The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Camp Dutch Sourdough #2

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Camp Dutch Sourdough #2

I wanted to keep working on my process to produce a good loaf at the campsite, so I split my weekly baking into two loaves so I could practice with the camp dutch oven.  The area of focus on this bake was heat.  My first attempt definitely lacked enough heat to encourage a strong spring, so I fired up an entire charcoal chimney to start this time.  I used the ring method with one ring of charcoal below the oven, and was shooting for about 2.5 rings on the top.  After 20 minutes, the heat was still a bit low (400F), so I added some more. Here's what the top looked like at that point:

Once my IR thermometer was reading 500F on the lid (lower on the exterior sides of the DO), I loaded my loaf.  I didn't slash this one, as I proofed it seam side down for natural bloom.  I rotated the DO and lid in opposite directions every 10 minutes to even out the heat.  After 20 minutes I took a peak and was a bit disappointed to see no bloom at all, but was very pleased with the color.  After another 30 minutes, it became apparent that I needed more heat on the bottom next time, so I flipped the loaf to even out the color.  After 40 minutes, the loaf was done (210F internal), so I removed it to cool:

It looked really good, with a firm, but yielding, crust.  This morning, I cut into the loaf for some toast, and was very encouraged by what I saw.  Not only would I be thrilled to serve this up at camp, I am quite pleased to have it here in the house:

So, changes for next time will really only be adding more initial bottom heat.  I also need to tackle mixing, stretching, bulk and final rise timing in a "camp setting", but I wanted to start with the oven part so that I would know I could bake the loaf properly once I get it there.

This was fun, and I can't wait to serve some good, freshly baked bread next camping trip! :)

Rich

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Rich, with bread like that, you’re going to be “da man” at the camp site. Very nice crumb. I bet it’ll taste much better sitting around a camp fire.

A have large oak trees in the back of my property. I enjoy spending time under those oaks in hammocks that I make myself. A couple of hours reading and napping does the soul good.

Maybe I’ll have to consider a fire pit back there.

Danny

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I'm pretty happy with that result.  I'm sure that the timing and logistics in camp will be fun, but since there's usually a lot of sitting around at camp for us anyway, it'll be a good way to pass the time! :)

Rich

Benito's picture
Benito

Rich, I’m really impressed that you could bake bread that great with a camp Dutch oven, great job.

Benny

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

I was sure that it could be done (and I'm sure it could be even better) since the dutch oven works so well in my home oven.  Just need to tweak my heat delivery a bit, and try not to overproof my dough so it has some spring left in it (though this one did pretty ok.)

Rich

Char's picture
Char

I'm new to the forum and sourdough baking (still working on a mature starter, no loaves under my belt yet) but I've been following your experiments with baking in camp. I'm an avid camper (equestrian, so have less time to relax with horseback riding and chores to be done all the time) but I'm really impressed with your outdoor DO baking skills!!! 

Maybe once I get the hang of getting edible loaves in the house, I'll aspire to trying to reach this level of mastery. We have several fire pits at home where we sometimes cook meals outside, and you're right, it makes great practice for camping!

Great job! 🥖

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

Welcome, Char, and thanks for the nice comments.  I'm sure you have a ton more to do in camp taking care of the horses, but, as I'm sure you have already figured out, much of the time it takes to make bread, the yeast are doing all the work! :)

These two loaves of bread are the only things that I've ever cooked in a camp dutch.  I do, however, have a ton of experience with charcoal and wood cooking, so there's a lot of translation when it comes to preparing and maintaining fires for cooking.  I'm definitely planning to try out some other items in the camp dutch now that I have it, but bread was my primary reason for acquiring it.

Happy baking, you're in a great place with the folks here at TFL!

Rich