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conner
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PostSubject: SIMPLE CAMP BREADS   October 27th 2015, 6:50 pm

SIMPLE CAMP BREADS

BANNOCK

This one makes up a batch of bannocks for 24 persons.
Ingredients:

  • 6-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 cup baking powder

  • 1/2 cup

  • 1 teaspoon butter melted 3 cups

  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

  • 1 Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball.

  • 2 Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

  • 3 Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning.

The word 'bannock' referred originally to a round unleavened piece of dough, usually about the size of a meat plate, which was baked on the girdle and used by the oven-less Scots.
 

CAMP BREAD

Below is a recipe from an 18th century cookbook for Keepsake Biscuits. KS biscuits were intended to keep long enough to provide bread for the extended journeys of the time. I have kept KS biscuits for several weeks but after the first day or so they are better if they are heated over a fire.  They can also be broken into chunks the size of the last joint of your thumb and cooked with meat for dumplings or cooked with fruit for a cobbler.

It is unlikely that even one KS biscuit ever got baked in the rocky mountains but it is remotely possible that someone fresh from his mama's kitchen could have hauled some a couple of thousand miles to the mountains.  Let your conscience be your guide.

Regular biscuits are very easy.  Mix about 1/2 cup of any liquid fat...bacon grease, melted lard, butter, cooking oil... with about 1 1/4 cups liquid...water, milk, beer... and add to about 3 cups self-rising flour and stir into a damp dough.  Pinch into balls about the size of golf balls and flatten between your palms.  Cook them any way you want...in a Dutch oven if you brought such a thing to the mountains, in a skillet over a slow fire (turning as needed), in a skillet inclined before a fire (turning as needed), or even on a flat rock before the fire.  They can even be cooked in a regular house oven at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

A rope of dough can be curled around a stick and toasted over the fire but I have never had very good luck with this method...making the rope not much bigger than a pencil might help.
 


KEEPSAKE BISCUITS

1 quart milk or cream - I use half and half

1 & 1/2 cups butter or lard 

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 heaping teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

10 cups all purpose flour - NOT self rising

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, reserving about three cups of the flour.  Add the milk and mix in enough of the reserved flour to make a stiff dough.

Roll out between 1/2 & 3/4 inch think and cut into biscuits - or roll into balls the size of small eggs and flatten into biscuits.

Place fairly close together (they hardly rise at all) and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, or only until the bottoms are lightly browned.  If you cook them until the tops look like regular biscuits they will be hard as Chinese arithmetic.  The excessive fat will make them look (and be) gummy, but they will be fine when cool. 

This recipe makes about 40 biscuits.


NOTE:  AS THE RECIPE SAYS  DO NOT OVERCOOK.  GOLDEN BROWN IS TOO, REPEAT, TOO DONE. COOKED BROWN THEY WILL BE HARD AND CRUMBLY.  NOT GOOD!!  TAKE MY WORD FOR THIS.


HARDTACK - Dated 1863, from the New Ulm Minnesota Militia.
          (anything in (  )  is my personal notes on the recipe)
3 Cups Milk (I use raw milk, or buttermilk)
8 Cups Flour ( I use 3 cups whole wheat, 5 cups white unbleached)
2 tblspn sugar ( I use raw sugar)
1 tblspn salt
4 tblspn shortening
 
Mix ingredients and roll out 1/4", cut squares 3" x 3" ( I use a spear bullet box for a cutter, two holes in bottom for fingers), punch holes with a wooden spoon handle (like a soda cracker), bake at 400dg for 35 minutes (to taste). 

If it will be consumed in a fairly short time you can bake less, it will be more chewy than crunchy.  Store in a cloth sack, NOT a sealed container or it may mold.  This will keep a long time.  Some folks and most dogs enjoy this recipe.  It is a 'fancy' hardtack, but then it came from a bunch of German farmers. 

A little History?   New Ulm was involved in the Sioux uprising of 1862.  The Sioux were being denied their food and annuity payments, etc... on the reservations.  They noticed that the soldiers were all going away (civil war).  Tensions were high= uprising. The indians rampaged across the plains killing approx. 450 people and destroyed an awful lot of property.  New Ulm was attacked, and successfuly defended.  The Indians then went to attack nearby Ft. Ridgely.  After the defenders there discouraged the Indians, they returned to New Ulm.  Again the inhabitants made a good defense.  The conflict lasted 38 days before the Sioux were subdued.  There was the largest mass hanging of some of the perpetrators in US History.  There would have been more, but pres. Lincoln commuted many of the sentences. 38 Indians were hanged at once on a huge scaffold in Mankato, Mn. 

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