Friday, October 5, 2012

Ash Cakes. An easy way to make bread

I made these on my 30 outdoor survival class, and again a minute ago. Ash Cakes have been an outdoor staple from the eighteenth century. Try them!

I'll never forget the month I spent in the southern Utah desert with my friends in the BYU Youth Leadership 480 class.  Our class number was D12, and it was from the first part of September of '79 until the first part of October.   The course is now owned and operated by B.O.S.S. or Boulder Outdoor Survival School and it has maintained the rigor and integrity that Larry Dean Olsen first used when he designed it. There were 30 of us on that 30 day trip, and we hiked about 450 miles in all kinds of terrain.  The food we had (besides finding it) along the way was a little bit of wheat or corn seeds and some honey.  About the only thing we could make was Ash Cakes.  

I found this recipe, but to this day I do not use baking powder or any additives, even salt.  I like to savor the memory of a plain ash cake...This super simple recipe is the Traditional “Mountain-man” breakfast food, no utensils, pots or pans required. Ash Cakes consist of equally simple ingredients… make sure you use ‘Baking Powder’ though (rather than Baking Soda). You can also jazz them up by adding toppings or fillings of other things you have handy that are in abundance, see ideas below.

You will also want to use hardwoods any time you cook directly in or on a fire. Hardwoods do not contain resin like your softwoods do, such as pine. Softwoods can impart their resinous flavor into food, which may not be desirable.
You will need:

3 TBSP. Flour, from any type of wheat or grain
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Salt (optional)

Mix all ingredients together, then kneed into a smooth dough.
Tip: add a touch more water if the dough is too dry, or add a touch more flour if the dough is too sticky.

Press the dough into a flat pancake, the thinner the better!
Place the dough pancake on ‘hot’ white ashes in your fire.

Here is a similar story of BYU YL480 from an other participant. 

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