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EASY BREAD MAKING

bread in tins

 

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Easy Bread Making

Nearly everyone who camps and has a camp oven wants to make, at the very least, damper. But really it isn't that much harder to make bread and you don't have to knead it for ages. Of course, if you want to, the longer you knead bread the more you make the gluten work and the better the bread, but if that's all too difficult, then have a go at the bread recipes below - all you really need is time to allow the yeast to work.

If time isn't on your side, then definitely give the soda bread a try.

I've given temperatures and timings if you want to have a go at making the bread at home before you head bush. All bread recipes can be baked successfully in your camp oven. You can use proper bread tins that fit inside your camp oven, and which are ideal if you often make bread and are worth trying to get hold of. If not, you can simple make one very big loaf and put it directly inside your camp oven - allow a longer cooking time! I prefer to try and put the dough on a flat round metal dish (like a pizza tray) and place that on top of a trivet and get the bread off the base of the camp oven to help prevent the bottom from burning.

Camp Oven: Preheat your camp oven and have it good and hot, then place the dough when ready into the camp oven, cover with lid (coals on top and bottom) and bake until cooked - the base will sound hollow when tapped.

Three Risings or Batter Bread
three rise breadThis method starts with a batter, leaving that to rise first. You don't need to work the dough very much, but you do need to give it time for the yeast to grow. It is worth the time taken, as you get a lighter loaf with a finer texture and the bread is well risen.
Enough to make 2 medium loafs.

Ingredients
1 kg strong white bread flour
3 tspns dried yeast
1 tspn honey
3 cups warm water (approx)
2 tspns salt
2 tblspns oil
extra flour for kneading

Method
Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of the warm water, along with the honey. Mix well.
Place half of the flour only in a large bowl and add the yeast/water mix. Mix really well to make a thick batter.
1st rise - Cover with some cling warp (spray the surface against the dough with a little oil - it will make it easier to remove the cling wrap and help stop the dough sticking to it) and leave the batter to double in size in a warm place.
When the batter has risen, add the salt and oil along with the remaining half of the flour. Mix to combine and form a dough - it will be a bit sticky.
Turn onto a floured board and knead for just a few minutes, adding extra flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.
2nd rise - Spray the inside of the bowl lightly with some oil and put the dough back into the bowl, cover with cling wrap (again spray the surface against the dough with a little oil) and leave the dough again in a warm place to rise until double in size.
3rd rise - Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few minutes, then divide in two, and put into lightly oiled bread tins and leave to rise and double in size again before baking.
Preheat your oven to 210°C (410°F).
Bake for 30 to 35 mins, then remove the bread from the tins and return to the oven for another 5 mins, at 180°C (350°F) to brown the bottom of the bread.
Cool on wire racks.

 

White Soda Bread
soda breadA very simple bread and easily made. A bit of a mix in texture between a damper and bread. Very nice, especially fresh. Well worth a try.
Makes 1 loaf.

Ingredients
3 cups flour approx (450gm) plain flour (a strong bread flour would be good if you have it)
1 level tsp caster sugar
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (375ml) buttermilk or sour milk (you may need more, or less)

Method
Preheat the oven to 230°C (425°F) or your camp oven - you need a hot oven for this bread.
Into a large bowl sift the flour, caster sugar and bi-carb-soda.
Make a well in the centre and pour in most of the buttermilk (leave a little bit behind, you may or may not need it).
Now mix - it's best to use one of your hands with your fingers outstretched like a claw, and bring the flour and milk together.
Add more buttermilk if necessary to form a soft dough that isn't too wet or sticky.
Do not knead the mixture or it will become heavy, treat it like you would a scone dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and just bring it together a little more to form a smoothish shape.
Pat the dough into a round shape about 4cm (1 1/2in) deep and cut a deep cross in it - this allows the heat to penetrate the loaf as it’s cooking.
Place the dough on a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven 230°C for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 200°C (400°F), and cook for a further 30 minutes.
When cooked, the loaf will sound slightly hollow when tapped on the base and be golden in color.
You can turn it upside down for the last 15mins of cooking to finish off browning the bottom.
Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Viv's hints: You can turn the bread into a savory bread by adding: herbs, bacon, cheese, etc.
Or make it a sweet bread by adding sultanas, raisings and/or currants, chocolate, cinnamon powder, etc.

 

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