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Steam Baking!

Have a favorite trail recipe or technique you'd like to share? Please do! We also like reviews of various trail food products out there. The Backcountry Food Topix forum is the place to discuss all things related to food and nourishment while in the Sierra wilderness (as well as favorite trail head eateries).

Steam Baking!

Postby fox212 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:37 pm

I love bread. Pretty much anything made from or with dough, actually.

You can only bring so much bread, rolls, biscuits, scones, cornbread, etc before pack volume becomes a constraint. And you squish the goodies, which is heresy, blasphemy, and sacrilege all at once.

This was my nightmare, until I discovered steam baking. Most of you savvy HST'ers are probably familiar with this shockingly easy technique, but for me it was an inspired revelation.

The only extra gear required is a few silicone muffin cups. Plus the ingredients for baked goodies and maybe a smidge of extra fuel.

1. Mix up the dough (I try to find "just add water" semi-pre-fab doughs for ease of mixing - I've found biscuits, scones, muffins/cupcakes, and cornbread at regular grocery stores) in a ziplock bag.
2. Add a drop of olive oil to each silicone muffin cup and spread it around.
3. Put a small amount of water (1/4 - 1/2 inch) into cook pot. Light stove and set to LOW.
4. Place dollops of dough into muffin cups, carefully place muffin cups into pot, cover and simmer for 10-15 min (this can vary significantly with different recipes, quantities, weather, etc. but usually is pretty spot on).
5. Carefully remove muffin cups from pot and remove baked goodies from muffin cups and...BOOM. Fresh baked anything! :rockon:

Image
Biscuits and Gravy (and Sriracha). Gravy was made while steam baking the bisuits, using the lid/fry pan double boiler style. I'm gonna take credit for this technique, cuz I didn't hear about it before trying it - it just came to me in a moment of clarity. :) This is actually a really effective way of gently heating something while cooking something else in the pot.

Image
Cornbread with Honey Butter.

I've also had great success with mini chocolate lava cakes, no photo of those though - they disappeared too quickly!
Last edited by fox212 on Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Steam Baking!

Postby gary c. » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:42 am

I can't see your pics but the whole thing sounds really interesting.
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Re: Steam Baking!

Postby fox212 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:00 pm

Thanks! Strange that you can't see the pics. They're uploaded the same way as the pics in the TR I just wrote, and folks have commented on those so I know they are showing up.

Any other viewers unable to see the pics?
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Re: Steam Baking!

Postby maverick » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:02 pm

Saw them yesterday, but they are not showing now.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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Re: Steam Baking!

Postby rlown » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:50 pm

it's the traditional google pictures user content permissions problem. I forget how to make the pics public, but I seem to recall if you put them in an album and make it public the pictures will show to everyone.
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Re: Steam Baking!

Postby longri » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:40 pm

I kind of cringe at the thought of packaged just-add-water mixes after all the bad pancakes I've had from mixes like that. But I suppose one needs to be practical. Carrying eggs or milk would defeat the purpose.

I've read about dry baking in the backcountry and it didn't sound all that much harder than steaming, at least in theory. You would need a second pot though.

Thanks for the idea. I need something new to eat on trips.
Does it really only take 20-30 minutes to make muffins?
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Re: Steam Baking!

Postby Tom_H » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:22 pm

The Omnia Oven (previously Optimus Oven) weighs 1 lb. We used it on the trail to bake breads, cakes, pizza, pies, cinnamon buns, biscuits, brownies, casseroles, just about anything you can think of. You can also bake fish in it.

Here's a thread I started about it awhile back. Pics included.

viewtopic.php?t=7941&f=26
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Re: Steam Baking!

Postby fox212 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:20 pm

Ok, I think I got the pics sorted. The only difference between these and the ones that are consistently showing up, is being in an album on Google Photos vs not. So hopefully problem solved.

Yea sometimes I'm a little skeptical of the just add water mixes, but they've been good to me for at least 3-4 days. I do try to keep them as cool as reasonably possible.

And yes, 20-30 minutes start to finish, including prep. In both (possibly visible...or not?) photos above, the cook time was right about 12 min.

My understanding is that dry baking takes quite a bit longer, BUT (big but) you get more legit crust. If you get your stove at *just* the right output, you can get a nice little crust on the bottoms of the muffins with steam baking, but it's a fine line. If you can't turn your stove down enough you may need some kind of stand-off to keep the cups off the bottom of the pot, in order to keep the bottoms from getting burnt.

I went to a BPL event a few years back and there was a dude there dry baking all kinds of next level stuff - lasagna and hamburger pie looked good enough to order off a menu!
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Re: Steam Baking!

Postby gary c. » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:00 am

Yes, I can see the pics now.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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