My family goes on a long river trip every year or so. When we do, we used to be stuck with tortilla wraps for our sandwiches after the couple of days and no bread with dinners. You see, bread molds easily, and it crushes even more easily. The solution came when Mark Bittman posted a no-knead bread recipe on the New York Times “Minimalist” column a couple of years ago. Here’s a link to the story:
It didn’t take much for a Dutch Oven lover to look at the recipe and say, “I could do that on a river trip!” I decided to adapt the recipe for whole wheat (which Bittman later did too), and I cut the recipe in half to use a small Dutch Oven. Here’s the recipe I developed for river trips.
Before the trip, combine in a large (at least one gallon) ziplock bag.
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup wheat gluten
- 1/4 teaspoon yeast (more if you are not sure how youthful your yeast is)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- herbs and spices, optional
Riverside, add a generous 3/4 cup water to the mixture, in the bag. (By generous, I mean about 8/10 of a cup instead of 7.5/10). Squish it together until well mixed. Place the original bag inside a second bag for protection. Place the bag in a warm but not hot location (such as on top of your gear in your canoe) for at least 12 but no more than about 18 hours. (Tip: if it’s a warm day, you can start this in the morning and have it for dinner. Just check to make sure your yeast are not getting overheated. If the bag gets too warm, cover it lightly. If it’s cold, start it the previous afternoon.)
In camp, start coals for an 8-inch Dutch Oven. Heat the oven a bit both top and bottom, and grease it. Dump in the risen bread dough. Put the lid back on the Dutch Oven and place coals top and bottom. Bake for about 45 minutes. Mmmmmmm: you’ll have hot, fresh bread on the river!
Of course, you can bake this bread at home too, but it’s so easy for camping!