It’s food blogging time again! This time I’m sharing a recipe and technique for making very simple flatbread on a fire or stove when camping. What, you’re not camping or barbecuing during the winter? Why not?!
This is very similar to the technique used in the final of The Great British Bakeoff earlier this year. While many people took to twitter to complain that cooking bread on an open fire “isn’t baking”, it was the one technical challenge I watched and reckoned I’d do okay at!
This recipe will work equally as well indoors, of course, but I’ve always been more successful at bread making when there’s actual fire involved…
I have adapted this from one I was taught by Craft Invaders at the South West Outdoor Festival a couple of years ago. Check Sarah’s blog out for loads (and loads) of outdoors craft activities great for kids and adults alike.
Recipe | Flatbread
When cooking outdoors, it’s much easier to measure things in volume rather than weight, hence this recipe working in cups and spoons rather than grams.
For one decent portion of bread, you will need:
- Half a cup of self-raising flour
- 1 tablespoon dried milk – I used coconut milk powder the last time I made this and it worked a treat
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- For savoury bread, 1 tablespoon of dried mixed herbs
- For sweet bread, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a handful of raisins
- Cold water, around a quarter of a cup per portion, approx.
- A little oil if you have it when cooking.
Choose whether you are making plain, savoury or sweet bread and stir all the dry ingredients together in a bowl or large cup. This is everything except the water and oil.
If you are wanting to do this on the road when travelling light, you can measure and mix the dry stuff ahead of time. Simply place your prepared portions in a freezer bag that you can seal and carry with you.
Add water a little at a time and mix until you have a ball of not-too-sticky dough. If you are car camping then it’s easiest to do this in a mixing bowl, but you can equally add the water to your freezer bag if you’re backpacking. Mix with your fingers, no need to make a spoon dirty. There is no real need to knead this dough as it’s flatbread, but make sure it is thoroughly mixed and comes together well.
Form your dough into a flattish round up to about 1inch thick. You can change the thickness depending on how you’re going to eat it, the only difference will be the cooking time – the thinner the bread, the quicker it will cook. If you’re using the bread for dipping in soup or having alongside a rehydrated chilli, thin is good. If you’re having it as it is for breakfast, then the 1inch round feels nice and substantial (and breaks nicely for sharing).
Place your flatbread onto a double layer of foil (doubling up helps prevent burning… sometimes) that has been oiled slightly if you have it, as this will make it easier to remove later. Place your foil onto the embers of you campfire or barbecue, or into a pan over your gas stove.
Allow your bread to cook for up to five minutes (keep an eye on it as this completely depends on the thickness of your bread and the heat of your fire), before turning it over to cook on the other side. I find it is easier to turn the bread away from the fire… grab the foil and pull away from the flame – the foil cools down quickly and you can peel the bread off and turn it over.
You’ll know when it’s cooked as it will feel firm to the touch and will be brown on the outside. Oh, and it’ll smell delicious!
I highly recommend eating your bread straight from the fire as it is, it’s definitely best freshly cooked and warm. But you could equally save it for later (or make a second one to have as a lunchtime sandwich). The savoury bread works particularly well dipped in soup or chilli for supper, while the sweet bread makes an excellent warm breakfast.