Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tidy Loaf: Introduction

Inlet Creek an hour north of Charleston, SC

We had a glorious spring day's sail through Charleston Harbor to our anchorage on Inlet Creek, just north of the Ben Sawyer Bridge. After Sweet Pea, our Island Packet 32, nestled into a wide place between two bends, dinner included a warm loaf of crusty peasant bread, made under way with no fuss.
This loaf had a dense chew and an egg shell crust 
This bread was in stark contrast to my earliest attempts at loafing aboard. Years ago in the Bahamas, my first efforts left a blizzard of flour dusting the galley and a pile of dirty bowls and spoons slathered in sticky library paste. Given the humidity and the sharp breeze whistling through the galley, the question was whether the flour would blow overboard before it too developed adhesive properties.

That first adventure into the art of baking aboard was less than I had hoped in that the results were not sufficiently tasty to justify all that effort. After a series of similar misadventures we gave up on breadmaking and spent the rest of that cruise chasing rumors of loaves from cay to cay. Occasionally we found a treat but more often than not, the shelf was either bare or it should have been, since the contents were well past their prime.

Over the years I stumbled on an approach that eases baking bread aboard. Sweet Pea's Tidy Loaf produces a crusty bread with a dense chew at minimum of effort and almost no cleanup. The method forgives interruptions of hours or even days, making it easy fit into a cruiser's schedule and into a tiny galley. Making bread aboard a sailing vessel turns a few minutes of effort -- spread over several hours or several days -- into the delight of a hot-out-of-the-oven loaf that is bursting with flavor and texture. 

Dinner was pork loin in marinara over pita chips and a warm slice . . . 

Followed by dessert.

1 comment:

  1. So wish I could come see you guys for dessert! Miss you Daddy.