Taken from Do Wild Baking by Tom Herbert. No knead. No rise. Super-quick. This cheeky loaf is fast and flexible. With its non-perishable ingredients, this is the ideal bake for the end of a long wilderness trip when you're in need of a homely, comforting bread and minimal washing-up!
First, set your pan or Dutch oven to gently heat above the fire.
Mix the dry ingredients together by hand in a large bowl.
In your bowl mix the beer into the dry ingredients until there are no dry lumps. The mixture should be very sticky and tacky but firm enough to stay in the bowl when turned upside-down. Think DIY crack filler.
Now dust the chopping board generously with the dusting flour. Plop all the dough out onto the floured board. Flour your hands and flip the dough so it is dusted top and bottom with flour. Then cup the damp dough and round it into a pleasing shape. Cut the dough through with a cross (in honour of the traditional Irish soda bread): it'll also bakquicker and make 4 handy batched rolls. Carefully lift the dough into the hot pan or Dutch oven and put the lid on, adding some embers on top if you can (the pan should ideally be 210-230*C).
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until it has started to form a good golden crust that sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If black smoke wafts out (and you smell burnt toast), it is indeed starting to burn. If it has had less than 1O minutes, it's too hot and you should raise the pan and flip the loaf over.
Check the beer bottle label for any hints to its flavour and pimp your bread with those things. So a beer with a zesty finish and a mellow honey flavour and fruity aroma could inspire you to add some lemon zest, diced apple, raisins and a spoon of honey. Some of these will make the dough much wetter so compensate by adding less beer.
- Up to 100g of any seeds, ideally toasted over the fire