This past weekend we celebrated my mom’s birthday with spice cake and camping. My mom loves camping. Well maybe I should say, RV’ing. It’s not really camping-camping where you poop in the woods but rather pull up to electric. But it reminds my mom of childhood and she likes hearing the symphony of campfires and children whizzing by on bicycles. Now too it is nostalgic for me, walking the paved circle around the sites to survey the hanging lanterns of neighbors and smell what each family or group of friends is making for dinner.
It is indeed relaxing, even for my dad who is charged with the labor of setting up the camper and fire pits. Usually he will end up napping in a hammock too low to the ground with his hat tipped over his face.
My parents were very sweet and made the trip East so that Kevin and I could more easily join in the fun. And so, recalling all the fun camping cooking traditions that my mom had taught me when I was a kid, I brought along a new one.
This recipe is very slightly adapted from green kitchen stories, to make it more portable.
This recipe assumes you have the ability to heat some water to slightly warm to activate your yeast. You’ll likely have many of the ingredients in your camping arsenal anyway. Further, this recipe serves a bunch of people and makes use of an entire yeast packet for ease of use, but we had a bunch of waste with 4 people and just having it as a side, so I would recommend cutting the recipe in half if you’re not serving a ton of people.
measuring cup and spoons
a lightweight towel or saran wrap to cover the dough
3 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp honey (I had a tiny bear of honey that was the perfect travel size.)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
In a small ziplock or jar:
1 cup shredded carrots and/or apples (optional)
In a large mason jar or ziplock:
4 cups flour of your choice (I used 2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cup spelt flour)
In another small ziplock:
1 handful dried fruit (cranberries and chopped dates would be good) (optional)
1 handful seeds or nuts (I used pumpkin seeds ) (optional)
Dump your flour in a large bowl and use your now empty mason jar (with measurements on the side) to warm your water. (Microwave if you’re parents RV, set beside fire if not.) Add yeast, honey and salt and swirl your jar to dissolve. Add the shredded carrots/apple, dried fruit, and seeds to the flour, mix to combine. Once the water has foamed up, add to the flour mixture and gentle knead it into dough. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or until double in bulk.
Meanwhile prepare the campfire (or grill).
Find a thick stick from a non-pine tree. You don’t want a skinny marshmallow stick, look for something about the diameter of your thumb. Take a handful of the bread dough and form into a log with both hands. Start from the tip of the stick and wrap it tightly around. Bake the bread by holding the wrapped stick over the hot fire and slowly rotate to get it evenly baked and golden brown. It can take from 5 to 15 minutes. To test it, tap the bread. It should sound hollow and be crispy and brown on the outside. Put some olive oil or butter or jam on your warm bread stick and enjoy.