Did you know that you can make bread with a few basic ingredients, a dutch oven or similar pot, and a campfire? The process is ridiculously-easy, and this is a great way to give yourself access to carbohydrates without having to carry around a lot of bulky or perishable foods. Not only that, but having some nice, warm bread on hand in the midst of a crisis can be a great way to boost morale and fill the belly.
2 lbs of flour
¾ cup powdered milk
½ cup sugar
2 packets dry yeast
Salt (to taste)
The first step is to add about ¼ cup of water to a tin cup or small bowl before pouring in the yeast and your sugar. However, the water needs to be as close to 120 degrees as possible to activate the yeast. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t worry. You can guesstimate the temperature by using your finger instead. Get your finger nice and cold, stick it in the water, and it should take about three seconds before the water gets hot to the touch. While there is a little bit of variability associated with this approach, it should get you close enough.
Give it a good stir, and keep the water as warm as possible until the yeast starts to foam up. The best thing to do, especially in cooler temperatures is place the cup near the fire or on a grate so that it won’t get too cold, but keep it far enough from the heat source to prevent it from getting too hot. The yeast will need to rest for about 5-10 minutes before moving on to the next step, so this is a good time to start getting the rest of the ingredients and dutch oven ready.
The next step is to preheat the dutch oven so that it isn’t cold when the dough is added. Add in some oil and rub it around to grease the pot before mixing the ingredients.
Preparing the Dough
Add the flour into a large mixing bowl along with the powdered milk, salt and some additional sugar to taste. Mix the ingredients together before slowly pouring in the yeast, and add in enough water to make the dough soft enough to work with. Remember to add water in small amounts to prevent the dough from getting too wet. Once the dough reaches the desired consistency, give it a good knead and place it into the dutch oven.
Place the oven over a low fire, cover it with the lid, and let it rest over the heat for about 45 minutes until it’s finished rising. Next, lower the oven to about a foot above the fire, coat the underside of the lid with some oil, place it back on the pot, and cover the lid with some hot coals. The trick here is to have the pot low enough so the fire cooks the bread, but you don’t want it too low, otherwise the bread will burn.
Let the bread cook for about 30-45 minutes, or until it has cooked through, and you’re good to go. Remove the oven from the fire, take out the bread, and slice it up. Feel free to experiment by adding other seasonings, oats, raisins or other small items to taste until you create a bread that suits your tastes and preferences. Try this recipe for yourself, and see how easy it is to make some delicious and nutritious bread in the field.