Hey guys! Penny here!
Today I’m coming to you with a fun cooking tip! We’ve been living in this new world for quite a few years now, but I’m always surprised about about the skills some people still haven’t quite mastered. One of those is how to make bread without an oven!
Never fear! Penny is here to help solve all of your bread baking problems!
First of all, you need to have access to a few ingredients, a steady fire in a safe location, and a willingness to burn a few loaves to get your learning process started!
The ingredients you will need are as follows:
- Some type of flour.
- You can get flour a few ways: you can grind grains yourself, obtain it through trade (the NOMAD shop may have flour for sale, or you can request it and see what they come up with!), or find it while scavenging.
- I personally have a lot of rice flour that I’ve made myself. I get regular dried rice and grind it into a powder. It works for the most part but everything I make is really light and flaky, but I have learned to love it!
- If you know of any other ways to make or obtain flour, go to the forum and post what you know for everyone to share!
- This is actually an optional ingredient. From my experience, yeast can be pretty difficult to find. However, there are some sources (NOMAD again!) as well as a way to cultivate it on your own. I may write an article about this later!
- You can make this bread without yeast but it will be a flat bread that will be much like a cracker.
- This is actually pretty easy to get through trade and helps to flavor and preserve your bread.
- You may bake the bread without salt but it will not taste as good!
- Some type of sugar
- You can use regular sugar, syrup, molasses, honey, corn syrup etc. These things can also be obtained from NOMAD
- If you know how to obtain something like a type of syrup or honey, please share with us on the forum!
- A Cooking Oil
- This can be obtained through several methods, including trade and self made.
- I have used the oil from cooking meat. It makes the bread have a distinct flavor and decreases the amount of time it can sit without refrigeration but it can taste great!
Once you have all the ingredients you need and a safe place to build up a fire for a time, you can get started! Start out by getting your coals hot. If you do not have coals, you can also heat up stones in a roaring fire. Not having coals may make this process take longer but keep at it!
The following measurements will make about 1 medium to large sized loaf or sheet of flat bread.
3.5 cups flour
10 grams of yeast (Like the size of a small packet if you happen to find one)
1 tsp salt
6 tsp sugar
12 tsp cooking oil
1-2 cups of warm water
Mix up your dry ingredients except for the sugar. Make a little hole in the center and add in sugar and oil and lightly combine. Slowly add the warm water, kneading it into the mixture as you go. If your dough sticks all over, add more flour.
Get a nice clean surface to knead your dough. This is the fun part! You need to work the dough until everything is mixed together and it pulls away from the surface.
If you have yeast, you will need to let your dough rise to double the original size. This can take up to 45 minutes. You should put it in a dry warm place and cover it with something like a cloth or a pan.
If you do not have yeast, you can skip this step!
Now, with your coals and fire ready, put your dough into whatever pan you have available. Sometimes you’ll have a loaf pan, but I’ve made bread in a cast iron skillet, a regular pot and just in a big mass of foil!
Place your baking pan into a shallow area in your fire pit (not directly on the flames, but close enough to keep a steady heat on your pan. I like to line the bottom of this area with some hot stones, place my pan inside and cover it and then put more stones on top.
Until you get used to how a fire cooks, you’ll have to sort of nurse your bread! You can check your bread ever 15 minutes or so. If you have yeast, the bread will rise, flat breads may puff a little but will not rise much at all.
When your bread is golden brown and if you poke a hole with a knife it comes out clean, then you can remove it from the heat. You may want to turn the bread out of whatever pan you have so that it doesn’t stick inside.
The first few times may end up in failure one way or the other, but don’t give up! It took me like five or six tries before I mastered it and now I make bread every other day!