Photo by Thom Schuchaskie
Provenance of Dish
I learned premise of this cooking style in a primitive cooking class. It’s a great way to make a piping hot pastry in the backcountry, sweet or savory!
All purpose flour 1/2 lb or more depending on how many people you are making for.
Chanterelle or other tasty mushroom! 2-3 per “cake”
Water enough to make pizza like dough
Salt (about 1/4 teaspoon per 4 cakes, 1/2 lb of flour)
Butter one pad per “cake” about a teaspoon
First, build a nice hot fire using hard woods such as Oak, Beech, Maple.... well in advance so you have a nice bed of white ash. This is good to do on your second or third night of having fires so you have a plenty of ash.
*Pre-cook the mushrooms by setting them on the side of the fire for about 15 minutes. This dries them and starts the cooking process so the wild mushrooms are properly cooked inside the dough. They must be close enough to the fire that you can only hold your hand there for a couple of seconds. Do NOT put the mushrooms straight into the fire. IF you have a pan, you can use a dry pan to “cook” the mushrooms. This will also help remove moisture from the mushrooms.
Take the half pound of all purpose flour in a gallon freezer bag.
Add salt (if desired) to flour and mix thoroughly.
Simply add water, slowly, mixing gently till you have a "pizza like" dough consistency.
Cut/chop the mushrooms into small pieces, depending on the size of the mushroom, not too small though! You want the texture as well as the flavor. Method 1. Mix the small pieces of mushrooms into the dough evenly distributing them throughout. Method 2. Make a small pocket in the dough and add a portion of mushrooms and a pad of butter to the center, wrapping the dough around the mushrooms and butter and pinching the dough closed.
Move the burning wood to the back of the fire pit leaving a hot bed of white ash in front. You should be able to hold your hand over the front of the fire for about 2 seconds. It should be HOT!
Place the 4 "cakes" into the ash, covering them completely in ash. Rake some hot coals around and on top of the cakes.
Rotate the cakes after 10 minutes, cover again in ash and surround with hot coals.
*Keep adding wood to your fire for coals and easy stoking when done cooking.!
After another 10 minutes, pull out a cake, the ash and any small coal should easily brush off. Break off a small portion, the inside should be cooked through. I like mine a little "doughy" so I don't cook as long as some people that like them more well done.
If using method one, cut in half, use the butter to spread on each half, or simply put in in the middle and put the "cake" back together again till melted.
Dust off the ash from the cakes removing as much ash as possible. I do not get too crazy with this but some use a brush made of pine needles (or you can use a bandana) to clean more thoroughly but I can’t wait and dive right in!
This is a great side dish to anything!! Especially a fresh caught trout from a mountain pond or river!