Feb 15, 2014 at 4:55 pm #1313352
Have any of you accomplished trail chefs done sourdough bread on the trail? Any variety will do: pan bread, pan cakes, pita, etc. Looking for the process, equipment (lighter is better, duh!), and results.
I'm especially interested pan breads which don't require massive amounts of kneading and can be cooked over a low heat canister stove.Feb 15, 2014 at 5:38 pm #2073914
Greg MihalikBPL Member
A yeasted, raised bread versus a baking powder and or baking soda "quick bread"? …. Right?
The latter are easy in all regards. The former, not so much.
Just wanting to clarify…Feb 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm #2073918
…Feb 15, 2014 at 5:52 pm #2073921
Someone (Laurie March, I think) talks about doing that in one of her cookbooks, raising the dough overnight in the foot of her sleeping bag. Obviously not for bear country!
At home, I've done sourdough English muffins and sourdough biscuits, both of which have a relatively shorter rise time (due to also using baking powder) and could be done on a day where you had a couple of hours in camp before dinner.Feb 15, 2014 at 7:54 pm #2073954
Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Pretty easy to do. Mix up the dry ingredients in a ziplock bag. For bread at dinner add water and kneed through the bag. For one person you only need about 1 cup of the flour, yeast , salt mix. In the morning, you only need to add 3-4 oz of water.Feb 16, 2014 at 5:23 am #2074001
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Stephen, there are several ways of making some type of bread on the trail. They usually involve extra weight.
Pancakes are perhaps the easiest. I just pack bisquik in a baggie. I add a couple tablespoons of the mix to my cup, a teaspoon or so of olive oil, with a couple tablespoons of water and mix. I pour this into a heated flat sheet greased with olive oil *just* before I pour. I then wait for it to bubble, and carefully lift it off the sheet with my spoon and flip it. I have used bacon grease to make flour gravy, or, squirt parified butter on it, cinnamon, etc. roll it up and eat. You can use these for sandwitches for lunch, too.
The extra weight is the weight of a small fry pan. BTW: These are one at a time though many, variations.
Fried dough is another. I start off with a half pound of pizza dough off the shelf. I make two or three fried dough patties, then add a couple ounces of flour and a couple ounces of water with a single dash of salt. I kneed it around with existing dough. Done. Easy right?
Well, no. It takes 24-48 hours to regenerate. 24 hours with some kneeding if the temp is around 80F or so. 48 hours if it is around 60F. At 40F, it will take 4 days. You have to supply a non-sealed container. A baggie will pop open and make a mess. Don't ask how I know. It will double or quadruple in size, mostly because of fermenting. It *can* spoil, leaving it with a nasty taste. Usually hiking will be enough to keep it "patted" down though.
The yeast is living (though sometimes it will die or grow slowly making tomorrows dough balls pasty, hard and flat. It needs to sit longer.) You gave it food and water. It produces a rather large amount of CO2 and alcohol while metabolizing the sugars/starches. I have done it for 5 days, but it gets increasingly floury since I was using it too fast. The dough can be kept for about a week or so, hence the "sour" dough name. It will smell strongly of fermented alcohol/vinegar at the end of a week or so. It is still good, of course. The yeast will lie dormant for a few months. So simply cooking the old dough and adding fresh flour/water will rejuvinate it…sour dough bread, muffins, rolls, etc. I am always too impatiient to wait.
I have simply used bisquik to make fried dough, instead. I add a small amount of water and make a thick doughy "ball." It sits for about 15 minutes then I fry it. The baking soda adds a lot of salt, though. And with little gluten and no yeast, it tasts more like a fried biscut than bread.
Bisquik has other uses. Gravy (as I mentioned), thickener for stews, dumplings, pot-pies/shepherds pies.Feb 16, 2014 at 7:20 am #2074022
Bannock is pretty much a staple for us every time we car camp or on canoe trips. We've always used a cast iron pan and cooked on open fire, but I can't see why it wouldn't work with a canister stove and an aluminum/titanium pan.
There are lots of recipe's online but generally you need flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter and water. We pre-mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a ziploc bag. When you are at camp all you have to do is melt the butter in the pan, pour it into the ziploc and add water. My girlfriend says the key to good bannock is to make sure you don't over mix it. You only want to mix it enough so that everything is moist. Then plop your dough (in desired sizes) into the pan and cook. Great for breakfast with some peanut butter and jam and also a nice side dish for supper's like chilli.
We haven't tried it camping, but focaccia bread is supposed to be easy to make. Maybe see if you can't find a few recipes for that too.
Let us know how it goes…Feb 16, 2014 at 9:33 am #2074056
These are all great bread ideas for the trail. But since the OP was asking specifically about sourdough – it occurs to me that perhaps making sourdough flatbread would be the least time consuming and least fussy, though it doesn't get quite as sour a flavor as longer processes. I've lately been doing that at home with unused starter, just combining it with enough flour to make a moist dough, plus a little salt. Then over the course of an hour or so, I stretch out the dough ball every 15 minutes out so to develop the gluten and refold into a loose ball. The final time I let it sit flattened out for 15 minutes then bake it (a sheet of silnylon makes a great nonstick resting surface, I do that at home!) – you could just put it into the pan then and either do a baking technique or just "fry".
