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Home made bread - Crusty Loaf

Baking bread can at first seem like a monumental faff and you’d be forgiven for thinking that surely it’s just not possible at home - let alone in a tiny caravan oven! I can hear the cries of ‘ain’t nobody got time for that!’ and ‘why not just go to the shop and buy it...?’

Bread has been a staple of our diet for thousands of years so I’m pretty sure a modern day person can pull it off as well :) and as for the why, because it’s MUCH cheaper and healthier to bake your own. Read the ingredients list on your usual sliced bread packet, if you see anything you can’t pronounce or don’t recognise then you probably don’t want to be eating it! Also there have been a few occasions when we've been parked somewhere wild and isolated and run out of bread… anyway, that’s enough convincing arguments from me - why are you reading this if you don’t want to learn how to make it yourself?

A few years ago Ryan bought us a bread maker and we managed to get a few good loaves out of it but to be honest I find it easy enough to make bread by hand and it’s quite a bulky power-hungry bit of kit so has no place on board Waki. Of course it was nice to simply throw the ingredients in and then leave the house, allowing the machine to work its mysterious baking magic, but that’s not what The Waki Way is all about now is it? By all means if you would rather use one then go ahead and save yourself some time everyday (at least you’ll still be eating better quality bread with no funky chemicals) but on one condition – make ONE good loaf by hand first so you know you can! I promise you it’s very empowering :)


Below is the basic white bread recipe that I use. There’s nothing fancy or particularly unique about it, it’s straight off of the back of the Allinson yeast packet! You can buy dried yeast and bread flour at every supermarket or even online here...


In my own take on ‘best of both’ bread I have also started to substitute some of the white flour for wholemeal, it has lots more flavour and substance to it. Why not throw in some nuts, herbs or seeds to make it even more delicious if you like too?


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*tip* As with any dough recipe make sure that your hands and rolling/kneading surface are squeaky clean and that any wedding rings etc have been stashed safely away (jewellery can harbour some nasty germs underneath, plus it’s fiddly business to have to scrub dried dough out from around any stones or cut patterns. You could even lose a stone in the mix if one was loose so it’s safer all round to just take it off!). I also make sure to have a bowl of warm soapy water ready to clean me up afterwards. See these gorgeous ring holders to keep your jewels safe whilst you work! >



650g strong white / wholemeal bread flour

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

15g butter/oil

7g sachet yeast

400ml warm water (body temp or slightly warmer) + 50ml extra for wholemeal

+ optional nuts and seeds



1. Mix flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Rub in the butter or stir in oil. Add any nuts and seeds you want in the mix now.

2. Add water and knead for 10 mins on a well floured work surface (or in the bowl on your lap if you've not got a surface to use...). Push the dough away from you with the heel of your hand before gathering it back up, turning and repeating until elastic.

3. Shape into a round (or rolls if you're going that way) and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 mins or until doubled in size. To shape bread; place your left hand on the side of the dough ball whilst using your right to gently try to turn it towards you. Allow your right hand to pass under the dough slightly as you pull it towards you. Reposition your left hand and repeat until the dough is smoothed into a neat round. Lift carefully with floured hands to avoid it sticking and pulling out of shape.

4. Set on a lightly oiled baking tray or in loaf tins being careful not to knock too much air out of the dough, and slice into the top with a sharp knife to allow for expansion. Bake at a high heat until golden brown, turning if necessary for even cooking. The loaf/rolls should sound hollow when tapped. For adaptation in a Dutch Oven cook the bread over embers only, with more embers scooped onto the lid for an even heat.

5. Cool on a wire rack for as long as you can bear before slicing and devouring!

I’m a massive fan of the super-flaky bakery rolls, you know the type you need to hold a plate under whilst eating else you’ll be wearing it all! Unfortunately it requires an extremely hot oven plus steam to get them like that but you can get close with a combination of tricks: have your oven as hot as you can get it, put a tray with water in at the bottom of the oven to create a steamy environment and spray them with water a couple of times during the cooking process. Also brushing with egg whites tends to crisp things up. If you still can’t get the bread super crusty don’t worry, it tastes delicious either way! 


< Back to Oven / Dutch Oven Recipes

You might find this handy: For our favourite UK Organic product suppliers see our list here.

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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more

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