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ZachO 03-20-2017 11:19 AM

Anyone bake bread in their trailer?
Anyone, full-timers or otherwise?

Over the winter, I got my own sourdough starter going, and have been really enjoying baking, and especially the bread. In a few weeks I'll be back in my camper for the summer, and I'm not sure I can keep doing it then.

I have an oven and it should work fine for bread, but there's a lot of temperature-sensitive stuff going on with the starter and with the bread, plus a lot of mess. Just curious if anyone has even tried to make it work. I don't think I could keep anywhere in the camper at a more or less steady temp that would be in the range needed for the starter or for leavening the bread...Not sure.

I'll likely leave my starter at someone's house, in their fridge, since my fridge is unreliable when it gets hot out, and can sometimes freeze stuff when it's not, and might just only bake when I'm house sitting for someone.

But it would be cool to do it all in the camper...

steve dunham 03-20-2017 12:48 PM

We have a sourdough sponge in our home refrigerator at all times
We often take a portion of the sourdough starter camping and make sourdough pancakes and biscuits. . We have not made bread because we don't have an oven in the trailer . Sourdough seems to keep well in our trailer's refrigerator as long as outside temps are above 40 deg and below 85 deg.
Many campground chlorinate their drinking water and it doesn't work well with sourdough so we carry a jug of well water.

ZachO 03-20-2017 01:40 PM

Thanks Steve. A friend of mine (also a Steve) has had the same sourdough starter for 30 years! He only uses it for pancakes.

I definitely think bringing a part of the starter on a camping trip makes sense. It's maintaining the starter, long-term in my trailer that I'm not so sure about. Right now I'm only using one method, because I'm just learning so I'm doing things exactly the way I'm reading about on the resource I'm using, but it involves getting the starter really going, so a few days up above 65, preferably around 70 degrees. Then the bread sits for multiple stages at that same temp for half a day before going in the fridge overnight. Then I bake in the morning.

I know other people use more simple methods but I want to stick with one thing for a bit until I get the hang of it and understand what's going on a little better.

I like the idea of the camper being "just like home"...but for some things I guess it just has its limitations.

I need to try some pancakes.

Right, water. I've been using distilled. I would need to be sure I have non-chlorinated water for the bread, good point.

steve dunham 03-20-2017 02:10 PM

When fishing , we take the sourdough starter out of the refrigerator and let it sit out overnight to warm up and get active. Early the next morning we mix some of the sourdough starter with flour , a little sugar and some lake water. We then set the bowl of sourdough mix , ( sourdough ,flour , sugar and lake water ) in a pan of warm water .
Then we go fishing . When we return for breakfast we add a little pancake mix to the sourdough and stir up the mixture.
We again place the bowl of sourdough mix in warm water and wait until we see large bubbles forming.
The pancakes turn out light and fluffy . The sourdough makes the pancakes rise up so they are thicker than normal pancakes.

ZachO 03-20-2017 04:36 PM

That sounds pretty darn good

Eric Heinz 03-20-2017 04:46 PM

I have thought about making pita on an outside grill
At home I make whole-wheat sourdough pita or pizza. They can be made on a griddle or frying pan instead of in an oven, and they bake fast. I plan to try it while camping some day.

ZachO 03-20-2017 04:49 PM


I think those things are the keys. It works better for shorter camping trips than if you're actually living out of your trailer, and it's much easier with stuff like pancakes or pizza dough than full loaves of bread.

I plan to try some pizza dough at some point, too. For now I've got my hands full with bread.

Silver River 03-20-2017 04:57 PM

Place starter in a small jar. Place the small jar into a larger jar of cold water and put in refrigerator. I also have a very small styrofoam box which medicine ships in and some cold packs. It can fit in the bottom of a refrigerator and keep the product at a very steady temperature.

Also if you boil water and then let it cool the chlorine will have dissipated and won't kill the starter.

Bobbie Mayer 03-20-2017 05:31 PM

You can bake bread in a Dutch oven with charcoal if you don't have an oven. A warm dutch oven works for rising, too, just keep it out in the sun.

ZachO 03-20-2017 07:01 PM

Ah, nice, good ideas. Thanks.

I guess the "killer" will be the 90 degree temps. Too warm for the starter but a cooler or possibly the fridge will work. I mean I guess if it's over 75 in the camper, which is getting too high for bread rising and starters and all that, do I really want to be running the oven?

steve dunham 03-20-2017 07:53 PM

Another nice thing is if you let your sourdough starter sit long enough in the ice box the sourdough will ferment and alcohol will form on the top. You can pour off the alcohol and strain it.
My buddy says it doesn't taste too good so he adds it to his beer to mask the flavor. Sometimes I wonder if he's just cheap or just stupid or maybe both.

ZachO 03-21-2017 11:10 AM


Yeah I guess it's all in how you look at it. I could say "if I'm ever that desperate I've got serious problems", or I could say "why waste it?", or I could say "it's basically like brewing your own beer or wine, it's a cool thing and why not find a use for it?"...

I think I've pretty much decided that the full sourdough starter and bread baking thing just won't happen in my camper, except maybe during shoulder seasons. Too much mess (I have serious trouble with the dough sticking to everything and clogging the sink...bad idea in a camper), too much heat for the summertime.

I'll just bake when I house sit. But pancakes and other stuff like that...I could probably make that work.

Rzrbrn 03-21-2017 12:05 PM

You said "Early the next morning we mix some of the sourdough starter with flour , a little sugar and some lake water."


You, sir, are a REAL man, not one of those wimpy city slickers....

steve dunham 03-21-2017 12:28 PM


Originally Posted by Rzrbrn (Post 632054)
You said "Early the next morning we mix some of the sourdough starter with flour , a little sugar and some lake water."


You, sir, are a REAL man, not one of those wimpy city slickers....

The fishing cabin we rent in Canada draws it's water from the lake.
They ran a pipe with a screen out into the lake submerged in about 20 ft of water. The do run the water through a filter to remove any sediment but only God knows the last time the filter was changed.
The water doesn't hurt the fish so we don't worry about it ..
We been going there for 20 years and no ill effects yet.
I realize that others are more health conscious but if you like to catch fish you do what you have to do.
Hauling in bottled water is not a viable option plus water is not the primary beverage we drink when fishing.

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