspect makes it more "exotic". You might try the NYT no knead recipe using a dutch oven--it would be easy (toolwise--no kneading required) and you could just let it rise overnight...

Otherwise, the only bread I've baked while camping is flat breads (indian food on the campfire, yum!). They're easy and would work okay as a breakfast roll-up type of dish. I do usually cheat and make the dough ahead--most doughs can be retarded for a day or so and a cooler is about the right temp (40ish degrees).

firepit's picture
firepit

Breadnerd, I'm not sure it's going to be nice enough for camping here (it's snowing lightly as I type this), but we're going to go anyway. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I didn't realize English Muffins were cooked on a skillet -- that seems like a great solution...I'm thinking about the no-knead bread, too, so at least I'll have some options. I also think you could make a reasonable oven using two large terra cotta pots (thanks, Alton Brown!), which would be high on the McGuyver factor, but high on the risk factor, too.

Teresa_in_nc's picture
Teresa_in_nc

What about Australian Damper - I think that is traditionally cooked over an open fire.

 Teresa

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Other options might include pitas or naan or other flatbreads, if you want to go the yeasted route.  They will cook quickly because of their thinness.

If you don't want to deal with maintaining favorable temperatures for the yeast, you could do a bannock/scone/biscuit thing using baking powder or baking soda.

PMcCool

firepit's picture
firepit

Wow, it sounds like I have lots of options to investigate. The Damper is new to me, and the recipes I found say that you can wrap the bread on a stick and cook it over the fire that way, which has a certain camping novelty too it.

If I can find the time I'll do a few trial runs over a charcoal grill this next week and try to find a winner.

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

Just posted this to the Coleman thread by mistake:

We are planning a big family reunion camping weekend this summer and I was thinking of trying to bake a loaf of bread in my dutch oven using campfire coals. Since this is just a short weekend trip, and I like to ferment my sourdoughs a long time anyhow, I was thinking of making the dough at home, let it bulk ferment in a cooler - like breadnerd suggests, plop it into the dutch oven and bake at the campsite. Judging the temperature and bake time with the coals ought to be interesting...

Sandaidh's picture
Sandaidh

Skillet Bread
(makes 3, 10 inch round loaves)

5 cups flour
2 TBSP baking powder
1 Tsp salt
1 TBSP melted butter or margarine
2 cups milk
Cooking oil for frying

Sift 4 cups flour with baking powder and salt.
Combine milk and melted butter.
Place flour/baking soda mixture in large bowl and add liquid ingredients, a little at a time, beating well.
When the 4 cups flour have been worked into a soft dough with the milk/butter mixture, lightly flour a board with the remaining 1 cup flour.
Turn out dough onto board and knead lightly, working in the rest of the flour.
Divide dough into 3 parts and shape each into a round pone about 1/8 inch thick and a diameter to fit skillet.
Pour enough oil into the skillet to measure about 1/4 inch deep.
Heat oil and brown bread quickly, one at a time, until golden on each side.

I've made this over a campfire.  It's very simple.  One can "shortcut" even more by pre-mixing the dry ingredients and carrying them in a large plastic bag (ie 1 gallon size).  As for the milk, take powdered milk and reconstitute with water before using.  I have a lactose intolerance, so tend to keep very little, if any, fresh milk around the house.  Instead I use powdered milk and mix it up when I need it for cooking.  Save having to throw out spoiled milk because I don't use it fast enough. 

Hope this helps.

browndog's picture
browndog

my husband sprang the exact same order on the exact same weekend for the exact same situation. The NK looked way too scary especially since I was sending the dough off with him, I stayed home. This Strombolini of Floyd's was mentioned in a thread for garlic rolls, and that's what I did. The dough spent the night in the fridge, I made up the rolls next morning and it rose in a Dutch oven in a cooler til the afternoon. Slow, two-hour bake on soft-wood coals- I got a leftover, a day later, still fantastic. What did you end up doing?

firepit's picture
firepit

Based on two factors:

1) I'd be leaving the house on Friday afternoon and not baking until Sunday AM.

2) (More importantly) my wife's considerable and repeated encouragement that experiments such as these are best explored when 8 other friends' breakfasts are not on the line.

As much as I wanted to disagree with her, she's a wise and persuasive woman...So I wimped out. I baked sourdough English muffins Friday right before we headed out and stored them in the cooler until Sunday AM when they were "toasted" in a cast-iron skillet that had a thin layer of bacon grease left from the other breakfast prep. It's one of those situations where I was ashamed that I didn't fully embrace the challenge and build up the dough in the wild, but the people I was camping with were amazed that someone would bake their own English muffins. So they were happier than I was.

The good news is that my wife is becoming more of a camping fan, so hopefully we'll take a few weekends out as just the two of us and I can experiment with campfire bread baking all I want. Once I've got things a little more figured out, then I can go crazy for friends. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be in the woods building a simple proofing box using nothing more than sticks, moss, and a couple of rocks warmed by the fire.

Side note: slightly stale peeps, roasted carefully over a campfire, can result in a wonderful caramelized exterior that creates a great cross between a roasted marshmallow and creme brulee. Those might have been the hit of the weekend. (Once again, my friends though I was odd - who would be eating peeps at Easter and thinking about peeps brulee?)

browndog's picture
browndog

and you listen to your wife, and you bake! At my house the camping is spearheaded by a husband who is clinging to his glory days as an Eagle Scout while my son good-naturedly lets himself be dragged along. I stay home--I don't mind feeding them (somewhere else) but who could sleep among 4 or 5 middle aged snoring men and a dozen or so adolescent boys over-stoking the fire and delighting themselves with bad jokes all night? But your point is worth an underscore-- people who don't live elbow-deep in flour and yeast are pretty willing to be impressed with our efforts even if we have greater expectations. Not to mention that home-baked, bacon-tinged, skillet-toasted muffins = a cool spring morning with pine needles under your toes. Sometime you should try the Strombolini, it was fun to make and perfect campfire food. I didn't think about how easy it would or wouldn't be to make on site, but you sound like an innovator.