Captain's Table

Mark Austen

2018.09.03 - After the Reenactment Season

For the most part our reenactment season is over, just one small event to go in 2 1/2 weeks time. I have taken a step back from reenactment, I wasn't enjoying it and given a choice I'd rather be out sailing on Naiad. However, this would mean that I would not be supporting Tina who is a keen re-enactor, especially if she can take the horse along, so I have stopped being a re-enactor and become what I really am and that is a re-enactor's husband.

I have also dropped cooking for the Jousting group as this was causing me no end of stress and adding to my dissatisfaction with reenactment in general. So I now don't get into kit but I can wear a Hoopalund over my kilt and do not look too far out of place. I still cook, but only for ourselves and that has led me to revive my Cobb BBQ which has languished in the utility room for several years. As a result I am really enjoying it all again.

Still, the one thing that I replay like to try making when reenacting is bread. I can do this in a Dutch Oven with charcoal but I wanted to try this with the Cobb. It can be done, I've seen the photos but I've not done it myself.

I like to make bread at home although I still haven't got this quite right just yet, my loaves come out a little too heavy. Perfectly edible and the bread doesn't last long unless we hide it out of temptation's way, but I want to make it a lot lighter. Probably needs the second prove to be a longer time. Making "normal" bread is possible whilst camping but not easy so it was with interest that I found a Youtube video on "No-Knead Turbo Bread (Ready to Bake in 2-1/2 Hours with Just a Spoon and a Bowl)" whilst I was looking for something else. Since it only takes 2 1/2 hours from start to finish I tried it that very day.

I have to say that I am completely surprised at the result. A very tasty bread with a much coarser crumb than you would find in kneaded bread but very satisfactory indeed. So much so that I'm just baking my third loaf in 2 weeks. It makes very good toast, entirely too good in fact and I have to severely restrict my toast intake, and I make Tina's lunch sandwiches with two slices and she has given it the thumbs-up.

There is another version of this bread called the "No-Knead Bread" by the same author which requires an 8-24 hours initial proof and I think this version will be suitable for reenactment. Mix the ingredient the night before (which I do with kneaded bread anyway) and in the morning the dough can be put into the baking tin for the next, much shorter, proof before baking. I'll be trying this out for certain at our last event of the season.

Just out of the oven.

A little while later after it had cooled a bit.

About an hour later. Cool enough for a taster slice. Just to check the quality, you understand,

You can see what I mean about a coarse crumb from this photo. It doesn't affect the taste to me but them I'm a culinary philistine. If a recipe calls of more than 3 fiddly things such as herbs or spices then I'm not going to make it!