Fresh Bread on a Wood Stove

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Fresh Bread on a Woodstove | My family and I greatly enjoy our winters in Idaho. It gets snowy and cold, but the snow stays around and the cold is a crisp cold -- not a bone-chilling cold with heavy humidity, like we were used to when we lived on the East Coast. We look forward to the snowshoe hikes, the warmth and coziness of the fire, and the benefits of cooking on a wood stove all winter long. I love using my wood stove for our meals, breads, and baked goods. We are very frugal here in the wilderness, so when I can utilize a free resource instead of one I have to pay for, it only seems right. | GNOWFGLINS.com

My family and I greatly enjoy our winters in Idaho. It gets snowy and cold, but the snow stays around and the cold is a crisp cold — not a bone-chilling cold with heavy humidity, like we were used to when we lived on the East Coast. We look forward to the snowshoe hikes, the warmth and coziness of the fire, and the benefits of cooking on a wood stove all winter long. To me there is nothing that says home more than the comforts of a warm house ridden with the sumptuous scents of good home-cooking and bread baking.

When I think of comfort foods, steaming fresh bread comes to mind — with homemade butter and maybe a touch of fresh honey, jelly, or jam. I love using my wood stove for our meals, breads, and baked goods. We are very frugal here in the wilderness, so when I can utilize a free resource instead of one I have to pay for, it only seems right.

What Can You Cook on a Wood Stove?

If you are not used to cooking on a wood stove, it really isn’t that hard at all! Not to mention, it will provide tastier meals than you can imagine. I enjoy placing a roast on my wood stove in the early morning, and letting it simmer until late afternoon or early evening. The roast is beyond tender and the house smells wonderful all day. I have been told already that my husband and boys can smell it outside and it drives them nuts while they are working. The key thing is to check it regularly to be certain that there is still broth in the Dutch oven. The broth or natural juices created by the roast will also make a wonderful soup base for later in the week.

Since we no longer choose to have a microwave, I often poke holes in a few potatoes, place them in my Dutch oven with an inch or so of water, and put everything on the wood stove to provide us with baked potatoes for dinner. Your wood stove could double as your slow cooker. Sometimes you may need to elevate your Dutch oven to protect its contents from becoming too hot or to allow its contents to all cook evenly, such as bread. A simple way to do this is to place jar rings from your canning jars underneath, or if you have a cast iron trivet or old iron stand, they work well also.

Fresh Bread on a Wood Stove

I’m including below two recipes for a boule — a traditional shape of French bread resembling a squashed ball. It is a rustic loaf shape that can be made of any type of flour. It can be leavened with yeast or even wild yeast sourdough. The no-knead sourdough aka “bucket dough” in the Sourdough eCourse or eBook would be perfect for this boule!

Fresh Bread on a Woodstove | My family and I greatly enjoy our winters in Idaho. It gets snowy and cold, but the snow stays around and the cold is a crisp cold -- not a bone-chilling cold with heavy humidity, like we were used to when we lived on the East Coast. We look forward to the snowshoe hikes, the warmth and coziness of the fire, and the benefits of cooking on a wood stove all winter long. I love using my wood stove for our meals, breads, and baked goods. We are very frugal here in the wilderness, so when I can utilize a free resource instead of one I have to pay for, it only seems right. | GNOWFGLINS.com

Here’s the basic method I use no matter what type of dough. See just below it for modifications for sourdough.

To bake bread on your wood stove, preheat your Dutch oven or pottery piece before placing your bread inside. I place the lid and base to my Dutch oven on the wood stove for about 15 minutes and then put my bread in the greased, elevated Dutch oven without the lid. This allows the bread to rise right there on the wood stove. Once the bread has risen, I place the lid on the Dutch oven, double-checking that it is on properly so both heat and moisture stay inside. If you have a metal oven thermometer, you can set that on your wood stove to be certain that your wood stove is producing heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your lid is on and your thermometer is at roughly 350 degrees Fahrenheit, set a timer for 50 minutes. Then simply check on your bread once in a while! :) My bread is normally on the stove for around an hour, but it doesn’t hurt to peek occasionally and make sure the top is browning nicely.

