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Baking bread in campfire coals
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Ben F
(tekhna) - F
Baking bread in campfire coals on 01/08/2012 18:19:09 MST Print View

Has anyone done this before? I had the opportunity to live with Bedouins in Jordan when I studied abroad, and they would make the most amazing bread of water, flour, and salt, and there must have been some kind of leavening in there that I missed. They'd bury the disk-shaped dough in the campfire coals, and then when it was done they'd just thwack all the ash off with a stick--it was amazing. I'd love to recreate it. I've done some looking in Arabic, asked around a bit on bread forums, but has anyone done anything like this before? I could just pack in pre-mixed flour/salt packets, maybe some yeast or sourdough starter, and then add water, bake.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
coals on 01/08/2012 19:12:42 MST Print View

While I haven't done it in the coals... I've heated a rock (don't use one from the water) and we've made flatbread on it. I sprinkle the flatbread with a little za'atar spice blend. I know people who've made pizza with the rock too. Only problem is that there isn't always a suitable rock. We've also baked bannock on a stick over the fire.

If you find out anything, I'd be interested. It would be fun to try.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Baking bread in campfire coals on 01/08/2012 19:21:46 MST Print View

Yeah, they are called ash cakes. Haven't made them before, but I have seen people make them. They can get burnt pretty easily.

David K
(aviddk) - F

Locale: SW Oregon
Hot bread on 01/08/2012 20:25:24 MST Print View

Hot bread of any kind tastes great. No matter how it is prepared there is something indescribably delectable about it. My thing currently is New York Time's "no knead" made in a dutch oven. Obviously not a backpacking delicacy but nonetheless an amazing treat.

If you are a bread baker you will appreciate how truly amazing this recipe is.

Gerry Volpe

Locale: Vermont
bread on 01/08/2012 21:07:34 MST Print View

I played around with it a bit back in the day. The recipe I had included baking powder I can't remember how much(1/2 tsp?) to 1 cup flour and a pinch of salt. I pretty much always burned it on the coals, had better luck twisted around a stick cooked over coals, and the best luck as flatbread in a frypan. I like the rock idea.

Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: bread on 01/08/2012 21:48:03 MST Print View

So the idea is to bring the flour/ rising agent/ salt as a dry mix in a zip lock bag and then work it with water at camp? I might give this a try.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: bread on 01/08/2012 22:00:56 MST Print View

"So the idea is to bring the flour/ rising agent/ salt as a dry mix in a zip lock bag and then work it with water at camp?"

Most of the ingredients won't do anything as long as they are dry. Rising agents like baking soda are activated by water. If the dry ingredients are mixed when the water gets there, it works much better than trying to add something after the mix.

Does hot bread seem so good because of the taste flavor, or is it from the hot aromas rising from the fresh bread?


Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: bread on 01/08/2012 22:50:28 MST Print View

Baking soda alone won't really work with just water, you need a catalyst to "kick it off", some sort of acidic like buttermilk
Baking powder has both the baking soda and the acidic built in so it might be a better alternative.
You can carry the flour, salt, yeast in a bag without ruining the yeast and all warm water to activate the yeast but it might take awhile.

I've thought the same thing about the fire, but I haven't had much of a fire in the last 4 years so having been on my mind.

edited to add: Google "Damper Bread" and there is a lot of information about how to do it.

Edited by bestbuilder on 01/08/2012 23:13:58 MST.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
bread... on 01/09/2012 06:47:07 MST Print View

One word... bannock.

Can be made on a stick or in a frypan (whether on a stove or next to a fire). I've even done it over an alcohol stove. It worked well on the WhiteBox and even better with a Caldera Cone.

Here's a bit I wrote for Seattle Backpackers Magazine called Bread Getting Squashed in Your Pack?

For me it's the smell, the texture of warm, fresh-baked bread-like foods and the taste. After a week or so out, I get tired of eating everything with a spork or foon.

Edited by Laurie_Ann on 01/09/2012 06:48:36 MST.

Kat ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
bread on 01/09/2012 07:11:09 MST Print View

Well at home I activate the yeast by mixing it with warm water and a pinch of sugar, then add it to the four. I guess I can just carry it separate and do the same thing at camp, since I know that works.
It is the smell, the warmth, the hunger and then the extra virgin olive oil with it....I am getting hungry already...
By the way, Costco has some excellent olive oil right now, from Tuscany, and only a couple of months since it was made.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Baking bread in campfire coals on 01/09/2012 07:19:10 MST Print View

A subject near and dear to my heart! My big trips when I was younger were all week long plus river canoe trips and there is a strong tradition of bannock here in the upper midwest.
What we would do is
1) Cook breakfast over the fire
2) Once there are only coals left, place the bisquick dough with any mix ins (bacon bits, cheese, mushrooms, cinnamon, dried fruit) in a metal cook pot with lid
3) Scrape coals away in one area of the fire until you reach bare ground
4) Place pot in bare spot and lightly pile coals on top of and around cook pot.
5) Adjust coals/heat as needed
6) Save bannock for floating lunch on the river.

These days i am more likely to just have a late morning in camp and eat the bannock for breakfast.
Here's what Ray Mears has to say:


Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
bannock on 01/09/2012 07:34:30 MST Print View

Now you've done it... I'm craving bannock... lol. I think it was the olive oil post that did it to me.

I usually use my coffee cup for the yeast/water/sugar mixture. I also put the dough for yeast based products in a Ziploc freezer bag and inside my jacket when it is cooler outside... helps with the rising.

Then there is the Outback Oven Ultralight - I know, not UL by this forum's standards... but wouldn't you love to have this for breakfast?

Cinnamon Buns

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F

Bread on the trail on 01/09/2012 08:45:44 MST Print View

I just got back from a backpacking trip where I made bread on the trail. I make a package of flour, salt, and yeast. I add water in the morning and keep it in the top of my pack. In the evening, I dry baked it on low heat in an aluminum pan that was inside an Evernew 1.3 liter pot and had fresh bread on the trail.

Yeast Bread

I am still refining my system. I have also baked biscuits in a Snow Peak 700.
SP 700 Biscuit

The easiest way to make bread is by wrapping it on a stick and toasting it over a fire (similar to a marshmallow). The loaf size is smaller, but the bread cooks quickly.

Cooking over a fireYeast Bread

Chris Rothwell
(heelix) - F

Locale: Midwest
I've been experimenting with aluminum foil on 03/24/2012 07:28:24 MDT Print View

I've been experimenting with thicker aluminum foil last season, forming up a loaf with a sealed lid and setting it in the coals. It has worked fairly well for a single backing process. A bit of crisco sometimes gets a second use without reforming. The hardest part is knowing when something is done - can't just peak inside without causing damage. I will rotate the package so that I get even cooking.

Planning to kick off the BWCA (canoe style camping with fire pit) season with death by chocolate. A flourless chocolate torte adapted nicely to dehydrated eggs, and my bride loves it. Muffin mix, or even pizza mix works well. Adding in some fresh savory spices to the bread gets really get a nice aroma - better have enough to share!

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Outback Oven Ultralight on 03/24/2012 11:55:39 MDT Print View

Could you explain to me what the components of the Outback Oven Ultralight are and how they fit together? A picture would be helpful. The backpackerspantry website just doesn't explain it at all. Thanks.