camper trailers tech tips

Baking Bread in a Coleman Oven





Bread Baking

in a Coleman Oven

   Being on a gluten free diet my challenge whenever we are away is to find bread that I can eat. Gluten free bread is not only difficult to find (I would say impossible 99% of the time) but also expensive ($6.00/loaf and upwards) when we are travelling. As we tend to take most of our provisions with us and only call into smaller towns basically for bread I find sticking to a gluten free diet very difficult. So my challenge to make my own gluten free bread was on.

   Most of the recipes that I had previously used involved lots of ingredients. One recipe had over a dozen ingredients in it and it wasn’t very tasty for all of the effort involved. I stumbled across a brand of pre-mixed gluten free flour when checking out the new local Coles Supermarket.

   It was Lauke Easy Bakers Instant Oven Bread. Gluten, yeast and wheat free bread mix, which comes in a pack consisting of four separate packs, already measured out for one loaf. Easy for on the road – no measuring. Add the correct amount of water and mix for five minutes. This is a thick runny mix that needs to go into a tin to rise and cook, so my next problem was how to cook it?

   We didn’t want to have to rely on having to have a fire everytime we wanted to cook bread. We only have a medium sized camp oven. I could not find a tin that was either heavy enough and the correct size to go in the camp oven over either gas or fire without the bread being burnt.

   The Camp Oven Mate looked good but we still had to buy a new camp oven and as there is now only to two of us away on holidays we couldn’t see the point of taking two heavy camp ovens away with us. The Coleman Camp Oven looked the easiest, it is light, folds up and it could be used for cooking other oven type foods, but how did we heat it up?

   The Coleman Oven was too big to sit on our gas stove, which is built into our pullout kitchen in the camper. We had an old high pressure stove which still did not take the oven very well and took forever to heat up. We then attached a high-pressure single burner gas ring to the top of the gas bottle (this is our portable BBQ with a cast iron plate on top). This heated the oven well but was too difficult to control the heat precisely with the control on the gas bottle. It cooked the bread, but it was slightly overcooked. The bread needs fairly accurate temperatures for cooking. If it is too hot it sinks and cracks!

   On a further trip to the camping store our very nice salesman lent us a “Country Cooker”, a cast iron, triple gas ring which attaches to the gas bottle via a low pressure hose. This is a low pressure gas ring and heated the oven up very quickly, was easy to control the temperature with the knob and was very stable, safe and did not heat up the ground area too much underneath. This managed to cook the bread very well although slightly overdone again. The temperature gauge of the Coleman Oven is only an approximate temperature so with a little more practice hopefully I will be able to produce a perfect loaf of bread. I will be able to go back to having a simple sandwich again when on the road and at only $2.50/loaf it is certainly a much cheaper option.

   The only job left for us to do is a windshield for around the gas ring for those frequent windy days. A light, fold up windshield is on the drawing board at this stage!




the necessities


putting it together


the result


Coleman oven

Thanks to Leanne Slorach for this article

 september 2007