Note: If you’re making sourdough bread, you’ll simply do the first rise in a big mixing bowl in the same room as the wood stove (but not too close to it — you don’t want your bread baking). When your first rise is over, preheat your Dutch oven or clay baker as described above and proceed with baking a boule loaf.

And here are the two boule to get you started making your own fresh bread on the wood stove. I make our breads and rolls weekly and have a variety of different recipes that we enjoy — these are family favorites. I hope you enjoy!

Fresh Bread on a Woodstove | My family and I greatly enjoy our winters in Idaho. It gets snowy and cold, but the snow stays around and the cold is a crisp cold -- not a bone-chilling cold with heavy humidity, like we were used to when we lived on the East Coast. We look forward to the snowshoe hikes, the warmth and coziness of the fire, and the benefits of cooking on a wood stove all winter long. I love using my wood stove for our meals, breads, and baked goods. We are very frugal here in the wilderness, so when I can utilize a free resource instead of one I have to pay for, it only seems right. | GNOWFGLINS.com

Crusty Boule

  • 6-1/2 cups flour
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon real salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients together well. Allow to rise for 2 hours and then refrigerate. Preheat Dutch oven and lid. Place dough in the Dutch oven and allow to rise for 15 minutes, uncovered. Bake for roughly 50 minutes, covered, once your thermometer reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If baking in an oven, this bread can be baked at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes covered followed by 15 minutes uncovered, for a total of 30 minutes.

Gluten-Free Crusty Boule

  • 6-1/2 cups gluten free flour blend
  • 5-1/2 cups warm water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon real salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients together well. Gluten-free breads need to be beaten very hard and mixed well. Allow to rise for 2 hours and then refrigerate. Preheat Dutch oven and lid. Place dough in the Dutch oven and allow to rise for 15 minutes, uncovered. Bake for roughly 50 minutes, covered, once your thermometer reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the excess moisture in this gluten-free recipe, it may actually take longer to bake. If baking in an oven, bake this bread at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes covered followed by 15 minutes uncovered, for a total of 30 minutes.

Do you cook on a wood stove? Please share your tips and/or favorite recipes. Links are welcome!

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Comments

  1. Leslie says

    This is so neat! I had no idea I could do this.

    Why, though, does the dough have to be refrigerated? Is it completely necessary or can I go straight to baking. I’d like to try the bread today

    Thanks!

    • Tammy Trayer says

      Hi Leslie,

      Yes – you can absolutely make breads, rolls, muffins, etc… To be honest – I am always in such a hurry to keep up with my chores I never refrigerate it. It rises beautifully and bakes just the same.

      Good luck and enjoy…. Thanks for joining me today and look forward to getting to know you….

      Blessings
      Tam

    • Tammy Trayer says

      Absolutely Jenny!! It is so wonderful to save money and get that wonderful aroma floating through your home at the same time!! You will LOVE cooking on your wood stove when you get yours!!

      Blessings my dear… Tam

      • says

        Tammy do you have any recommendations as to what kind of stove and where it should be located? We have a conventional gas range in the kitchen and were looking to purchase a stove to use in the event of an emergency. I was thinking of putting it against the wall in our “keeping room” adjacent to the kitchen.

        We have a cement floor ~ will that suffice, or will we need to make other arrangements?

        One other question: is the oven smokey and does it create a lot of dust during the winter?

        • Tammy Trayer says

          Hi Jenny,
          Your concrete floor will be fine. You will not want to place it directly against the wall. When you purchase your stove they will have instructions on how far from the wall they recommend and for the piping. My husband usually has the stove 16 inches from the wall and as a precaution we use the fire board. Our wood stove doesn’t have an oven, but when opening the old wood cook stoves you could smell the smoke although it was not a big cloud of smoke. Wood stoves in general tend to create a lot of dust, but for me, I’ll dust a little more in exchange for the warm glow and the nice heat from the wood fire. I hope this helps. One thing with our wood stove is that my cooking space is not very large so I am a bit limited. Good luck and if you have other questions please don’t hesitate to ask… Blessings….

