Are you fed up with grains, leaving you eat without feeling stuffed? Can you eat bread until your bread supply is finished? Do you wonder why bread is not filling you up? Are you carrying large bulk of bread in your panniers?
That’s because bread is never filling you really, it’s a hollow grain. What you need is fat. On fat you can cycle, long and without feeling empty.
Now, unfortunately I can not do without bread as a diet avoiding grains is difficult while cycle touring, and besides, it is more expensive.
Instead I use a lot of olive oil, full fat butter, eggs and cheese. You could choose mackerel or anything with much fatty parts and olives to go with your start of the day too. Just go for fat, that will do.
When cycling I eat everything I want, I try to avoid meat and do not care about my weight. I watch price tags but I never skip on food-products I need and want.
Over time my bread intake since the last 18 months has changed drastically. First I started out with frying bread in olive oil but most bread contains sugar, besides I wanted to start practicing baking my own bread, so I started practicing.
My own baked bread, on the stoves I carried/carry, filled me up well, given I use olive oil and the fatty items to go with it.
Eventually this bread became a staple food, thus boring. I needed a change and some happy day, when I was in an ultimate camp spot, enjoying a large camp fire, a thought arose: let’s use fire to prepare bread!
It was immediately a big hit!
Suddenly I started to eat with zest. With full attention. With focus. Every bite I took was my very own product -except for seeding, harvesting and milling the grains-.
Usually I would read, write or embroider while having breakfast, but now, not anymore. The time had come to center on every bite I took. Call it a mindful practice.
More inspiration sprouted: pecan nuts were added.
Then festival broke loose.
An extra kilo or two were added on the back of the bicycle: dried prunes, dates, walnuts, dried mint, but also anise, pumpkin and chia seeds. When the dates were not available I used dried apricots, red raisins and peanuts.
Breakfast has never been the same anymore and when I am in the possibility to start a fire I know it’s going to be a feast!
When I can not make a fire, I use my former baking style, but it is always a little less of a party compared to fire baked bread.
Baking bread on a fire takes more time than frying bread in olive oil. But who cares?
There is more than one way to add nuts and seeds to the bread. You can mix it in while the dough is being knead or add it after the bread has risen and rested.
I don’t seem to be able to make anything other than white bread as the whole wheat I find in South America doesn’t make a comprehensible mix.
How to make bread:
1. Add salt, baking powder or yeast to the wheat flour and start mixing it with water. Be careful you don’t pour too much water at once. Only add bits of water until the dough has a sturdy form. I use a spoon or fork until the mass becomes too heavy, then I use my hands. The dough is good when it hardly sticks to your hand-palms, but when it is still not too dry.
Add nuts and seeds while kneading if you want.
I let it rest overnight.
Make sure when you go for the fire wood variety to have a large fire going on where you will have at least a coupe of decent branches which will give you good embers.
2. Make round balls from the dough. If you haven’t add seeds and nuts while kneading, add them now. When you add the seeds and nuts now, there are several ways to do it: experiment.
3. The oily variety: after having formed a round flat shape enclose the seeds and nuts into the flattened round dough, knead the dough into a fully closed but flat shape.
The fire wood variety: after having formed a round flat shape enclose the seeds and nuts into the dough and make it a round ball. You can experiment with the inside, spread the condiments randomly or fold layer upon layer. When you have mixed in the condiments while kneading, make sure not too much sticks out of the mass as this will quickly burn blackish.
4. The oily variety: heat olive oil in a pan, keep the fire low, preferable after you have heated water so that the flame is more easy to control (or so it is in my case with the Optimus Nova). Throw in two pieces of bread at a time, fry them slowly. Turn them regularly. To bake each bread takes about 15 minutes.
The fire wood variety: place the ball in a tin where the bottom is covered by a layer of flour, to prevent sticking. The ball of dough should not touch the sides as it will rise. Make an open space into the burning coils where you will place the tin with bread into, this to prevent too much heat from below. Enclose the tin with burning coils evenly spread and place a lid over it which won’t touch the tin. To bake bread takes about 20 minutes (that is, if you have a hand palm sized ball of dough), though it depends on the force of the embers.
Eet smakelijk, bon apetite, comer sabroso, lecker essen, enjoy your meal!
How to bake bread on a tiny fire stove can be found out here: how to bake bread on a tiny stove