Blame it on Robby…

I’m blaming this one on my old friend Robby Richardson. This morning he posted a few photos from his family’s weekend camping trip on Skidaway Island on the Georgia coast on Facebook. A couple of the photos were of their breakfast cooking in a cast iron Dutch oven.

Richardson Breakfast 1

Richardson Breakfast 2

During the ensuing ‘conversation’ Robby mentioned that his dad would have enjoyed Dutch oven cooking, especially baking bread in one, if he were still with us today. I’ve made bread in a Dutch oven in the past, beer bread to be specific, and it’s incredibly simple. I told Robby that he needed to give it a try sometime and ended up convincing myself that I need do it again myself…and here we are.

I couldn’t find my old recipe so I looked one up online. I knew there were only three ingredients, sugar, self-rising flour and a 12-oz beer but I couldn’t remember the quantities…well, except for the beer. It was as simple as I remembered, three cups of self-rising flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar and one 12-oz beer.

Ingredients

Prep and cooking are equally simple – mix it all up, cook in a bread pan at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. OK, I have to fess up here…not quite all of the beer made it into the bread. Hey, the cook gets a little reward, right?

Dutch oven cooking can be done a couple of different ways. One can use hardwood coals for the heat source or one can use charcoal. Unfortunately a Dutch oven doesn’t have a built-in thermometer to tell you how hot it is inside so other methods have to be employed. Many folks that use hardwood coals like Robby did can give a pretty good approximation by holding their hand over the hot Dutch Oven and count the seconds until it’s too hot to leave your hand there. Alternately, if using charcoal, one can determine the temperature inside the Dutch oven by the number of charcoal briquettes used. Typically, 19 charcoal briquettes on top of a 12-inch oven and 10 underneath will result in a temperature of 400 degrees and more or less charcoal can be used to adjust the temperature higher or lower.

Instead of putting the bread pan directly in the bottom of the oven, I put a small round wire rack beneath it to keep the bottom of the bread from scorching.

Wire Rack

The bread dough is placed in the bread pan which is placed on the wire rack in the oven…

Dough

The charcoal briquettes are placed beneath and on top of the oven…

Briquettes

Gotta mention something here. Kingsford charcoal used to be the gold standard charcoal for Dutch oven cooking. Kingsford briquettes burned at a constant temperature and time – ideal for temperature control in a Dutch oven. However, 5 or 6 years ago Kingsford changed their briquettes and the new and ‘improved’ briquettes were anything but. Sure, maybe they light somewhat easier but they also burned hotter and faster. The old briquettes would burn for 45 minutes to an hour easily before having to be replenished, if needed. The new briquettes burn for 30 to 40 minutes…maybe, and the temperature output seems to be all over the place. Unfortunately I haven’t found a good replacement yet.

But I digress…

After about 50 minutes…fresh baked bread!

Bread 1

Bread 2

Yeah, it’s all Robby’s fault…

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This entry was posted in Beer bread, Camping, Dutch oven, Dutch Oven Cooking. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Blame it on Robby…

  1. FlygURL says:

    Beer bread, especially after the weather chills a bit, is a regular at the Tuttle house.

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