Back Country Baking in Action: ICELAND
Back Country Baking in Action: ICELAND
By: Olivia Eads
During my recent adventure in Iceland, I decided to test out a few techniques in the field! Before we get to the processes and the final products created, here are a few tips that I learned through these experiments:
– make a recipe you know well and has turned out before
– measuring out liquids is difficult without a container that has specific regiments
– don’t have the fuel line attached when you depressurize the stove
– small flat rocks are rare unless near a sedimentary or slate/schistose rock formation
– figure out beforehand how you will clean your hands
basic yeast dough
- 1 rounded tsp rapid rise yeast
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
Mix salt and flour together in a plastic bag before going into the back country.
- 2 tsp vegetable oil**
- ½ cup warm water
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix those two together in a plastic bag prior to adventure.
1/8 cup walnuts
2-3 Tbsp softened butter
Heat water until it is a little more than body temperature, then add sugar. Dissolve sugar then add yeast. Mix dry ingredients along with vegetable oil to the yeast mixtures then allow to proof (double in size.) Once proofed, butter hands and create little balls, cover in cinnamon sugar, throw into cooking pot. Throw the excess butter and cinnamon sugar into the pot along with walnuts. With depressurized fuel, bake ~20 minutes (check at 10 minutes and stir) at low temperature. Enjoy!
** I used butter instead of oil for my recipes because it was easier to carry in my pack and already planned on using it for other recipes.**
Dough mixed, a little too cold for rapid rising.
Heating up water to create a warm environment for the dough to rise. ~2 mm of warm water kept in the pot and the green silicon bowl placed on top then covered to proof.
Creating dough balls and coating each individually with butter.
After coated in butter, toss around in cinnamon sugar.
Be prepared for messy hands!!!
Breaking apart the hard chunks of cinnamon sugar. Add the rest of the butter and sugar mix to the balls in the pot.
Add the walnuts to the baking mixture. Allow a few minutes to settle and proof a bit 5-10 minutes.
At a very low temperature, start baking! I fried the dough balls keeping the lid on to allow some circulation of heat. Stirred after 10 minutes and continue baking.
Remember: first ‘test’ bites are really hot…
Where did they all go? Gone!
I messed up on this recipe a bit. Added too much water to the dough and the dough fell apart rather easily because of that. That’s why a measuring utensil would be nice in practice. Also, a bit of aluminum foil wrapped around the pot would have been nice to get more heat circulating around the dough. However, my ceramic pot has plastic handles on the lid/grips. Since those would melt, I decided to fry them at a low heat and it worked out pretty well. It was relatively cold in Iceland. Due to that fact, the butter was never really soft so I had to use body heat to make it soft. Afterwards the butter was very cold and stuck to my hands. It was hard to get off with cold water too. Moving on…
I will not add this recipe into the blog as I was not a fan. Suppose that’s why one should test the recipes before going out into the field. However, for viewing pleasure, here is the steam baking process documented!
MELT THE BUTTER! Again, I used butter instead of oil for these recipes because it was easier for me to backpack with.
Add the butter to the rehydrated blueberries. Also line the pot with flat rocks and add water just below the rocks. Start boiling that while the next few steps take place.
Adding the dry mixture to the wet!
Mix, mix, mix, until just combined. *Sorry, I’m not sorry for the proximity of my feet to the muffin batter.
Fill silicon baking dishes with batter. Once the water is at a boil, put the baking dishes on top of the rocks and cover.
Time to kick back, relax, and wait. These puppies take about 20 minutes to bake.
The problems that I ran into with this recipe could have easily been avoided had I made the muffins previous to going on the trail. However, I was lazy and found a recipe with as few ingredients as possible and called it a day… Not sure why I didn’t use my simple muffin recipe I use frequently, but oh well. These guys turned out quite dense because there was too much flour. Also the recipe could have a used a little more sugar and baking powder to get sweeter, fluffier muffins. Overall, both were a great success. Baking is a great addition to the trail for very happy campers!