If you cook outdoors and need a wind-free spot to raise dough, set the bowl in an empty ice chest. This wonderful bread can be different each time because it's so easy to vary ingredients.This is an ideal bread for a simple soup supper. It needs at least four hours in the cooler before baking.
Did you know you can tell bread is done by its internal temperature? I carry an instant read thermometer for food safety with eggs, meats and such but never realized before that it's also ideal for baked goods.
3/4 cup warm water
1 packet yeast
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons white or brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup or pancake syrup (not sugar free)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, lard, butter, shortening or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour (white, whole wheat or some of each)
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons dried herbs (optional)
Sprinkle yeast over 3/4 cup warm water and set aside. Warm the 1/3 cup water with the sweet ingredient and fat or oil of choice.Do not over-heat. Stir this mixture into the yeast mixture and stir in 2 3/4 cups flour.Dough should be sticky but not runny. If needed, add the other 1/4 cup flour.
Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with nonstick and put it over the bowl, sprayed side down. Put in the cooler for 4 to 24 hours. To bake, grease a baking sheet or pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Discard extra cornmeal.
Turn out dough on the baking sheet or pan and coax it into loaf form. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and put in a draft-free spot to rise while the oven heats to 400 degrees. When dough is double in size, remove plastic wrap and bake 25 minutes or until an instant-reading thermometer registers 195-200 degrees when plunged into the loaf. Serves 6.
Cook's note: this recipe was tested with wheat flours. We cannot predict results with non-wheat flours.
See more of Janet Groene's RV-ready recipes at http://www.campandrvcook.blogspot.com
[Editor's note: There are lots of instant-read cooking/baking thermometers available at Amazon.com.]