Baking Bread and Camp Cooking

mikerezny

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Sep 11, 2016
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Hi,
my journey into making bread started a few years ago when we realised that the limit to how long we could be self sufficient when camping off-grid was determined by having access to fresh bread. The small 90l fridge in our Penguin has not enough freezer space to hold frozen bread.
So, 4-5 days was the absolute longest we could last before hunting out somewhere to buy more bread. This was frustrating because we could carry enough food , wine, cider, and water to last 21 days.

So, I decided to learn to make damper. A damper made with 250g of flour would last us three days. We don't usually light fires when we camp but we had made a small chip burner (called the chippie) to heat water, cook pasta, and with a small BBQ plate it could do bacon and eggs, sausages, chops, steaks etc.

I pushed that principle a little further with the addition of a large high-sided frying pan and lid and used it to bake damper which was mixed up and put in a pie dish. With a bit of fiddling we have perfected the art of making damper this way, having made over 60 dampers with this method. We had one failure due to making one with plain flour (forever after, nicknamed the "dumper"). It turned out like a brick.

Then the story progresses to chapatis to go with Indian curries, before starting down the journey of making bread, again, it had to be done in the frying pan on top of the chippie.

Several attempts at home, first with bread machines and eventually we could consistently bake reasonable small loaves(250g of flour) in the oven.
The problem with doing this when camping is trying to prove the loaves in a uncontrolled temperature. Bread rises far too slowly in 8-10C in the morning for it to be ready to eat at lunchtime. But, the benchtop over the top of the gas fridge turned out to be an ideal warm environment (20-25C) for proving bread.
We have now baked 20-30 loaves whilst out camping and we have never had a failure.

Then, at home, along came crumpets, English muffins, Italian style pizza bases, bread rolls, multi-grain bread. All leading slowly to my ultimate goal of baking an acceptable French baguette. Still a long way off achieving that. Probably another year, I am not in a hurry.

Next up was long fermentation breads (basically no knead). Mix in the evening and bake the next morning.

Levain / sourdough interested me, but I was always put off by the huge waste of ingredients to make and feed a starter. I could not cope with the waste.
Then I found "Bake with Jack" who has perfected a way to feed and maintain a starter with absolutely no waste. And feeding can be done a little as once a fortnight.
My other requirement was the starter had to use only plain flour and water.
So I started a few weeks ago. Fed the starter for 6 days and baked the first loaf. Barely ok. Three more attempts and the starter is much better, the technique has improved, and we are baking acceptable loaves with 330g of flour every 3-4 days.

Take care
Mike

Here are a few photos:
Chippie and Kettle:
IMG_0028a.jpg


Chippie and Breakfast:
IMG_0029a.jpg


Chippie baking a damper:
IMG_4470a.jpeg


Bake with Jack bread baked at home: Each loaf uses 500g flour:
IMG_5385.JPG


Long fermentation cobs using 375g flour:
IMG_5386.JPG


Long and round rolls, still a work in progress:
IMG_5388.JPG


Levain bread, second attempt:
IMG_5402.JPG
 

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Looks very good Mike I can nearly smell it as I drool onto the keyboard, be way back in 80's and early 90's when I made bread and pizza dough, then had to work for a living so never had time, now no hungry horde so afraid I would never get to eat my efforts, a loaf from our baker will last me a week if I freeze half of it, Sourdough or Turkish is my selection nowadays...... this getting old is annoying........... Maybe just one loaf now and then .............. :)
 

mikerezny

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Looks very good Mike I can nearly smell it as I drool onto the keyboard, be way back in 80's and early 90's when I made bread and pizza dough, then had to work for a living so never had time, now no hungry horde so afraid I would never get to eat my efforts, a loaf from our baker will last me a week if I freeze half of it, Sourdough or Turkish is my selection nowadays...... this getting old is annoying........... Maybe just one loaf now and then .............. :)
Hi,
Aldi in Victoria sell some quite nice Bakers Life Turkish rolls. Three large rolls for $1.99. We used to buy them as a treat whenever we went camping.


take care
Mike
 

Bluey

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Mar 31, 2014
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No reckon a camp oven cooking page more so carst iron cooking a paella done in the camp oven was bloody lovely I'm on a camp oven cooking thing on face book I try to cook in them on most weekends
 

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Drover

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I'm looking forward to when you lot get refined and retired with the realisation that you have all the time in the world to do this marvelous cuisine but can't eat the damn stuff, choke in your own drool for sure.................................. Bah, Humbug, etc ,etc.............................

My camp oven Rabbit/Ox Tail/Roo Shank stew would attract people for mile along with my version of Leb Bread was just divine............... no photo's as it was all film back then and who would waste film on normal camp oven tucker................... Pagan kids were just happy with sangs, philistines..................... Cannot remeber my Leb Bread mix but it was a quick camp mix thrown on the plate like a big pikelet, light and tasty, well most times anyway........ excellant tucker to fill hole when the tucker box was getting low......

Do dumplings count as bread ????
 

Bluey

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I've been wanting to do a rabbit stew for sure and will got a roast beef in as we speak it's not quite finished not long to go about half hr or so started it at 4 pm as it cooks I start to remove coals so top disnt burn leave all bottom ones going I've got it down to a fine ark cooking with heat beads but when camping I turn to real coals pretty easy
 

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mikerezny

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Righto beef is done happy with that
View attachment 67543
Hi @Bluey.
you have cooked a great roast. And a good roast like that certainly needs one of my good breads.

Which reminds me. We were hiking through the Alps in 2008 and were in Briançon around lunch time on market day. We heard there was a bakery that was famous for its wood-fired baguettes. When we found it, the line of people waiting to buy them ran out of the shop and down the footpath. We were lucky to get one.

Then on our way back through the market we walked past a cheese shop. The lady called out to us: "A great bread like that needs one of our great cheeses!" We couldn't argue with that.
We did have a great lunch in the gardens. Fresh roast chicken, freshly baked wood-fired baguette, and a piece of great French cheese.
Hiking in France is pure hell!

Take care
Mike
Briancon 2008.JPG
 
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mikerezny

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@mikerezny I have Googled some of his recipes, might get a chance to do one at daughters next week if shes got the gear, looks and sounds so yummy.....how does overnight at 25-30 deg go though.
Hi,
Ken's timings are based on an overnight temperature of 18C. My recipe calls for 12-14 hours. So, at 25-30C it will prove quicker, so I would prepare as late as possible and be prepared to bake early in the morning. Probably 8 hours or less. Also put the dough in the coolest part of the house. He bakes when the dough increased in size from around double or triple. Proving in the banneton is between 60 - 75 mins at 21C. I would not go longer than say 50 mins.

Another option might be to cover the bowl with cling wrap and then keep a wet towel over the top to keep it cooler over night.

Esky with a cooler block in it.

Another option is to prove overnight in the fridge and take it out first thing and let it prove for a couple of hours before shaping for the final proof.

take care
Mike
 
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