Monday, February 12, 2018

Loafing on the boat

1st Bread

So, the plan was to bake Harvest 8 Grain Whole Wheat Bread, it's similar to loaves I have made at home, but this was to be baked on the boat.

Here's my Galley (hope you like the new faucets that I installed about a week ago) 

I keep my tablet nearby so that I can read the recipes, the door with the vent leads to the Aft Berth where I keep, well, just about everything! Including non-perishables.

The Red Bowl is a great mixing bowl, but also serves as a salad bowl or delivery bowl when we take dinner over to other boats.




Friday:

We were rafted up with Dave & Pam on Sjofn at Lake Sylvia

To make sure I had everything with me, I put this package together at home. 
Yeast, 6 Cups of Flour (4 cups Whole Wheat, 2 Cups Bread Flour), mini Tupperware container with a mix of Seeds: Caraway, Flax, Fennel, Quinoa, because I couldn't find the King Arthur Harvest Grain mix at the store, not even Whole Foods!

I should setup a Video camera at the galley, trying to shoot a video with one hand and actually doing the food prep with the other just doesn't work. Hmmm. Amazon shopping is in my future.

The ingredients are enough for two loaves, one for us, and one to take to the Chili Cook Off on Saturday. But the dough mix was much wetter than it should be. And, because I didn't include any 'extra' flour, not a lot I could do. Thinking out of the box, I used an extra packet of Oats (Maple & Brown Sugar) and added that to the mix. Still too wet! I was ready to toss it out, but Peggy suggested that I go ahead and cook it anyway, worst case would be a dough ball.


I let the dough rise in the mixing bowl overnight. It rose nicely!

The No-Knead recipe requires that the risen dough should be De-Gased, and stirred to help develop the gluten strands which give the bread it's crumb.

Saturday 07:30

I used a regular kitchen spoon to stir the dough then left it to rise a 2nd time while I prepared the oven.



What didn't I do? I didn't check to see if the oven would hold 2 bread pans! It doesn't! Grrrr. Peggy suggested that I freeze half the dough, then she thought it would be ok to cook in a larger pan, making one large loaf. So I used the Skillet from my stainless steel stacking pan set. Greased the pan with spread.

It looked as though it would hold the dough and there's room above the pan in the oven for the bread to rise.

Oven set to 400ºF with shelf lowered, it only took about 15 minutes for the oven to get up to the set temperature, another 1st, never had the oven on the boat that hot before.

I had purchased a small oven thermometer a while back, does the job nicely.

I felt a bit like the bakers in the Great British Baking Show as I was kneeling down to check on the temp and to see how the bread was rising.

It looked good even if it's not very clear in the pic.

The recipe said 40mins, I added a few minutes because of the loaf size.




Well, that didn't turn out (pun intended) as planned! The loaf was nicely crusted on top, but the dough was still 'runny' inside as I could see where it leaked out while trying to get the loaf out of the pan. Just as well it didn't release, it would have been a really soggy mess!


Back into the oven at 350ºF, I tested it again after 20 extra minutes, still sticky inside. We had planned to leave Lake Sylvia around 9am and the loaf was still in the oven. I tested again after another 10 minutes, and it's still sticky. We need to cast off and head out onto the ocean. 

Leaving the loaf to cook longer in the oven, we headed out of Lake Sylvia and down towards Port Everglades, we were going to sail up to Hillsboro Inlet rather than motor up the ditch. Dave &Pam were following as soon as they pulled up their anchor.

As we passed under the 17th Street Causeway Bridge, I pulled the loaf out of the oven and decided to leave it in the pan just incase the inside was still gooey. The forecast was for a lumpy ocean sail, so I secured the pan with the Pot Holders onto the top of the cooker.

We had a great Sail! Sure, it was lumpy, but the boat handled it really well and Peggy's tolerance of rougher weather rose several notches, she's becoming a good sailor! (but she still reminds me that she's 'Not In Your Navy' regularly.

When we arrived at Lake Boca for the Chili Cook Off, and were safely tied up along side Sjofn, I pulled the bread out of the pan, it did require a bit of assistance with a knife around the edges, but it came out in one piece.

It's a big loaf, and heavy due to the high moisture content, but it tastes ok, has a nice crust. I'm glad I didn't toss it out.

My local food critics (Peggy, Pam, & Dave) gave it good marks, but I know that it's not great.

It did make really good skillet toast for breakfast on Sunday.

So, lessons learnt:
  • Have extra flour on hand to add if dough is too moist
  • Get pans that fit the cooker if I want to bake two loaves (saving propane usage)
  • Get a bread knife for the boat. I know, really?
  • Use non-stick pans! But I asked other members of the Cooking on Boats Facebook group and the majority of members choose Silicone Bread Pans (Hello! Amazon, you still there?)

There were about 17 club boats at the Chili Cook Off, we didn't win any trophies for my chili, but Katie Sparks (Into the Blue, boat on the left of the three of us rafted up on Lake Boca) did! I'm envious, but she is a pro dietitian and her Chili was really good. 

We left Lake Boca Sunday morning in time to pass the Camino Real Bridge's 10am opening.

Then it was a leisurely motor down the ditch and back to our dock in Fort Lauderdale. That's a long ride down! I'd rather be sailing, but the forecast was in the low twenties and Peggy had earned a break from further rough sea training for the weekend, so I was happy to give her some loafing time.😉

See you on the Water.

Paul