All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Everyday Bread #50 - Camp Bread in a Dutch Oven: My First Attempt

Camp Bread #1: 
A Spent Sourdough Rye and Multigrain Bread Baked in a Dutch Oven

We've just returned from camping, and during our stay in Restoule Provincial Park (it is a family tradition that we all go there), I made a few attempts to make some bread in my Dutch Oven, over a wood fire.

All of the attempts had very similar results; it was a struggle to regulate the heat.

My first attempt used a dough with Lahey-like hydration:

  • 2 c Multigrain Bread Flour
  • 1 c Rye Flour
  • The usual salt, yeast, hydration that Lahey advises.
    I had no measuring spoons, so I just eyeballed it, "Camp Style".
    I was aiming for 1 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp yeast, and 1 1/3 c water.
  • Plus a glob of sourdough, unrefreshed for some time.
This dough sat 24 hours before I made the first and only fold and put it into the couche to rise.


At the time of folding it, I started a fire (0900).
At 1030, I set the kettle in the coals, and placed some coals on the lid.

This I left to preheat for 30 minutes.
At 1100  I put the dough into the Dutch Oven.
At 1125 I took off the lid and noticed it was burning a bit on the bottom.
The top was already done (and leaving the lid off would not have baked the top crust any further, like it would in a home oven).

At this point, I took it out and left it to cool on a grill.  It sure was black on the bottom.

But the crumb wasn't too bad, and if you cut off the worst of the charcoal, you had an edible bread.

Notes to Myself
  • This was far too hot a Dutch Oven, or too long a time. The middle was well baked, the top was perfection, the bottom, however, was pure carbon for 1/4" from the outer crust. After I took that crust off, the bread was fine. Therefore, don't leave it right on the hot coals for 25 minutes.
  • Try preheating it and then removing it for baking. (You can keep a few coals under it (perhaps not touching it), and over it, but everyone else has these grandiose ideas of digging pits and covering the thing with sand, and I don't think that this is going to be required.)
  • This loaf's taste is ultra sour. Make the next loaf without the (old) sourdough.
  • Perfect the loaf before adding olives, walnuts, cheese, etc.

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