So I’ve been on a bread making kick lately. I finally have an “oven”… a marmite (cauldron) with sand and tomato paste cans. (The tomato paste cans elevate your baking pan and allow the heat to surround the bread)
Baking bread in village is great because we have a village boulangerie (bakery) but they don’t make bread regularly, and it’s more fun to make it yourself. Baking bread is also a great stress reliever. Last week I was baking bread on a wood fire in Africa under the stars, and if that doesn’t say Peace Corps experience I don’t know what does.
My main recipe is adapted from our “Where there is no Microwave: Peace Corps Burkina Faso Cookbook”
All amounts are approximate and may vary due to amount, temperature, and relative humidity
2 ½ cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of instant yeast
1 teaspoon of honey or sugar
1 cup of luke warm water
½ teaspoon of salt
Proof yeast in water with honey/sugar until it is dissolved and bubbly. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Mix dough until it forms a ball. Knead for 5 minutes. Let rise in an oiled bowl for 1 hour. Punch down and put it in a baking pan and let rise again for 30 minutes while preheating your oven. Bake bread for 30 minutes to one hour depending on how hot your oven is until done, golden, and delicious. Voila!
Variations on a Theme
Add herbs to dough, put in a cake pan and make lots of little indentations with your fingers. Sprinkle the top of the bread with extra salt, herbs, and other goodies. Bake.
Add herbs, garlic salt, seasoned salt, and green onions to dough. Bake.
Mock Challah Bread
Braid bread and coat with egg wash. Bake