Baking at Camp? Really?
For years, I’ve been watching other campers I follow online using the Omnia Oven to mix up what is possible to cook while camping. And I’ve thought “I don’t need that. I’m super creative. We’re camping. I can make firepies.”
And then I opened a birthday gift and there it was. Tom was way more excited about it than I was. I like cooking gear and I like the creativity of cooking. I just don’t actually like to cook or be expected to cook. I don’t like to be defined by it. And though I was happy to finally have an Omnia Oven, I still couldn’t quite imagine how I would use it.
Then it occurred to me–it doesn’t have to be kept with the other cooking gear. It isn’t something you use every day, so as long as you can get to it, it is ok to keep it somewhere less accessible. As we were planning for this year, I was trying to rethink what goes where in a very “how do we most often use the camper” and “how can we make it as easy to be prepared” way. I had been thinking that the chairs and tables and tablecloth and awning that are the things we grab first when we get to camp need to be under the bed, which should already be made up and in the “lounge” position. That leave the space under the backrest as a good spot for things like the USB fan, the Omnia Oven, the bocce balls and other assorted odds and ends that aren’t terrible to get to, but not taking up key storage.
Once I had a plan for where to keep it, I made a plan for something to try first–basic, store bought biscuits. We always like a breakfast sandwich at camp and have never been able to make them with real biscuits. I wasn’t sure how it would go, so I had a backup plan with some brioche rolls in case they didn’t cook or somehow got burned.
Oh my gosh! That thing is amazing. It takes a little longer cooking on the propane stove in my T@B than it does in my oven at home, but wow. The biscuits were brown and crisp all around. They fluffed in a way I’ve never seen in my home oven. They were delicious! And, they made for really good breakfast sandwiches. And since it isn’t too big or heavy and isn’t something we use every day, I found a good spot for it in one of the storage areas under the back cushions. Easy enough to get to, but not taking up prime space.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with how long it would take to cook them. The booklet said it would be about as long as cooking in your regular oven. So I preheated the stainless bottom portion of the oven and put the biscuits in the silicone tray to help with the nonstick. I could only fit 7 of the 8 biscuits, but I was excited to see what would happen next. After eight minutes, I checked and it didn’t look like a lot of progress. So I turned the fire up and cooked for another five minutes. They were starting to rise, so I knew we were on the right track.
Another five minutes and it seemed like they were starting to separate and the tops were a little brown. I took them off the fire and use a spatula to free them from the pan. Oh, my gosh! Delicious, browned on the bottom and sides, flaky warm biscuits! We put some bacon and cheddar on them and enjoyed a lovely camp breakfast.
The silicone sleeve was easy to wash and all of the oven cooled quickly. Once it was clean, it was ready to go back in it’s bag and back into the storage compartment to wait for the next time I need to bake on the stove.
Now that those lessons have been learned, I’m ready to up my Omnia game and see what else I can bake while camping. Muffins? Yep, I’ll try that. A cinnamon swirl cake? That sounds good too. A pepperoni role? Oh, yeah. I’m so excited, I ordered an Omnia cookbook. Tom keeps talking about lasagna. I’m not so sure I’m ready to go quite that far for camp food. But we’ll see. I’m so glad to have the Omnia now!