Camper Cooking with Kerry: Making bread without an oven
No oven? No problem! Follow these simple steps to make bread without an oven.
2 ½ cups Flour
1 cup hot milk
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 packet)
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp powdered milk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp butter
- The first thing you need to do is pour hot milk into a bowl.
- Pour in your sugar and whisk the milk and sugar together until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- When the milk has cooled a bit (you want it lukewarm), add the yeast to the milk and sugar, stirring just a bit. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to proof. You are looking for the yeast to look a bit frothy.
- Once your yeast is ready, add in flour.
- Add in powdered milk.
- Add in salt….make sure to do it in this order because if you add the salt directly to the yeast, you will kill the yeast.
- Now mix together all of the ingredients.
- Sprinkle a little bit of flour on a flat surface. Gather the dough into a pile, place it on the table and start to knead. It will be a bit sticky at first but keep working it with your hands, forming it into a ball and then reshaping it. Knead with the heels of your hand, pushing away from you and folding back over. Continue this for about 10 minutes. You know when the dough is ready when is shiny, relatively smooth and springs back when you press into it.
- Now take the butter and knead it into your dough. Once it is worked in, set it aside for a minute and grease the bowl that you will use to let the dough rise. To grease the bowl, take some butter and spread it around the entire surface of a bowl. You want a bowl large enough to let the dough expand about twice its size.
- Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set aside for 1 hour.
- While you are waiting for the dough’s first rise, prep the pan that you are going to cook the bread in by spreading butter on all interior sides and edges. Don’t skip this step as the bread will be very difficult to get out of the pan without doing this.
- Now that your dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and punch it down. Knead for again for a few minutes. You are aiming for a smooth dough. Pinch cracks and continue working until smooth.
- Place your dough into the prepared baking pan and press to fill in evenly.
- Cover again with a damp cloth and set aside for 1 hour to rise.
- After about 50 minutes, heat up your “oven”. Any pressure cooker that you can fit your loaf pan into will work. My All American Pressure Canner/Cooker is a bit of overkill and I actually recommend a smaller unit (something like this: Add salt to the bottom of the pan – this is mostly to absorb moisture during the cooking process. Place cutting rings or racks into the cooker to elevate the loaf pan during cooking. NOTE: remove your gasket and weights from your pressure cooker before using. Place cover on cooker and turn on heat to high.
- Unwrap your dough and brush the top with milk. The fat and sugars from the milk will help your bread develop a nice golden color during cooking.
- Place your bread into the cooker, cover and reduce to medium heat. At about 20 minutes, remove cover and brush bread with milk once more, cover and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes or until you achieve a nice golden color.
- Take your bread out of the cooker and place on a rack to cool.
- To help make your bread nice and soft, take a bit of butter and brush it on the top of the loaf.
- Once the pan has cooled just enough to handle with your hands, flip over and remove the bread. Wrap the bread in a damp cloth and set aside.
After about 2 hours, unwrap the bread, slice and enjoy!
IMPORTANT NOTE: As I mentioned earlier, my All American Pressure Canner/Cooker was a bit much – fine for a traditional cooktop/range, but I found that when using it in my camper, the cooktop and surrounding countertop became a bit hot – a potential hazard. Using a smaller pressure cooker that doesn’t extend past the sides of the cooktop is much safer.
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