Baking Without an Oven

Therese Allemeier shares her method of baking without an oven and recipes for yeast and steamed bread, baking powder biscuits, and raisin and lemon sugar cookies.

| July/August 1975

Sometimes circumstance cuts folks off from one thing or another they once thought they couldn't live without and they get along pretty well anyhow. When you move from a city home to a country cabin, for instance, you quickly adjust to the new mode of life and learn to improvise when necessary. No more flick of the switch lights, so you convert to kerosene lamps. No more thermostatic heat, so you get out a saw and cut yourself some fuel to feed the wood heater. Instead of turning on the hot running water, you haul your supply from a nearby creek and heat it on a stove.

Baking Without an Oven

All right so far but how do you bake if there's no oven? Being cook around here, I faced that problem when we made our own move. At present our cabin has only a wood heater, and although I dream of a big, beautiful wood cook stove, complete with oven for now I have to do my best with what's available.

At first Roger and I just accepted the local store bread, full of preservatives, as our only alternative to doing without. It wasn't long, though, before we got an ache for some wholesome, homemade, fresh baked loaves. That's when I put a little brainpower to work and with the help of some old and new recipe books and a bit of experimentation came up with an assortment of breads, biscuits, cookies, and other baked goods I could make without an oven (or any tools or contraptions other than normal kitchen utensils).

If you're cooking on a wood heater (as I am), or over an open fireplace or campfire, you'll find that the following recipes offer a lot of good eating. Even those of you who are blessed with stoves may want to take advantage of these baking without an oven methods now and then especially this time of year. Summer's well along by now, and on a warm day a hot oven can make the kitchen an awfully uncomfortable place. Why not leave conventional baking for a cooler spell and try some of my discoveries instead?

Yeast Bread Recipe

The following creation is made like regular yeast dough, except that it takes very little kneading and is baked on a hot griddle on top of the stove. Instead of a loaf, you get flat, medium sized muffins that taste just like bread and when sliced in two can be toasted or used for sandwiches or spreads.


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