By Emily Woodbury
A few years ago I spent the summer in Vermont participating in a farming and sustainable food systems program. It was such an eye-opening experience: living off the land and farming precisely what we needed to survive. When we wanted bread, we made it, and when we wanted butter for that bread, we made it from buttermilk from the cows in the back. When we wanted dinner, well, we went across the street, plucked the feathers from the chickens, and we had dinner. It was simple. It was hard work, but at the same time, life was easy.
Once I got back to New York City (where I previously lived) I vowed to maintain that lifestyle – I’d plant vegetables and herbs on my fire escape “balcony,” and I’d start composting (though I’d have to carry my compost on the subway about 30 minutes. Ugh.).
Now, a few years down the road, I’ve lost all of that. I buy my bread from the local bakery (great, but still not the same) and my butter is organic and grass-fed (but really, where’s the cow it came from? I want to know her.)
Ray’s recipe caught my eye and made me excited to make bread again. Plus, on these cold, rainy days (here in Seattle at least) who doesn’t want an excuse to use their oven and warm their little homes on wheels?
Here’s what Ray has to say:
“This is a recipe that is perfect for RVing. The only ingredients are water, yeast, salt, and flour. We have a microwave/convection oven in our motorhome. We also have an electric 3-rack toaster oven. I have baked bread in both, and actually, prefer the toaster oven (Loaves shown in photo were baked in the toaster oven.)”
PLEASE NOTE: The two small loaves shown in the photo are HALF of the following recipe.
Ray's Easy Homemade Bread
- 2 Tbsp instant yeast
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 6.5 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting dough
- 1/4 cup raw, unfiltered honey optional for subtle sweet flavor
In a large bowl mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). (Add the optional raw honey if desired)
Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. The dough will be quite loose. Cover lightly with a kitchen towel but don’t seal the bowl airtight. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered in an airtight container, for as long as two weeks. (Warm to room temperature before proceeding.)
When ready to bake, cut off a softball-size piece. Turn the dough in your hands to lightly stretch the surface, creating a rounded top. Put the dough on a lightly oiled cookie sheet or into a couple of small bread pans. Cover gently with a dish towel, letting the dough rest and rise again until nearly doubled in size.
Place a small container of water in the oven if possible, and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
After the dough has rested and is ready to bake, dust the dough lightly with flour, slash the top with a very sharp knife three times.
Bake the bread until well browned, about 30-35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and brush the top crust lightly with olive oil.
Cool and enjoy!
Enjoy, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Thanks for submitting, Ray!
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