SimplySailingOnline.com shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.
While heading down the ICW this fall, we met a couple provisioning in Vero Beach for their upcoming trip to the Bahamas. We started chatting on the bus and the fact that we bake bread aboard was mentioned. She asked how we keep from getting bored with home baked bread. She asked if maybe we make rye or pumpernickel breads or had a really good whole wheat bread recipe that she could include in her repertoire to change things up a bit. It took me a minute to really come up with a good answer for her. No, we don't bake rye or pumpernickel, and whole wheat bread isn't exactly my favorite, so we don't do a lot of that, either. So what DO we do to keep from getting bored with homemade bread? The answer is, we define "bread" differently.
In America, we tend to think of bread as the pre-sliced block that come in a plastic bag. Or maybe we get a little adventurous and buy an unsliced loaf from a local bakery. But people of every culture eat bread and rarely is it in the form of a rectangular prism. We don't get bored with bread because we vary which part of the world our "bread" comes from.
We do have a few traditional bread recipes. We make drop biscuits when we're in a hurry and forgot to make any other bread earlier or when we change what's for dinner at the last minute. We also have a corn bread recipe that was given to us by a couple on a boat named Flirt (thus the recipe is called "Flirt Bread") when we were cruising the coast a few years ago in a Sharpie with no oven. That's right: corn bread without an oven. I'll end your suspense here:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp. salt
2 pinches baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 T sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 T oil
Mix the dry and wet ingredients JUST until moistened IMMEDIATELY before cooking. In a 10 1/2" frying pan, melt 1 T butter over low heat. Pour in batter. Cook COVERED for 10 minutes. Flip. Cook 5 minutes on the second side. Stove top corn bread in minutes.
And we do make a few yeast breads. Though it's been years since we've made a "loaf" of bread, baguettes, batards, and boules are favorites any time we have soup. Our focaccia recipe doubles as a pizza dough recipe, so I'll share that one too.
Dissolve 1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast in
1 cup water Add:
2 3/4 to 3 cups flour
1 1/2 T olive oil
3/4 T salt
Mix by hand to blend all ingredients. Knead about 10 minutes. Cover. Let double. Punch down the dough, flatten on a baking sheet that has been greased and dusted with cornmeal. Bake at 475 degrees (or if your boat oven is like ours, as close as you can get it to that temperature). Baking times vary by oven, but you want to be sure the bottom is not burnt and the top is cooked. Used your best judgement. We pre-cook our pizza dough before adding toppings in order to keep it from getting soggy.
We sometimes sprinkle cheese and herbs, some crushed red pepper, or other goodies on the focaccia, depending on what we're eating it with. Dave makes hummus, tapenade, or just Italian butter for our dipping pleasure. No, we never seem to get bored with bread.
As a side note, we also made frying pan pizza on our no-oven little boat. The recipe is here.
Continuing our world tour of breads, Dave makes naan, pita, tortillas, chapatis, and fry bread we added to our repertoire in Panama (and is therefore known in the McBride family as Bocas Bread). Rather than bore you with more recipes, I'll leave you with this. Nearly all our bread recipes (except for Flirt Bread and the banana bread recipe that follows) come from The Joy of Cooking.
Another trick we learned while living without an oven is how to bake bread in the pressure cooker. While we've made "white bread" in it, my favorite pressure cooker bread recipe is banana bread. And ALL our favorite pressure cooker recipes in general come from Pressure Perfect.
Not getting bored with bread we bake aboard is not an issue. The only problem we have is deciding which bread recipe to make today.
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Connie McBride's work has been published in Good Old Boat, Sail Magazine, Small Craft Advisor, Cruising World, All at Sea, and Blue Water Sailing. As a full-time liveaboard cruiser for over 15 years, she has written several books and in her spare time, well, who has spare time?
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