Bread in the Woods

We really like fresh bread while we're camping. There is something about bread products that just seems especially good in the woods. Maybe it's the fresh air; maybe it's the appetites that we work up in the woods.

When we talk about bread in the woods, two thoughts seem to flash through folk's minds: "Hey, I can barely handle yeast in the kitchen," and "Yeah, but I'm a tent camper. I can't bake in the woods." Never fear. This article will help.

If you can barely handle yeast in the kitchen, maybe yeast in the campground isn't a great idea. But then, yeast is not temperamental to anything but temperature. If you solve the temperature problems, yeast in the campground is no more difficult than yeast in the kitchen. You need warm enough water to get the yeasty critters growing. Most recipes are going to ask for water in the 105 to 110 degree range. Unless you have a practiced finger, bring a thermometer.

Now you've got to keep the yeasty critters growing. That involves temperature too. Instead of covering your dough with plastic wrap, place the dough, bowl and all, in a large food-safe plastic bag. It'll keep the surface of the dough from drying out, the drafts away from the dough, and you'll have a little mini greenhouse. If you have some sun, you can probably get the dough warm enough for the yeast to work. Once at 11,000 feet in Montana with a youth group, we moved a tent into the brunt of the sun to absorb the afternoon rays and create enough heat to make the dough rise.

But you still don't have an oven. You can use a Dutch oven. You can fry your yeasted bread. (In some parts of the West, these are called scones.) Raised doughnuts-Spudnuts®-are fried yeast breads. We've written before about fried bread.

If you don't want to mess around with the yeast, you can still make some great fried breads. What follows is an easy flatbread recipe. Or try a versatile Sopaipillas Recipe.

You can also make some wonderful steamed breads around a campfire or on a cook stove. Many of these are sweetbreads, maybe even dessert breads, but they can be very good-good enough to make at home.

And of course, you can always rely on pancakes. In fact, pancakes may be one of the most versatile of camping foods. It works on the trail on a backpacking trip, in an RV, and everything in between. You can make them sweet or savory. You can top them with syrups or sauces. You can even stuff them, roll them, and eat them as a burrito.

For more about making bread without an oven or bread in woods, we recommend that you check out our "Emergency and Outdoor Bread Manual"-it's a free download consisting of about 28 pages of goodies.

Here's a good recipe to start with, Indian Flatbread.

Indian Flatbread

This makes a quick side dish to feed the kids, a bread that you can make without an oven, and a great trail bread. You can double or triple the recipe depending on how big your tribe is.

4 cups bread flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup dry milk solids

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 cups warm water

Enough vegetable oil to fill the frying pan to 1/2-inch deep.

Mix the dry ingredients together. Form a depression in the dry ingredients and slowly pour half the water in. Mix and add the remaining water as needed to form a soft but not sticky dough. Knead the dough lightly. Cut pieces from the dough and form them into round discs about 1/4-inch thick.

Heat the oil until hot. When the oil is hot enough, a small piece of the dough placed in the oil should brown quickly but not burn. Slip the dough pieces into the hot oil, fry them until brown on one side, and turn. When done, remove them to paper towels. Serve them hot as a bread or with syrup or honey as a side dish.

Dennis Weaver is the general manager at The Prepared Pantry (http://www.preparedpantry.com) with recipes, ideas, and the best selection of mixes and ingredients. Visit the free Bakers' Library for more articles like this, free baking guides, and tested recipes.

In The News:


pen paper and inkwell


cat break through


Garlic: A Quick Guide

Garlic, there's nothing like the smell of garlic. It's great... Read More

Understanding Baking: How Yeast Works

Did you ever wonder why flour tastes like sawdust but... Read More

Chinese Cooking Technique: Deep Fry

There are usually 2 ways of deep frying in Chinese... Read More

Buying, Storing, and Preparing Apples

When buying apples, look for those that are firm and... Read More

How to Make a Cajun Roux

The process of preparing Cajun food is in no way... Read More

Cookware ? Whats In It?

Have you ever wanted to buy new cookware but didn't... Read More

Don?t Poke the Chicken at Your Backyard Barbecue

You might be planning a home remodeling project and it... Read More

Perfect Picnics - Frugal Food Safety Tips

Summer is finally here and for a lot of us... Read More

Barbecue for You

In may just be in human nature to barbecue. Well,... Read More

Caring For Your Wooden Cutting Board

Researchers have found that bacteria have a tougher time surviving... Read More

Homemade Whipped Cream

Most grocery stores carry cans of whipping cream ready to... Read More

How to Bake: How Long Should My Bread Rise?

It depends. The best way to tell if the dough... Read More

Low-Budget Meals In a Minute

Ever go home and look in the fridge only to... Read More

Digital Thermometers

Types of digital thermometers & their culinary uses.Thermocouple:Of all food... Read More

How to Make Sandwich Rolls with Your Bread Machine

For that next picnic or family outing, consider making sandwich... Read More

Rice Cookers - Perfect Rice Every Time

Love fluffy cooked rice but dislike the preparation time and... Read More

Secrets of Great Breads

Often we field questions about making great bread. Great bread... Read More

Weber Grills Reviewed: Quality that Lasts

Barbecuing has long been a favorite pastime for many and... Read More

Wok this Way! (Part 2 of 5) Selecting a Wok

As mentioned in Part 1 of the series, woks come... Read More

Is Your Cookware Poisoning You?

For over 40 years scientists have known that the fumes... Read More

10 Smart Shopping Tips To Protect Your Family From Getting Sick

Prevention of food poisoning starts with your trip to the... Read More

Picnic Tips and Tricks

The most difficult task of a picnic is remembering everything.... Read More

Two for One Dinners: Pork

If you find leftovers boring, uninviting or downright "yuck," then... Read More

The World of Cornbread

We're partial to cornbread. We like its rustic texture and... Read More

Alone In the Kitchen: Stirring Up Mindfulness

Put on your apron! It's time to stir up a... Read More

Baking Bread and Your Freezer

There's a lot of bread in our freezer. In our... Read More

Herbs and Spices - the Essence of Flavor

In any number of cookbooks and recipes you will find... Read More

What You Need in a Gourmet Kitchen

The best way to decide what you need in your... Read More

10 Smoky Tips To BBQ Food Safely

Cooking outdoors was once only a summer activity shared with... Read More

Fruit Cake

Are you the fruit cake in your family? Before you... Read More

Make It With Mint

It wouldn't be summer without fresh mint in pots on... Read More

Modifying Your Recipes, More or Less

You just found that great recipe that you have been... Read More

The Almighty Beer-Can Chicken

A popular method of cooking chicken in recent years both... Read More