Bake the Best Backcountry Bread

On expeditions, the scent of fresh-baked bread is an unimaginable luxury. Here’s how to whip up a loaf.
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On expeditions, the scent of fresh-baked bread is an unimaginable luxury. Here’s how to whip up a loaf.

Imagine the smell of warm, fresh-baked wafting through your camp. Nice, right? Make that experience yours with our best backcountry bread recipe. True, you probably won't bother with this process on shorter trips, but as anyone who's been on a long trips knows, the tongue craves crunch like a hummingbird craves sugar water. This bread recipe bakes up toasty. Top it with butter or cheese, or use it to dip into your soup or delicious one-pot stew. Is there ever a bad time for the best backcountry bread?

Our Best Backcountry Bread Recipe

1 packet baker’s yeast
1½ cups water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1. Activate the yeast.
Add yeast to your warm (110°F--if you can dip a finger in without flinching, you're in the right neighborhood) water with salt and sugar and cover. Let sit for a minute.

2. Mix.
Add yeast liquid to a gallon-size bag containing your flour and knead for 10 minutes.

3. Let it rise.
Let the bag sit in a warm (75°F+--the inside of a puffy works pretty well for this.) environment until dough rises (45 minutes to two hours).
Let it rise again. Form a dough ball, and place it in an oiled cook pot. Cover with a bandana and keep it warm for another half hour, while it rises again.

4. Bake.
Put your cook pot over coals, cover, and spoon more coals onto the lid. (No fire? Use a large-burner stove on the lowest possible setting and start a small twiggy fire on top; rotate the pan every five minutes to ensure even cooking.) Bake for 30-50 minutes, resisting the urge to lift the lid, as that leads to uneven heating and a saggy loaf. It’s done when it smells like bread and you can't resist eating it for even another second.

5. Resist eating for another second.
Let it sit for a few minutes before slicing or tearing in (you'll hear it crackling). This allows the bread to harden up a bit, and will make it less doughy.