How to: Bake bread in the sand

There’s nothing better than a freshly baked loaf, especially one that’s come straight out of the ground… 

The Berber tribes have been using the warm Tunisian sands to bake their bread for centuries. And we thought we’d give it a go ourselves. So we sent our chief-baker  Mary to the beach with some vague instructions and a bag of flour to try out some wild baking.

Much to her (and our) surprise, it actually made for some of the tastiest bread she’s ever eaten. Though it does give a whole new meaning to the phrase “sand in your sandwiches.”

1. Choose your spot

baking bread in the sand

First things first, choose your spot well. The sand needs to be dry enough for the fire to get going, as well as be sheltered from those dreaded coastal winds and out of the reach of the tide. Although lighting fires on beaches is legal, some local councils and private owners ban them, so check before you light!

2.Get digging

lighting fire on the beach
Dig a small pit in the sand, around ½ ft deep and 1 ½ ft in diameter. This allows the sand around the sides to heat up and offers valuable protection from the wind. Build up your fire inside the pit and light it.

3. Fire it up

bake-bread-in-sand-3

Allow the fire to develop so it spreads through the entire pit. Once it’s big enough, stop feeding it and let it die out naturally, leaving just the hot embers.

4. Make your dough

bake-bread-in-sand-stage-4

While the fires burning out, make your dough. Mix around 200g flour with a sprinkle of salt and slowly stir in water until it forms a heavy dough. Flatten it out with your hands and dust the outside with flour.

5. Prep the sand
bake-bread-on-the-sand-5

When the glowing embers are read,y push them aside, leaving the hot sand underneath (this is probably easier with a shovel though we managed with a stick.)

6.Get cooking
place the dough in the centre of the pit

Careful not to touch the hot sand, place the dough in the centre of the pit (where the sand should be hottest) and then pile on a thin layer of the surrounding sand, followed by the embers.

7. Unearth your bread
unearth your bread

Wait for 15-20 minutes, and then carefully unearth your bread. They’ll most likely be some sand stuck to it, but a couple of taps should remove most of it.

8. Tuck in

 

tuck in to sand-baked bread
(try not to look as disgusted as this)

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