Monday, February 21, 2011

Bread...In a Pan!

Don't let the looks fool you - this bread is deeee-lish!
I am not a natural cook.  I have never been 100% comfortable in a kitchen and I would not list cooking as one of my fortes.  However, living on a little sailboat, in remote islands, on a very tight budget demands that you make your own meals.  Necessity is the mother of invention, after all.

The day was gray and rainy and we were holed up in the cabin.  I decided I would try my hand at baking.  I thumbed through recipe after recipe - but the traditional bread recipes just seemed to be a big pain in the but, what will all that rising and covering with a cloth and all that.  I was just about to give up my search when I found, in a tiny little Bahamaian cook book my lovely mother-in-law gave me (Thanks Sue!) a recipe for "Johnny Bread".

Apparently it got it's name from "Journey Bread" which used to be a staple on the square riggers back in the day.  I now know why, it is dense, delicious, and super easy to make.  In fact, you don't even need to bake it!  You just cook it in a pan.  Easy peasey.

Here's the recipe:
3 cups flour
1/2 cup of shortening (I used butter)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of sugar
2/3 cup water or milk (I used water)

Mix it up, knead it up and then put it in a hot pan with a small layer of oil, cook until brown on each side (about 15-20 minutes) and VIOLA!  You have a giant, delicious biscuit that tastes like heaven with some jam and makes a great addition to a soup.


Brittany & Scott


Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Thanks for the recipe Brittany! You sound like me, I do not like to cook anything complicated. The picture looks delicious to me, and I can't wait to try this out.

Neophyte Cruiser said...

How cool that you're living your cruising dream! It still warms my soul and brings a smile to my face reading your blog. Keep it up!

Albert said...

Looks great - and saw the twitter - on the water forever!

Laura and Hans said...

Thank You!!! I love bread and even though I brought yeast with me, I really wanted something a bit more simple. You can bet I'll be trying this soon.

db said...

yum...that looks great!

Philippe said...

Britanny, check this link for a book with easy bread making recipes:

We have been making the master recipe since a year and half, making two simple French boule breads a week. You can then modify it with different flours, adding herbs and etc....

The master recipe is very simple:
3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 teaspoons coarse salt
7 1/4 cups (2 lb. 4 oz.; 1027.67 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour (measure using scoop and sweep method)

1. Combine water, yeast and salt in large bowl. With spoon, stir in flour until entire dough is wet. Do not knead. You could use cold water, but then the rising time double.

2. Place dough in 5-quart lidded container; cover with lid (do not snap airtight). Let rise at room temperature at least 2 hours (we let it overnight).

3. Sprinkle surface of dough with flour, reach in container with one hand and take a grapefruit size of dough (master recipe makes 4 grapesize boules). Shape it round in 30 sec, by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, using dusting dry flour to help if needed.

4. Rest the load on a dusted pan and let it rise for 40 min. After 40 min, dust the top and dash in a cross pattern with knife.

5. While the boule is rising, pre-heat oven at 450F for 20 min, with baking stone or cooking sheet in the middle. If possible, put an empty broiler tray underneath to hold water.

6. Bake with steam: Slide the boule on the preheated baking stone, and pour 1 cup of water in the broiler. Bake for 30 min or until the crust is golden and firm. Because the dough is wet, you can't really dry out the interior (except if you bake it like an hour :) ).

7. Remove and allow to cool if you have the patience, otherwise the warm bread is heaven.

8. The remaining dough can be refrigerated for 14 days.

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