How to bake bread while out camping
If you also find yourself searching for affordable tasty bread while traveling and/or spent a lot of time in the outdoors enjoying campfires, this how-to guide might be exactly what you need! Bake your own bread on a fire pit and safe lots of money while eating much better bread. It’s lots of fun too!
All you need is:
- A big and a small pot (must fit into the big pot)
- A few small stones
- Some water
- Ingredients for the doe (800g baking flour, 2 TS (Teaspoons) salt, 2 TS yeast, 6 TS oil, 2 TS honey or sugar, 2 cups of lukewarm water)
- Butter/Margarine (or oil) to grease the inner pot
- Fireplace with a fair amount of firewood
Before you head out to your next camping trip, make sure to get two old pots that you don’t plan on using in the kitchen again! Tip: Check your local second-hand shop for a cheap pair of pots. Remove the handles (on pot and lid) of the smaller pot, so it can fit into the bigger pot with its lid on top.
On site always start by preparing the doe. (The doe in this guide is a very basic one and can be exchanged by any desired doe!) Put all the ingredients in a bowl, starting with the water and the yeast, then salt, oil and some honey or sugar to feed the yeast. Put the flour in last. You can experiment with the ingredients of the dough. For example add some seeds and spices. Mix them together thoroughly with your hands. If the mixture feels too dry, add some more water. If the mixture is too sticky, add some more flour. It’s usually perfect when the doe sticks together, but falls into the bowl when you hold your hands upside down. Let the doe sit for at least an hour. The colder it is, the longer the doe needs to grow. You can also leave the doe in the fridge overnight.
While the doe rises: Put some small stones in the bigger pot. These will prevent the doe from burning on the bottom. Try to find some stones with a height of roughly 3–5 centimeters. Now put some water into the pot, so that the stones are completely under water. Grease the inside of the small pot with butter. If you don’t have butter, you can also use margarine or oil.
Now you can start your campfire. You don’t need a fire pit like the one in the pictures. You can bake your bread on any fireplace out there. Make sure that you have enough firewood to keep the fire burning for a few hours. You should create quite a good amount of coals first.
When the doe is ready, you can move it into the greased pot. Leave some space, because it will rise some more on the fire. Then put this pot into the bigger pot with its lid on top. Also put the lid of the big pot on top. This setup will create a flow of hot water vapor around the small pot.
Before putting the pot into the flames, produce a bed of coals in the middle of the fire and put burning wood around it. Now place the pot onto the prepared coal-bed and try to keep some wood burning around the pot for at least an hour. You can also put the pot next to the fire and keep turning it around every few minutes. This will take a lot longer, but might be easier to control. There is no golden way to do this, just experiment around a bit. If you have a fire pit with a grid, you can also try to put the pot on the grid and make a big fire underneath.
While baking your bread, check the doe every now and then to make sure it gets baked fairly even and doesn’t burn on the sides. You also have to keep the water level in mind and add some water from time to time. I worked out that the doe needs to sit inside this water vapor chamber for about 60 minutes, depending on the amount of doe, the size of the fire and the distance between the two. As long as the sides and the top of your bread don’t burn, you should keep this setup running.
Once the top of your bread seems to be all right, you can stop adding water into the pot and leave the pot standing close to the fire for at least another hour. You don’t want to have any more flames touching the pot, otherwise your bread might get black around the sides. I leave the pot standing there even when the water inside is completely gone, to dry out the bread a bit.
Let the bread sit over night. If you did a good job, the bread should fall out of the small pot once it’s put upside down. If it burned somewhere, you might have to use a knife to get it out. Don’t worry though, you can easily cut away the burned bits. Cut the bread in slices and serve it with your favorite spreads! I promise, you will really enjoy this breakfast because there is a lot of love (and work) in this bread.
But while sitting around the campfire anyway,
you might as well bake some bread!