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Can You Bake Bread on a Stovetop?

Categories Food

Yes and no. (I’ll explain why in a bit).

Making bread is super easy, but it can be less than convenient if you don’t have the right tools. Not everyone has an oven to bake in, but at least you would have an electric, gas or kerosene stove.

My kitchen is tiny, so I decided I wasn’t going to get a bulky gas cooker. Currently, a tabletop gas burner works for me.

A few weeks ago, I was craving homemade bread and decided to do a bit of research on stovetop baking.

How can you bake bread on the stovetop?

I said yes because you can. All you need to bake your bread is evenly distributed dry heat and that can be created using a stovetop.

You can make your dough as you normally would, but use a pot rather than a bread pan. I gather the best kind of pot to use is a cast iron pot because it distributes heat beautifully; that I can attest to from using it for everyday cooking.

Place the pot on the pan with the lid on and the heat on the lowest and you’re good to go. I’ll share more details about the process shortly, as well as a simple bread recipe anyone can try.

Why might you not want to bake bread on the stove top?

I said no because may burn badly like mine did. Mine was so burnt I decided I wasn’t going to take pictures. Who would like to see ugly burnt bread?

My bread burnt even though I used a stand to raise the height of the pot. I suspect the primary reason was the heat was too high. This wasn’t my fault because that was the lowest my burner would go, unfortunately. If you can achieve really low heat, then you may not end up with badly burnt bread like mine. It was yummy on the inside though ;).

Easy stovetop bread recipe

If you’re willing to try stovetop bread, you can use this basic, easy recipe:

Ingredients

4 and a half cups of flour (keep more at hand)

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 and a half cups of warm water

2 teaspoons of yeast

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Method

There’s more than one method for making bread, but I opted for the sponge method.

1. Combine yeast, sugar and water. Leave to stand for 3 minutes or until frothy. Use warm water. It shouldn’t be so hot you wouldn’t be able to comfortably hold your finger in it for 10 seconds.

If the yeast doesn’t seem to be active, add more. Your yeast may not be as active as should be if it has expired like mine. Yes, I baked and still bake with that pack of yeast. Expired yeast isn’t harmful to consume as long as the yeast still works, but you may prefer to buy a new packet.

2. To create a sponge, add 1 and a half cups of flour and mix until flour is properly mixed in. Cover and leave in a warm place until sponge has doubled or tripled in size. This should take about 30 to 45 minutes. You can still add yeast at this point if you feel it’s not enough, but the sponge has to rise to at least double its size before you proceed.

3. Mix in 2 and a half to 3 cups of flour half a cup at a time until you can’t mix the dough with your spoon anymore. Turn the dough on a clean, floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding a bit of flour when dough gets sticky. I try not to use too much flour so the bread doesn’t end up too hard.

4. Put the dough in a well-oiled pot, oil the top of the dough, cover the pot and leave in a warm place to rise.

5. Once the dough has risen to about twice it’s original size, place the pot on the stove and ensure the heat is on the lowest. When the top of the dough starts to firm up, flip the bread, so the top can cook.

While it’s best to use a cast iron pot, you can use any heavy-bottom pot. I must warn you though, your bread is likely to burn if your heat is not low enough and if you don’t flip the bread soon enough.

Do you think you’ll try this? Have you tried it before? Please let me know in the comments section. Cheers!

Korayday is a multi-media creative. She's a ghost copywriter who writes fiction and daydreams about making films in her spare time. Korayday is the creator of the Yoruba Igbo Muslimah podcast, a foodie, and part-time cyborg. Find her work on her blog, korayday.com.

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