For most Scouters making bread at camp is out of the question, unless of course, it is commercially frozen dough. Sourdough baked in a dutch-oven has been a camping tradition carried down from trappers to pioneers. Every respectable grubmaster keeps a start of sourdough in their kit and, in fact, until the production of commercial baker’s yeast, every home kept a start somewhere. In Scouting, a grubmaster is “a scout who purchases the food (grub) for the outing for their patrol,” according to Scouter mom. As a young Scout it was my favorite patrol assignment.

A special feature of Barebones dutch-ovens is the temperature gauge cast right into the lids

Early on, sourdough cooking quickly became a part of Scouting but more for biscuits and pancakes than loaf bread. Today I will share recipes for all three baked in BareBones® Cast Iron Ware, but first some background in sourdough.

Natural Fermentation

The history of natural fermentation in bread making it is unknown, but we know how it was done because you can do it too (see my article “How Do You Make Bread the Ancient Hebrew Way?“). All this takes is some water and flour and neglect for two weeks. The process is natural and has health benefits, but it takes time to grow a good start. 

Sourdough for camp
Three simple ingredients: flour, water, and salt combined with starter make this great tasting bread.

For that reason I suggest you purchase a dehydrated start at a health food store or online. It can be activated overnight with water and some flour, but follow the instructions. After that sourdough bread only has three ingredients, flour, water, and salt mixed with your sourdough start. The entire process from beginning to end is twelve hours, but that fits into camp life this way. 

Mix the dough using the recipe below which gives you the basic ingredients. However, you will probably need the step by step pictures I have included too. 

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread
Serves 8
This bread has an amazing flavor and bakes great in most 10" deep dutch ovens
Prep Time
10 hr 45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
11 hr 45 min
Prep Time
10 hr 45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
11 hr 45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup active sourdough start
  2. 2 cups tepid water
  3. 1 tablespoon salt
  4. 4 cups bread four (sometimes called strong) or whole wheat flour
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. 1- Measure a half cup of active starter and put into mixing bowl
  2. 2- Mix with two cups of tepid water and one tablespoon of salt. Stir to dissolve.
  3. 3- Mix in 4 cups of flour until it is well combined and sticky.
  4. 4- Set this mixture aside for 30 minutes then pester the dough with wet hands by digging into one side and pulling the dough over itself in a fold. Turn the bowl and repeat three times. (See images below). Repeat this pestering every 30 minutes for a total of three more times.
  5. 5- Set the dough aside, covered, for 8–12 hours until doubled in bulk (overnight is great, but it cannot be cold or it will not grow)
  6. 6- When doubled, dump the dough onto a floured surface to rest 30 more minutes.
  7. 7- Flour your hands and shape the dough ( It is best to use as little flour at this point as possible). To shape the dough grab one end fold it up in half. Then, use both hands to fold it over again three more times, with a quarter rotation every time. (See pictures below).
  8. 8- After dough is gathered the last time, turn it seam down in a container with a cover for the final rise, which may take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
  9. 9- When it is double score the top with a sharp knife and place into a hot (450 degree) preheated dutch oven. Cover, add top heat and bake for 30 min.
  10. 10- When golden brown, remove from heat, but leave in dutch-oven to cure and cool for 2 hours
Notes
  1. To control outdoor baking I use charcoal briquettes when I can and follow the heat guide from the Dutch-Oven Dude at http://www.dutchovendude.com/campfire-cooking.php
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Adapted from Darryl Alder
Adapted from Darryl Alder
Voice of Scouting https://voiceofscouting.org/

Pestering and Shaping Dough

Pester the dough every 30 minutes for a total three times before going to bed.

To pester dough, wet hands and dig into one side, pulling the dough over itself in a fold. Turn the bowl and repeat three times. 

To shape the dough, stretch and roll it up like a jelly roll, then turn and repeat for a total of four times. 

Then gathered the dough turning it seam down on your work surface. Using both hands spin and shape the dough. Then place in a covered bowl for the final rise. 


Sourdough Pancakes

Camp Sourdough Pancakes
Serves 8
Called 'Silver Dollar' pancakes because they are fried smaller than most, this is the king of all camp pancakes, easy to make, easy to fry and delicious with real maple syrup.
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb bacon
  2. 3 cups activated starter
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1/4 cup of milk (any kind including buttermilk)
  5. 1/8 tsp salt
  6. 1 pinch cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. 1- Mix all ingredients except the soda
  2. 2- Fry several strips of bacon at the outside of griddle to keep it well oiled
  3. 3- Add the baking soda right before frying, mix well
  4. 4- Pour 2–3 tablespoons of batter on griddle.
  5. 5- Fry until bubbles are set, then turn and serve right from griddle with butter and hot maple syrup
Notes
  1. Feeding a start every day leads to discarding some of it. This recipe uses the extra starter you might otherwise throw away during the feeding process.
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Adapted from Darryl Alder
Adapted from Darryl Alder
Voice of Scouting https://voiceofscouting.org/

 

Sourdough Biscuits

Buttery Sourdough Sandwich Biscuits
Serves 8
Say goodbye to any McMuffin and try these buttery, palm-sized biscuits for your breakfast sandwich. Their sourdough tang goes great with egg, cheese, and ham or sausage.
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  3. 2 teaspoons salt
  4. 1 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter
  5. 3 cups sourdough starter
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. 1- Preheat two dutch oven to 425°F and line it with parchment.
  2. 2- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. 3- Work the cold butter into the flour until the mixture is unevenly crumbly.
  4. 4- Add the starter, mix gently just until the dough is cohesive.
  5. 5- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (a piece of parchment works well), and pat it into a 1"-thick round.
  6. 6- Use a large Mason jar ring to cut rounds, cutting them as close to one another as possible. Pat any scraps together, and to make additional biscuits.
  7. 7- Place the biscuits into the pre heated dutch ovens, leaving about 2" between them; they'll spread as they bake.
  8. 8- Place dutch-oven lid and add top heat, baking the biscuits for 20 , until tgolden brown.
  9. 9- Remove the biscuits from the oven, and serve warm with fried eggs, breakfast meat and cheese
Notes
  1. Feeding a start every day leads to discarding some of it. This recipe uses the extra starter you might otherwise throw away during the feeding process.
Print
Adapted from Darryl ALder
Adapted from Darryl ALder
Voice of Scouting https://voiceofscouting.org/
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Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. However, his pride in Scouting, is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative and Commissioner.

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