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Quick savory beer bread is great for camping and cabin

A few essential supplies and equipment can yield big results for baking tasty bread.

My baking at the cabin has been an evolutionary process. 25 years ago, I started with a camp stove with a box on top of it. I mastered biscuits from a can and quiche using foil pie pans because that’s the only thing that would fit. I moved up to a fifty-seven-year-old propane stove that only knew two settings- blazing hot and off. Now I am baking in a high-efficiency electric model that helps me turn out bakery products like the pros.

I love having the time to bake at my cabin.

My only complaint is that I never have what I need or the right sized pan to bake it in. The last thing I want to do is go out to the grocery store again after I have settled in for the weekend. Over the years I have found the secret to successfully baking bread is keeping it simple. I stay away from complicated yeast bread or bread with lots of ingredients. I hesitate to store lots of rations at the cabin because of the critters that seem to want me to share my supplies. So with that in mind, I developed a repertoire of sturdy quick breads that I can make in a flash, no yeast or kneading involved and that deliver big on flavor.

For making quick bread on the fly I always recommend stocking the pantry with double duty in mind. Self-rising flour can be used for muffins, pancakes, and popovers. Cornmeal can double as fish fry coating and griddle cakes.

Powdered buttermilk and powdered dry milk are handy for baking and don’t forget about cinnamon and vanilla that can be added to pancakes and coffee cakes. As for essential equipment, my favorite is a cast iron fry pan. It can go from the oven to the table and gives the bread a rustic look. A pie pan and 9x9 inch square or round cake pan are handy too for coffee cakes. Mona Knutson, a professional chef and cabin dweller in Duluth, Minnesota advises “Get dialed into what’s really necessary, and keep the essentials well-stocked” “Impromptu baking on rainy days can be a great activity for children.”

Quick and Easy Cabin Beer Bread

This bread is so simple and tasty; you can make it almost instantly. Use a flavorful beer like a lager or pilsner for the best results. Remember to spoon the flour into the measuring cup to get an accurate measurement of flour. Serve with dinner warm right out of the oven or the next morning as toast.


3 cups self-rising flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon table salt

1 Twelve ounces (1 ½ cups) can or bottle beer


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt.

2. Add beer and continue to mix. The batter will be sticky. Do not over mix. Pour into a 9 x 5 greased loaf pan or 10 inches greased black iron skillet.

3. Let batter sit on the counter 30 minutes before baking. The batter will rise some while standing at room temperature.

4. Bake for 45 minutes. The top will be crunchy and brown.

5. Yields one loaf

Classic Cinnamon or Currant Scones

These flakey, scrumptious scones can be frozen before baking. Just take them out as needed, brush the top with milk and bake from frozen by adding 10 minutes to the cooking time. 1 cup of chocolate chips can be substituted for cinnamon chips.


3 cups self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon table salt

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

6 tablespoons chilled butter

1 cup cinnamon chips or currents

1 cup plus 4 tablespoons milk or buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add sugar. Cut in butter with a fork to corn-meal sized mixture. Add milk.

3. Start by mixing with a spoon and then form a ball with your hands. Place the ball on a lightly floured surface and pat to approximately an 8-inch circle that is 1 ½ inch thick.

4. Cut the circle into eight wedges and place them separately on a cookie sheet. Brush tops with remaining milk. Let stand in pan on counter for 20 minutes before baking.

5. Bake for 17-20 minutes until golden brown

6. Yields 8 scones.


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