Have you ever wished you could have a hot biscuit or muffin in the morning? But not carry a ton of weight? Or a huge pot? You can!
I have been fascinated by the Bakepacker for a couple years, but the problem is this: even with the light version they sell, it won't fit my tiny pans. You need a pan that is at least 6" across (which would be around a 1.5 L pot). I use a MSR Titan Ti Kettle, which is .85 L and is not even 5" across the top. And truth be told, I am not about to start carrying heavier and larger pans for this purpose. So I started looking around on the internet and came across this site from a couple years ago, where a hiker described his version of making a UL baker. I thought to myself "could I make one that was smaller? Would it work?".
I wandered around the house looking for what I could use to make it, and noticed I had a brand new windscreen from AntiGravityGear I hadn't used. I smoothed it out, and layed my kettle on top. I traced the shape, then using scissors, cut it out. I then trimmed it down a bit so that it would fit in my pot. You want it so you can drop it in, maybe 1/4" smaller than your pot inside.
There are many materials you could use, one being my idea, another would be a disposable aluminum cookie tray from the grocery store.
Then, using a ruler, I traced a grid of 1/2" squares on it. I used a tiny phillips head screwdriver to do this. All I had to do was gently drag the screwdriver on the metal to leave a light line. You want one that is small, such as for jewelry work. A small punch would work as well.
Now, I found a scrap piece of wood. I set my circle on top of the wood. Using the screwdriver I punched a hole carefully at the corner of each square on the grid I had traced. I then went and punched a hole in the center of each grid.
I then cut another piece of the metal 14" long and 1" wide. It can be as long as you wish. This is what sits at the bottom of the pan, and is spiraled, to hold the circle up.
The baker in the pot:
When ready to get baking, put the spiral in the pan. Put water in till almost to the top of the spiral. Top with the circle. Next to the pot is my bag, ready with biscuit mix.
Biscuit mix place in pan. You can prep the mix in the bag, then arrange the bag, so that opening is at the top. Do not seal. You can use freezer bags or small oven bags for this. I used a sandwich bag here, but I'd not recommend that as they are more fragile.
I put the pan on my Primus canister stove and brought it to a boil. As soon it was boiling, I hit the timer for 15 minutes, and lowered my stove to where it was barely burning. With the low amount of water in the pan, it continues to gently simmer/boil and conserves fuel use. This would also work fine with an alcohol stove and 1 ounce of fuel. When the time was up, I turned the stove off and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Supposedly, they say on the Bakepacker website to not open the pan while cooking raised items (biscuits, cakes, etc) as the cold air can cause the items to fail and flop.
And did it work? Quite yes, it did! While it doesn't get browned, it was perfectly cooked thru. Moist and tender as well! Yum! It made enough for 1 person.
For my trial recipe I used Bisquick mix. The Betty Crocker mixes for muffins
that call for just water work well also. Split the pouch in half, into two quart freezer bags.
1/4 cup + 2 Tbl Bisquick mix
2 Tbl water
In the bag and sealed it, then I mixed it by kneading the bag. I then opened up the bag and put it in the pot.
It is said that you can put paper muffin liners in the bags, and bake it that way, giving you a nice clean muffin/biscuit.
From now on, I will use a quart freezer bag, and double my biscuit recipe so there is enough for both Ford and I. Half a bag of BC muffin mixes would be perfect for 2 people.
Basically, if you can bake it in a Bakepacker, you can do it in this. Just cut your portions in half. 15 minutes seem perfect for cooking time, along with a 5 minute rest.
From my blog: