There is something wonderful about the scent of bread baking in a tranquil anchorage as the sun goes down. Cooking bread is thought to be difficult, messy and time-consuming, however, bread can be prepared in under ten minutes with minimal washing up. Rye, parmesan, pitta, herb, brown and white bread or even pizza can all easily be baked on board with or without an oven. All you need to make bread on board is a mixing bowl and a baking tray or frying pan.
Baking bread on board involves about ten minutes of preparation time, half an hour to an hour of proving and around forty minutes of cooking time. This recipe serves 4 and can be easily increased but remember the amount of yeast always stays the same. The major issue with fresh bread on board is that it never lasts for more than one meal before it’s finished!
- 3 cups/330g strong flour
- 1/2 a tsp salt
- 1 sachet quick action yeast
- 2/5 cup/200ml warm water
- 2 tbs/ 4 dsp olive oil
- Mix dry ingredients in large bowl
- Add warm water and olive oil to bowl and knead for about 5 mins until smooth – to reduce washing up knead the dough in bowl
- Put a towel over dough or place it in a half open oiled plastic bag and leave in a warm place to prove for around an hour until it has doubled in size. I find that above the calorifier or on a sunny day under the spray hood works best.
- Place the dough on a baking tray and sprinkle flour, herbs or parmesan over it
- Put the dough in the oven on low heat for around 40 mins
- When the bread is done, if you tap the bottom it will sound hollow
- Once the bread is done remove it from the oven and leave it to cool on a rack
Cup with Measurements Marked On
I’ve marked up a cup with the appropriate measurements as we don’t have scales on board. For shorter trips fill up sealable bags with the pre-measured dry ingredients. On smaller boats, without an oven, heat up a frying pan and roll the dough out into half centimetre thick pieces for pitta bread and a centimetre or two thick for thin rolls. Then put the dough in the frying pan until it swells, turn it over and cook for another few minutes.
Pitta Bread Cooked Without an Oven
This bread recipe can be modified very simply, I love to add 30g of parmesan to the bread mix, a few teaspoons of herbs, walnuts, cranberries or any seeds, nuts or fruit. Also, wholemeal flour and granary flour can be used instead of the strong white flour. Putting half rye flour and half strong white flour also tastes very nice. For a tasty lunch add tomato purée and cheese on top of a flat piece of dough, then bake it for 25 minutes until it is crispy. Never again will you run out of bread in the middle of nowhere!