  2. says

    I had no idea you could do this! We use a wood stove to heat our house and I’ve used it to heat water but I never actually thought to cook on it. I will definitely be giving this a try!

    • Tammy Trayer says

      Hi Andrea – Oh YES there is SO much you can do on a wood stove. When we moved into our house it was a 30′ x 36′ open space with plywood floor and the wood stove in the corner. We were thankful to be out of the elements and happy with our accomplishments of building our home. Our wood stove was our only source of heat and preparing our meals so I was cooking EVERYTHING on it! I will be posting a cornbread muffin recipe on my blog this week that is a real easy one to start with. It would go nicely with potatoes and eggs! :) Enjoy your day and enjoy cooking on your wood stove… Blessings…

  3. says

    We have a wood stove, and I’ve always wanted to use it for cooking, but worry that it gets so hot by the end of the day, up to 500*F! Will raising on canning rings help enough when backing on the top?

    • Tammy Trayer says

      Hi Lillian – I totally understand your concern. When I have had to cook all our meals on the wood stove it got pretty hot standing so close and stirring things. It often felt like my pants legs were adhering to my legs, but when you have something cooking for longer periods of time that does not require constant attention it is a lot of fun!! I LOVE utilizing my wood stove whenever I can which is just about every day for something. Also yes the canning rings will work nicely and if you need to maybe raise it a bit higher you could build a pyramid with the canning lids to get your baking dish higher. The only time you need to do this though is if you are baking cookies, breads or muffins. When you are cooking stews, roasts, etc you can sit it directly on the wood stove. Just be sure to check it from time to time to be sure there is still water or liquid in your pot! Good luck and have fun! Thank you for taking time to chat with me. Blessings…

    • Tammy Trayer says

      Hi Annie, Thanks for stopping by and thank you for pinning this. You will enjoy baking on the wood stove. I have made cookies, muffins and breads. I will be posting a cornbread muffin recipe later this week on my blog that I think you will enjoy as well. Thank you for taking time to message me. I look forward to getting to know you and chatting some more. Blessings and enjoy….

  4. Renee says

    I’m trying out this recipe right now, and was wondering: how big is the Dutch oven that you use? Judging by the amount of flour currently sitting in my mixing bowl, I think yours is bigger than mine. I’m going to try halving the recipe & just see how it goes… Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Renee says

      Well, my first attempt was tasty, but not pretty. Burnt on the bottom and kinda soggy on top. Going to try canning lids next time to better regulate the temp. The chicken adobo that I made at the same time in an aluminum covered roaster, on the other hand, came out amazingly!

  5. says

    We have a Lopi wood stove which lets you cook on the front level and simmer on the back. I’ve used it for making stock/broth, rendering fat, cooking a hamburger in a skillet, cooking down tomato sauce to can, stews, and pancakes are pretty easy too. The easiest are things that cook/simmer for a long time so they don’t need watched constantly.

  6. Rebecca says

    I have a hearthstone wood stove, so the top and sides are stone. That means it spreads the heat more slowly and evenly. As a consequence, the thermometer on the top of my stove rarely gets above 250 deg, yet my house is plenty warm. Is that hot enough to cook on? I have only tried slow-cooker type recipes and soups, never anything that requires higher temperatures.

  7. says

    I get the feeling I’m the only guy posting comments on your site. I read a lot of blogs but always seem to enjoy and learn a lot from your posts. Ever since I saw Jeremiah Johnson, in the theater, when I was a teenager, I’ve always wanted to try making biscuits in a dutch oven. We don’t have a Franklin Stove or insert, just a regular fireplace in the house and a fire pit in the backyard. I have recently looked at prices of cast iron cookware and couldn’t believe how expensive it is ! I will say this, in all my experience in the outdoors and cooking over an open fire, we use a WOK. This works really well and can take the place of a cast iron skillet in most cases. But, you can’t make Jeremiah Johnson biscuits in it. LOL !!!! Or can you ?? Maybe if I had a lid for it.

  8. says

    Of late I’ve been actually baking inside my wood heat stove using my Dutch oven. You only need coals banked along the back and side. We regularly turn out bakery quality bread. Hope to do a pictorial on my blog soon.

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