If you think you need an oven to bake bread, think again! If you have heat, you can eat. Recognizing this simple fact can open up a world of possibilities for sustainable living and emergency preparation. Beyond that, learning to bake bread without an oven can be a lifesaver in hot climates when the idea of turning on the oven makes your sweat rings break out in a sweat.
Here are a few great reasons to learn to consider these 12 ways to bake bread without an oven:
Flexibility: Expand your options!
It is easy to paint yourself into a proverbial corner by limiting your options to one method of baking. Conventional ovens are great if life remains eternally ideal, but…well, let’s be real. There is a great deal of general peace of mind that can come from having an entire skill-set of experience to choose from when faced with a challenging situation. Practicing alternative methods can only improve the awesome of your self-sufficient bread.
Fuel Efficiency: Save money using alternative heat/fuel sources (like the sun!)
Utilities can be expensive, both economically and ecologically. So protect the green in your wallet and on the planet by harnessing the power of alternative fuel sources for your baking and cooking.
Think about it. Many of you are heating an entire oven in order to bake one or two small loaves of bread. Alternative baking methods often maximize small spaces and are more efficient at maintaining the baking temperature without blowing a lot of unnecessary hot air.
It is important to consider the rainbow of possibilities surrounding an unexpected crisis situation. You may not have gas, or electricity, or you may be required to leave your home (and woodpile). Having experience in multiple methods of baking can be very beneficial, because by the time the crisis hits, it’s a mite too late to start “preparing.”
Personal Comfort: When it is too hot to bake indoors, take the heat outside!
So many of these methods listed below allow you to bake outdoors, keeping your home comfort levels tolerable in the sweltering summer months. You will save money too, since you won’t be paying good money to cool the house you’re intentionally heating up with the oven!
Party Tricks: impress people with your new skills!
Just imagine…. You’ve invited Suzy What’s-Her-Face over for brunch, and so far all you’ve done is listen to how amazing Suzy (and her hubby, and her kids, and her house, and her car, and her job, and her hamster…..) is/are. You’re about to put Suzy and all her perfection on the porch until… Ding! the bread is done.
Suzy: “Oooh warm bread, what a treat! When did you bake this dear, I didn’t even see you pull it out of the oven!”
Awesome You: “Well sweetie, that’s because I baked it by harnessing the raw power of the sun. Isn’t that how you bake your bread?” Wink, wink.
Jokes and vindictive plotting aside, there is an even better way to impress and awe people with your outdoor baking skills, and it is called camping. I have baked fresh loaves on many camping trips, and I do it exclusively for the glory. There is nothing on earth quite like a hot, fresh loaf of bread smothered in butter beside a campfire as the stars come out. And campers treat the person who provided that bread like a lesser deity, even if the loaf is less than perfect. Score for everyone!
12 Ways to Bake Bread Without an Oven
The links below show a wide variety of options when it comes to baking outside the “box” (or inside the box- a cardboard box that is!). While not all the recipes shared meet Bread Geek criteria for properly prepared grains using Natural Yeast, it is easy to use the baking methods with your own recipes, or adapt the recipes to include natural yeast.
Learn More: Adapting Non-Starter Recipes
If you already own my two cookbooks, there are some great recipes and instructionals in both of those books that will help you use your starter for baking without an oven. Here are a few:
The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast:
- Bread Machine Recipe, pg. 60
- Natural Yeast Pancakes, pg.82, 87
- Oatmeal Pancakes, pg. 84
- Banana Buckwheat Pancakes, pg. 89
- Crepes, pg. 90
- Waffles, pg 93
- Oatmeal Waffles, pg. 94
Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast
- Spelt Rosemary Flax (Slow-Cooker tutorial), pg. 46
- Campfire Dutch Oven Method, pg. 50
- Waffles: Quick & Easy, Vegan, Carrot Cake pg. 57-60
- Pancakes: Sourdough, Orange Blueberry, Pumpkin pg. 62-67
- Sourdough Pasta, pg. 104
- Basil dinner crepes, pg. 109
- Aebleskivers, pg. 110
- Ethiopian Injera (skillet bread) pg. 112
1. Hobo Bread | Survival Prepper Joe
2. Chapati & Roti Flatbread |My Food Storage Cookbook
3. Skillet Bread | Food.com
4. Baking Over a Campfire (Tin-Can “Oven”) | The 7 P’s Blog
5. Dutch Oven Campfire Bread | The Backyard Pioneer
6. BBQ Artisan Bread | Sourdough Baker
7. Bake Bread 3 Ways in 3 Ovens | Food Storage Moms
11. Homemade Bread From Start to Finish Without Power Video (featuring Cardboard Oven!)| Food Storage Made Easy
12. Outdoor Bread Manual | Patriot Resistance