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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus

Camp Oven bread


If you are new to camp oven cooking, check out the Hobohome article "Camp oven Cooking"


Here is how to make a great loaf of bread in a camp oven

Fire ready for breadmaking

The first step is to dig two pits - one large and one small. Light a fire in the large pit. We find that using a pit helps contain the embers and after all, it is the embers that is important - not the fire. The camp oven is already outside warming in the Queensland sun.


Camp oven breadThe yeast, sugar and water are in a plastic bowl inside the warm camp oven. This is to activate the yeast. 10 minutes is enough for this process.


Camp oven bread

The dough is now ready for the first rising. This is done inside the camp oven, in the sun.


Camp oven breadAfter the dough is twice it's original size it is ready for another kneading.


Camp oven bread

Divided into two balls, the dough is now ready for the final rising. Again this is done in the sun until the dough is back to twice its original size.


Camp oven bread

This is how the dough looks after the second rising. It is now ready to cook.




Camp oven bread

Hot embers are now removed from the base of the fire and placed in the bottom of the small pit. Again, using a small pit helps contain the heat and stops any wind from cooling or blowing ash and embers around. I guess this would be no good if the ground was wet.

Once the oven is on the embers, we place another pile of hot embers on top of the lid. Every 15 minutes the oven is rotated and the lid is rotated in the opposite direction. Coals are replaced as they loose their heat (perhaps every 15 minutes). 


Camp oven bread

After 30 minutes it's ready...

And here is the finished loaf.


Camp oven bread

Here is another view - this is after lunch. It tasted just great.



Here is the recipe





Put first measure of warm water and sugar into a small bowl. Once sugar is dissolved, sprinkle yeast over and leave in the camp oven (still in the small bowl) in the sun for 10 minutes.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pour in the oil, the warm water and the yeast mixture. Mix gradually. Kneed on lightly flowered surface for about 8 minutes (until smooth and elastic). Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and place the dough inside. Brush the top of the dough with a little oil. Place this bowl inside the camp oven (in the sun) until the mixture is double its original size.

Remove the dough and 'punch' it in the centre with your fist and kneed on floured surface for 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half and form into two balls. Place these balls into a greased loaf tin. Place the tin inside the camp oven, in the sun, until double its size (again).

Brush the surface of the dough with egg and water mixture and bake in the camp oven for about 30 minutes. Have a beer while you wait for it to cook and don't forget to rotate the oven every 10-15 minutes.



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