If I were to try this on the trail, I would feed the starter in the morning, then take out all but a tablespoon or so of the starter to make the night's dough, reserving the tablespoon of starter to feed the next day and repeat the process.
If you feed it in the morning it should be nice and bubbly by the time you hit camp. Optimal proportions for feeding it are about a tablespoon of starter to 1/4 cup water and 1/3c cup flour. Then after letting that sit all day, you would take out your starter for the next day and to the rest add more flour and salt. Play with this at home and see how much you want to end up with after baking, you could double or triple amounts.
Now I am getting inspired to try this on a trip! Doing it this way, the starter could stay in the bear can or hang at night.
I also have recipes for sourdough pancakes, though that would involve incubating a larger amount of batter overnight – let me know if you are interested.Feb 16, 2014 at 10:43 am #2074071
Thanks for all the replies – I should have mentioned that I am aware of the various soda and baking powder methods of making trail breads, but was specifically looking for suggestions on sourdough breads on the trail. Special thanks to James for the baggie warning! I won't ask, but I already have a visual!!!
d k, many thanks for sharing your at home experiences. Silnylon, eh? Do you sprinkle flour on the cloth? You're not actually kneading the dough, right? Just pulling and patting? You would add the four and water in the morning, mix thoroughly, put in a [lightweight!]container that is somewhat air permeable at the top (suggestions?), then pull and shape once you're in camp, correct?
Someone who makes a trail oven is coming to the SoCal GGG, and I'd like to see if his stuff would work with sourdough. I figure if I can get something like your method, d k, to work for a sourdough fry bread, using an oven might be awesome.
Further suggestions for sourdough welcome!Feb 16, 2014 at 11:42 am #2074087
Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Indian Fry Bread Recipe
Servings – Makes 2 ¾ cup servings enough for 2 days
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 8 min
¼ cup unbleached flour
¾ rye flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ Tbsp dry milk
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp caraway seeds
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
Dash hot pepper
Dash black pepper
Add enough water (~3/4 cups) to make a STIFF dough
Vegetable/Olive oil for frying
Extra flour to flour your hands
Mix together the two flours, salt, dry milk, baking powder, caraway & sesame seeds and peppers into a large bowl. (This can be divided in half and placed into two zip lock bags.)
To start with pour small amounts of water over the flour mixture and stir the dough with a fork until it get to a stiff consistency. (If dough is too soft because you added beyond the stiff corm it takes longer to cook)
Flour your hands well. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.
In your fry pan add vegetable/olive oil and set aside. (Original Native recipes call for a minimum of oil 1 inch deep……this is not necessary as a lightly oiled fry pans work great.)
Cut the dough into four (6) pieces if using a 8 inch Banks Fry Pan. (You determine the size you desire and/or for the number of people you are to feed I provide this as an example as I use this when I'm cooking with my four grandchildren.) Using floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 2 ½ to 3 inches in diameter, ½ – 1 inch thick. Don’t worry about it being round.
Take the formed dough and gently place it into the fry pan and press down on the dough as it fries. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cook.
Enjoy!Feb 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm #2074094
If the dough is still fairly sticky I do sprinkle flour on the silnylon, or on the outside of the dough ball. And no, I don't knead it, just stretch it as far as it will comfortably go, then do the envelope fold to get it back to somewhat of a ball shape; once the flour and salt are incorporated into the starter, the dough is handled as lightly as possible (i.e. no kneading).
I would add flour and water in the morning. Hopefully by the time you make camp in the afternoon it will be nice and bubbly and puffy. I would then add additional flour to make a moist dough consistency as well as a bit of salt for flavor, let it rest 15 minutes, then stretch and fold every 15 minutes till you've done that a few times and dough is puffing up a bit.
I am not sure about the permeable container, though I guess if it is tightly sealed you could have problems too. I'm thinking a plastic jar with screw on lid (peanut butter type) would be ideal, or a light tupperware snap-on lid. If you could guarantee keeping it upright, you could punch a hole in the top for air release. Otherwise, you may want to check the dough and "burp" the container periodically through the day. Maybe container with a small hole, inside a ziplock?
Once I make the dough, I might try putting it between silnylon layers inside a large ziplock while the dough proofs.
Optimally sourdough is supposed to proof around 70 degrees F but slightly warmer temps would shorten the process and also give a more sour flavor, so I'd try to keep it at least that warm if possible (in a warm tent, or in a sunny spot on a cold day). If too warm (<105, I think), it will die, though.
I would only use minimal oil for "fry" bread, I think, on a simmer flame; maybe "bake" it on an inner pan set on rocks inside a larger pan with a lid. You may need to make little slits in a flatbread before "baking" – otherwise they have a tendency to end up looking like a puffer fish, with a gigantic air cavity in the center.
