One of the best parts of any Dutch Oven Gathering DOG) is learning new tips or skills for successful outdoor cooking. Every Dutch Oven cook has lots of stories of the people who have taught them skills, from basic (care and cleaning cast iron) to advance (baking in a snow storm). This is especially true for the National Dutch Oven Gathering where there are formal demonstrations that cover a wide range of topics.
The 9th Annual National DOG, held in Canton, Texas, had a long list of interesting demonstrations that covered the basics, such as Temperature Control, but also included two Hands On classes on baking pie and bread. When the email was sent for folks to sign up, all of the spots in both classes were filled in less than one day. Thanfully, there was plenty of room for non-participants to watch, take notes, and learn from the experts, Gaye Ann Grace and Dawn Mills. Both have won several outdoor cooking competitions and were gracious to share their tips and tricks for successful baking in camp Dutch Ovens.
In both classes, we learned how to bake in a Dutch Oven without using any pans. All of the pies and breads were baked in 12″ camp Dutch Ovens. Everyone who participated said they were amazed that they could successfully bake a pie or bread in their Dutch ovens.
There were many impressive tips I picked up from these classes, and one of the most impressive was how to line a Dutch oven with parchment paper and then put a pie dough into a Dutch oven without any cracks. Gaye Ann used a 10inch aluminum panliner to safely insert a pie crust into the bottom of a camp Dutch oven. With the pie dough rolled out onto parchement paper, she laid the foil pan on top of the crust and then carefully flipped it over so the dough was hanging off of the pan. She then put the Dutch oven on its side, and then carefully placed the foil pan into the bottom of the pot. She finished by gently pushing the dough up the side of the pot using the foil pan to hold it in place until the bottom was safely completed. Genius!
If you attended these classes, what was the most important tip you learned?