Woodsmans Bread Part 2: The Cooking

Now that the dough’s made you must decide how you want to cook your loaf. This is mainly governed by what gear you have. If you are going very minimalist and don’t want to use a pot, then you have 2 main options.

Option 1 is to take a ball of your risen dough and place it into the embers of your fire, piling more hot coals on top of the dough. This is pretty primitive but actually very effective. The outside chars quickly but forms a protective shell around the rest of the dough, allowing the inside to cook.

My softball size piece of dough only took about 10 minutes to cook, and it turned out to be very tasty. Split the cooked bread in half and then eat the middle which will be perfectly fluffy. Despite being cooked directly in the embers the bread doesn’t take on too much of the smoky flavour.

The second primitive option is to cook your bread by wrapping it around a green stick. In order to cook this way the fire must be stoked up to ensure its very hot, otherwise the inside of the bread wont cook. Another thing to note if you are going to use this method it may be advantageous to leave your dough slightly stickier to help it hold onto the stick, but this isn’t completely necessary.

Select a long straight branch and shave the bark off it, as bark contains bacteria that you don’t want in your food. Take a piece of dough and press it into a tube shape, then wrap this around your green stick. Place the stick over your fire by resting it in a forked branch pressed into the ground. This can be a fun way of making lunch, if you have any sausages you can cook these up and then put them inside your bread spirals for a wild sausage roll.

The final way is simply to use a pot. This is the most reliable way of getting an even loaf of bread, as heat can be more easily moderated. Scrape some coals to one side to cook over, some can also be placed onto the lid of you pot to create an oven effect. If you don’t have a lid you may have to flip your bread once to cook it evenly, putting a bit of oil into the pot can help prevent sticking if you do need to flip.

You can experiment with the recipe to make it your own, add chocolate chips for a breakfast bun, or maybe some foraged fruit if its in season. Now you can add another skill to your outdoor arsenal to help you smooth it in the woods.

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