I want to hear how this works for you! Keep us posted.Feb 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm #2074098
Stuart RBPL Member
I've not tried sourdough (I think it would take quite a bit of effort), but often make flatbread leavened with instant yeast. This requires minimal kneading and just 30 min to rise. With the dough pressed out to 1/4" it takes just 5 min cooking per side on a very low flame.Feb 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm #2074127
Puffer fish bread, I like it!!!
Ken, looks like an interesting recipe – I'll have to try a variant.
Okay, the reason I'm asking about sourdough is because the doctor has put me on a real low sodium diet. Turns out there's a lot of salt/sodium in commercial bread, and quick breads made with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and baking powder (also contains sodium bicarbonate) also have considerable amounts of, you guessed it, sodium! So any recipe that uses either of these two ingredients is out for me.
Sourdough (commercial) bread usually has salt in it, both for flavor and to control the activity of the yeast and bacteria. But unlike normal yeast bread, even with no or very minimal salt, sourdough still has flavor – it's sour!
d k, I'm going to start working on your one-day, cook at night, silnylon bread idea. I'll let you know how it works!Feb 16, 2014 at 4:56 pm #2074186
Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Here is a 4" diameter yeast bread I that I made at GGG West. I will be baking 5" loaves of bread at the SoCal GGG. I added water to the mix the night before and had bread by 1 pm. Best regards – Jon
BTW, salt inhibits the dough from rising so less salt means that the bread will rise faster.Feb 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm #2074194
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"BTW, salt inhibits the dough from rising so less salt means that the bread will rise faster."
Yes, so if you really want the salty flavor, then put salted butter on the bread when it is hot.
–B.G.–Feb 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm #2074202
Not for trail cooking, but thought you might find the following useful for at home cooking: http://community.kingarthurflour.com/user/1120318/recipes/1120318Feb 17, 2014 at 7:46 am #2074334
Jon, you're the baking guy who'll be at SoCal GGG! I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your Flat Cat gear! I'll try to have some sourdough for you to demo.
Bob, sadly, salted butter has also disappeared from my diet. I've always been someone who preferred savory foods to sweet, and savory means salt. Yesterday I found myself putting sweet pickles on my chicken sandwich – I despise sweet pickles! – just to have something with some TASTE in the sandwich! What a sad life!
Doug, yes, King Arthur flour has great resources as well as great flours. I hadn't seen all those recipes, thanks! More ideas to work on!
Finally, a big THANK YOU!!! to d k who sent me a ton of ideas and resources for no/low salt bread making – including a no salt baking powder, which makes quick breads once again an option at home and the trail. You're the best!Feb 17, 2014 at 10:53 am #2074394
Bob ShaverBPL Member
I have not made the kind of bread that has to rise, but I make breads from dry mixes. I use a Caldera Cone with an Outback Oven, for pizza, cornbread, bisquits, etc.
Information on the setup is at this location:Feb 3, 2015 at 10:30 am #2170840
Well, a year later, I finally got around to trying to make sourdough at the NorCal GGG last weekend. Unfortunately, it was mostly consumed before I thought of taking pictures (in my defense, I was having an electronics-free weekend, if you don't count looking at Manfred's Alaska pix on his laptop).
I brought along a small amount of starter, and a ziplock with about 1.5 cups of flour and 3/4 tsp of salt. Saturday evening I mixed them with about 1/2 cup of water and stuck them inside my jacket while we were sitting around the campfire. At bedtime I placed the bag at the foot of my quilt; it did fall out sometime during the night but I put it back in in the early morning hours and rewarmed it. It had gotten somewhat puffy overnight, as it should, despite being out in the cold for an unspecified amount of time.
At breakfast, I put some olive oil in my frying pan, then dumped the dough in there and lightly stretched/flattened it out as best I could to cover most of the bottom of the pan. Unfortunately I had no lid, but I put the pan on top of my cone and used the simmer ring on the 12-10 stove for about 10 minutes, then got impatient and took the simmer ring off to finish the flatbread, flipping it once or twice to get both sides. The finished product was nice and sour, chewy and moist inside. I had some with my egg/onion/cheese scramble, and shared the rest with Maya and Rebecca, who seemed to like it too.
I'm not sure if I would do this very often when backpacking, but it certainly worked, and was a nice treat. Maybe for special occasions, or when I know I'll have a fair amount of time in camp. If making for myself, I would make a smaller portion at a time; if for more people, I'd probably try making smaller individual breads, which would mean bringing some extra flour to form them in, dusting the surface of the dough balls. I might also try raising the dough overnight in a lidded pot, lined with a piece of silnylon, rather than having a gooey plastic bag to deal with at the end of the process.
Edit: just remembered that doing this (raising the dough inside the quilt overnight) in bear country will not work, unless it's warm (and roomy) enough in the bear canister instead…so probably raising in the pack during the day while hiking would be better, and baking with dinner.Feb 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm #2170897
Stuart RBPL Member
I might also try raising the dough overnight in a lidded pot
I let the dough raise in the pot that it will be cooked in – usually a MSR quick skillet. Less mess that way.
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