If you like to camp in comfort and enjoy a challenge, take a Dutch oven. Breads, bannock, cinnamon buns, upside-down-cake, succulent meats and baked fish are taken to a new dimension over an open fire.
The trick is to keep only a few coals underneath and more on top of the Dutch oven.
This bread can be used as an accompaniment to a one-pot meal or as a pizza base. It’s a good recipe to introduce you to your Dutch-oven experience.
Practise with heat regulation; you’ll be surprised how quickly things cook in one of these simple ovens. Measure and pack the ingredients into Ziploc bags at home.
At camp, find a flat rock or a wooden paddle for mixing and kneading. You’ll draw oohs and ahhs from your buddies when the lid is lifted.
Dutch Oven Foccacia
¾ cup warm water
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ medium onion, finely chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried onion)
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups flour (all-purpose, whole-wheat or a combination)
Additional salt and olive oil
Pack an extra cup of flour in a separate bag for kneading
• In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Allow five minutes to proof.
• Stir in sugar, oil, salt, chopped onion, rosemary and garlic.
• Add the flour one cup at a time.
• Once the dough is stiff enough, dump onto the work surface and use some additional flour to knead in. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should be soft, but not sticky.
• Place dough in a bowl (oil first) or plastic Ziploc bag and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
• Oil the bottom and sides of a nine-inch-round Dutch oven. Use a larger diameter or oblong Dutch oven for a thinner bread.
• Press the dough into the prepared Dutch oven.
• Brush or rub additional oil onto the dough.
• Using your finger to press all over the surface, dimple the dough.
• Cover and allow to rise a second time in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
• Prepare the fire by slowing it down and finding good-sized coals.
• Place the Dutch oven in a bed of coals. Heap about six coals on top of the Dutch oven. Continually monitor the coals and replace with fresh burning ones every 10 minutes or so.
• Depending on the heat of the coals and wind, bake the foccacia for about 20 minutes or until golden.
• Sprinkle with salt and rosemary before serving.
Yield = one 9-inch bread with six to eight slices.