For me there is something special about outdoor cooking, like a mindful ritual. No scale or timers, just you, the ingredients and fire. Slow and in tune with nature. My favourites to cook outdoors must be bread and stew, although I love a good pie and pizza as well.
A cast iron pan, such as a Dutch oven, is really nice to use if you cook over the fire. It heats up evenly and holds the heat very well. When you don’t have a Dutch oven, or find it too heavy to carry around (I totally get that!) a double mess tin (or other thick non-coated pan with a lid) will work as well for this recipe.
2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
As much water as needed
About a handful of mixed seeds
Some extra olive oil and a baking sheet (optional, but handy) for your Dutch Oven.
Make sure you have got a (camp)fire burning or preheat your oven to 200ºC/390ºF.
Start with mix all the dry ingredients (including the seeds), add the olive oil and stir really well. Add water till a nice dough forms, it needs to be cohesive but not sticky. You probably need about 3/4 cup water (if you want extra fluffy bread, use sparkling water). Mix/knead it until you have a nice ball of dough. There is no need to wait for the dough to rise, since we are using baking powder. One of the things that makes this an easy outdoor bread, is that it doesn’t require much kneading.
Make sure your Dutch oven (or mess tins) has a good coat of olive oil on the inside (don’t forget in inside of the lid). Place the baking sheet on the bottom and place your ball of dough on top of it. Press some extra seeds onto the ball of dough.
Now back to the fire: Move the fire, or make sure the ground is covered with hot coals (no direct flames/fire). Add a couple of hot coals on top of the lid of the Dutch oven. With bread, the top heat is more important than the heat from below. If you are using the mess tins (or other pan), use the same technique, however you should be extra careful not to burn the bread.
Your bread will be done in about 40 minutes or so – depending on the heat of the coals/your oven, the size of your Dutch oven, and so on. To put it simply, your bread is done, when it is done. If it looks golden brown and sounds hollow if you tap on it, it is probably done!
Sanne is a nature lover in skin and bones. Reconnecting with nature through ancient skills and crafts. Sleeping under the stars and sipping on tea when the sun rises. Encouraging others to head outdoors and find calm and strength along the way.
All photos were taken by and/or belong to Sanne