Bannock recipe

Bannock

Today is recipe day since it is cold and wet outside and the wife is sick.  Bannock is a great easy flat bread to make at home or on a grill while camping.  The dry ingredients can be mixed up ahead of time then all you need to do is add the water and butter to it.  There are huge variations to recipes for making Bannock.  This one is a nice simple one.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour. ( a great variety is to add half as oat flour.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup water (adding whey instead of water makes it very soft and fluffy)

Measure flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball.  Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick.  Cook in a greased frying pan over medium heat, allowing about 15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning. May also be baked on a greased baking sheet at 350 degrees F  for 25 to 30 minutes.

If you want to give it a nice twist while camping you can form the dough into cigar shapes then twist them around a green branch and roast them over a campfire.  It makes for a nice change from marshmallows and hot dogs

Homemade trail bars

There is nothing like having made your own trail bars when you are out hiking, fishing, or hunting.  You know exactly what is in it and how much energy it can provide you.  This is my favorite recipe to use when making my own bars.  It has peanut butter for a high amount of energy for a small size bar and steel cut oats for a nice chewy texture.

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh ground peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (2 ounces/60 grams)
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Total time to make this is about 50 minutes.

1. First preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Blend the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Then beat the peanut butter, sugar, and honey in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until blended (I love having a kitchen aid). Blend egg and egg whites with a fork in a small bowl. Add to the peanut butter mixture, along with oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix together. Mix in oats, dried cranberries (or other dried fruit/berries), nuts, and chocolate chips. Scrape batter into the prepared baking dish. Use a piece of plastic wrap to spread batter into an even layer.

3. Bake the bars until lightly browned and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting into 24 bars. One serving is one 2 x 2-inch bar.

You can store these in a jar for several week or you can individually wrap them and store them in the freezer until you need them for a trip.  There are about 170-200 calories per bar depending on the exact mix you use.  For a little pick me up you can also add instant coffee to the mix.

How to make yogurt

Homemade yogurt

For someone starting out wanting to make cheese the easiest type to make is yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon Milk (whatever % you would like.  Skim milk makes a nice fat free yogurt)
  • 1 cup of your favorite plain yogurt (must contain a live culture)
  • stainless steel pot and lid
  • optional: you can add 1 cup powdered milk to make a thicker yogurt
  • heating pad

Heat the milk in the pot slowly until it reaches 180 degrees. Heating it up to fast will result in burnt milk on the bottom and an off taste to your yogurt.  By heating it to 180 you will kill of anything that might still be alive in the milk and anything that could possibly be living on your pan.  After you hit 180 remove the pot from the heat and cover.  The milk now needs to drop down to around 115 degrees.  This may take a couple hours depending on the pot used. Once the temp has dropped down add in your cup of yogurt and whisk it into the milk.  Replace the lid on the pot and set on a smooth counter with the heating pad below it.  Turn the pad to low and cover with a bath towel to keep the heat in.  Let sit undisturbed for 6-12 hours.  If everything turns out like it should you will have a nice batch of yogurt that is ready to eat.  For those of you that have never had homemade yogurt it will be thinner  then the kind that you buy in the store.  Adding in the powdered milk with thicken it to closer to what you are used to.

If you make more yogurt then you can eat you can turn some of it into yogurt cheese aka Labnah.  This is one of my favorite treats to make.  It is great to use in place of cream cheese (since cream cheese from the store is not really cheese).  Take a clean handkerchief and line the inside of a strainer with it.  Then slowly pour your yogurt into it.  Take up the corners and tie them together and hang it over the sink or a bowl to catch the whey.  Let hang over night and voila you have labnah. Use on your favorite type of bagel.  This can also be used to substitute for anything that needs cream cheese.

Crock pot yogurt

Basic yogurt

Quick and easy Ginger ale

I have had a few requests asking for a DIY on making ginger ale at home. This is a simple and delicious recipe for those of us who like the crisp bubbly taste of Ginger ale

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz fresh ginger root
  • 2 cleaned two liter soda bottle with lids
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp bakers yeast

First take the ginger root and dice it up. Then add it to one gallon of water and simmer on the stove top for 30 minutes. You are making a very strong ginger tea at this point. After the tea is sufficiently strong for you add the sugar and stir until the sugar is completely mixed in. Let the tea cool and strain out the pieces of ginger. Split the tea between the two soda bottles then add enough room temp water to the bottle to fill it one inch from the top. Now add in 1/4 tsp of bakers yeast to each bottle, screw on the cap and shake until the yeast is dissolved. After that just sit it on a counter for a couple of days until the bottle becomes as firm as normal bottle of soda would feel. At this point you can refrigerate at drink at your leisure. The amount of sugar can be increased to taste. I prefer mine with only a hint of sweetness. Do not leave on the counter long after the bottle has firmed up. The pressure will continue to grow if you do. This recipe can be adapted to make other soda’s also. I have used vanilla and root beer extract to make great soda’s also.

Quick and easy firestarters

If you ever have trouble getting a fire going while camping or in the fireplace then this is the fire starter for you. Cheap and easy to make. My wife mentioned that she had made a fire starter once when she was in girl scouts out of egg cartons so of being of a curious mind I did a web search to find them. Something to save time making a fire in a downpour while out roaming the hills will always get a vote in my book. Yes I can make a fire in the rainstorms in the Pacific coast range but this takes a lot less time. It is a great feeling to have hot cup of coffee or fir needle tea when you are cold. Yes fir needles do make a good tea. Very high in vitamin C, and has a good taste as long as you don’t boil the water. But making tea from wild plants is going to be another post.

Materials needed:

  • empty egg carton
  • dryer lint or fine wood shavings
  • paraffin wax
  • some thing to melt the wax in.

First cut the top off of the carton so all you have is the egg part on the bottom. Next add the dryer lint to each egg dip until it is fairly full. You do not want to overfill with lint or when you add the wax it will spill everywhere. Then melt the wax and pour over the top of the lint until each section looks to be about half full of wax. Be careful when melting wax. If it gets to hot it will ignite, and it can easily burn you if you spill it on your hands. After you pour the wax let it cool overnight then cut up into individual cups. Each cup will burn close to 10 minutes each. The lint acts as a wick for a large candle. Quick simple and if you make it right it is nearly waterproof. Just light one of the cardboard corners to get it started