I baked this bread for the first time on a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park over the 4th of July. We ate it with fresh strawberry jam, t-bone steaks and a spinach salad. B and I rough it often enough that when we can splurge at a campground, we usually do.
We spent the weekend with some good friends, hiking, swimming, canoeing and of course, eating! We all took turns cooking for each other and had amazing food all weekend. The park was not as crowded as I thought it would be, and it was really cool to see the volcanic activity. I highly recommend hiking the Bumpass Hell trail to see the active hydrothermal areas, as well as going for a swim in the park at Summit Lake.
I made this bread our first night at the campground. This was my first attempt at baking in a dutch oven, and I am really happy with the results.
I started with a No-Knead Bread Recipe from The Kitchn and a lot a research about dutch oven baking temperatures and charcoal briquets. I have a lodge 12″ dutch oven with legs. The legs allow you to easily place coals under the oven. I highly recommend this type for cooking over a campfire.
The no-knead recipe is perfect for camping. Who wants to knead bread dough when you could be out on a hike? I prepped the dough the morning we drove out to Lassen from Oakland. The dough sat between us in the truck as we made the (what took 6 hours) drive. When we got to the campground, we set up our tent, and began a fire for some coals. You could easily make the dough in the morning before you leave camp and let it rise in the car, or in a bear locker all day.
I then took the dough out of the bowl and placed it on a cutting board with some extra flour. I shaped it in to a ball, rubbed a little olive oil over the top, and covered it with a towel. It continued to rise for about another 45 minutes while we pre-heated the dutch oven.
When the oven was hot, I placed a metal pie pan in the bottom, placed the bread dough in pie pan, and covered loosely with foil. I put the lid on, placed the rest of the coals on top of the lid, and set the timer. We baked it for 30 minutes, occasionally checking the coals and swapping out some colder ones for fresh ones. At 30 minutes we checked the bread. It was rising and beginning to look like bread! I removed the foil and cooked it for an additional 15 minutes. Our bread baked for a total of 45 minutes in a 450 degree dutch oven.
Dutch Oven Baked Bread
Makes one loaf
Below are the ingredients you will need. Check out the recipe at The Kitchn for how to prepare the dough in the morning.
- 3 cups bread flour
- 3/4 teaspoon regular yeast (not instant)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
Pack up your dutch oven, a metal pie pan, tongs, gloves, charcoal, chimney, cutting board, kitchen towel, one cup of extra flour, and some olive oil. Bring your favorite bread toppings too: butter, jam, cheese, etc.
Remove the bread dough from the bowl and place on a cutting board sprinkled with a little extra flour to prevent sticking. Mold dough into a ball, rub with about a teaspoon of olive oil and cover with a towel. Let rise for about an hour or when the dough has doubled in size. Make sure the towel covers your dough to keep bugs off!
Prepare coals for cooking in a fir pit or camp grill.
When coals are ready, place the dutch oven in the fire pit. To heat a 12″ dutch oven to 450 degrees, you will need to place 14 coals on the bottom of the dutch oven, and 20 coals on top. Pre-heat the oven while the dough rises.
When the dough has risen, place 3 small stones (I found these at the campground) in the bottom of the dutch oven, and then place the metal pie pan on top of the stones.
Transfer the bread dough from the cutting board to the pie pan. Cover loosely with foil. Put the dutch oven lid on (with the 20 coals on top).
Let cook for 30 minutes, checking to coals to make sure they are still hot. Swap out old dying coals with new hot coals if you need to.
Check bread at 30 minutes and remove foil. Place lid back on dutch oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes or so until bread is crispy, and pulling away from the sides of the pie pan.
When bread is done, remove from dutch oven with gloves (pan will be very hot!) and let cool. Enjoy!