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We are a bread loving family. On land our go-to breakfast was toast. Lunch? Sandwiches. We can easily go through a loaf of bread every other day. This is a problem when you’re living on a boat. There is only so much bread a person can buy, store, and consume before it goes bad. Know that there are solutions that don’t have you seeking the nearest grocery store every place you anchor.
Some solutions are products you buy, some you make on board. Try them all and find the options your family likes.
Bimbo bread. Our original solution was buying Bimbo bread. It’s a brand of bread that we encountered in Mexico, and it has an extremely long shelf life. We bought 20 loaves to eat while cruising the Bahamas. Three months in, we were still eating it. Four months in, it started to smell like wine, so we chose not to eat it anymore even though it looked fine. (Admittedly, we found a forgotten loaf months later and learned that it does indeed go bad. Very bad. Enough said.) So, buying bread with a long shelf life is a solution, but if you get the heebie jeebies when thinking about what they put into the bread to give it that extremely long shelf life, try something else.
Freeze it. We love english muffins. Before we started cruising, I’d freeze packages to store them longer. I had thought this was an option on the boat. It is not. A boat freezer is the size of a postage stamp. You’ll have things more precious than bread to store in there…like ice. Though if you have a lot of freezer space, freezing bread is an option to help stretch its shelf life. You don’t have to do anything special to eat it after it’s been frozen. Just let it come to room temperature then consume as you normally would.
Wasa toast. This is an easy solution with an infinite shelf life, but your family will either love them or hate them. Wasas are like…a piece of bread and a cracker had a baby. They are hearty, taste bland, and the texture is…different, but these qualities are also what makes them perfect as a bread substitute. It’s all about the flavors you put on them: butter, peanut butter, hummus, cheese, ham, you can even make an open faced sandwich! Word of caution…find the flavor your kids like before buying a ton because not all flavors are created equal. My kids prefer the Sesame.
Bake your own. This is the best solution if you like good quality bread. I had had reservations about trying to make sandwich type bread on the boat. I know people struggling with bread making on land in gourmet kitchens! I thought the humidity on the boat would be unforgiving and make the venture impossible. I’m glad that I was wrong.
Baking Bread On Your Boat
Thankfully I did not have to waste time or money on failed bread making attempts while figuring out how best to make bread on a boat because veteran cruisers have shared what they know! Thanks to Carolyn from The Boat Galley, I tried her White Bread recipe using her awesome Yeast Bread Making 101 tutorial and had a perfect batch of bread the very. first. time. The only thing I do differently is double the recipe to make two loaves at a time. After the 2nd rise, cut the dough in 1/2 and do the 3rd rise in two pans. Baking time stays the same. (P.S. Love her trick about resting the bread on it’s side so it’s doesn’t fall.) I use these bread pans. Love how sturdy they are and that anything I cook in them pops right out.
Two Bread Recipes You Need
English Muffin Bread – (scroll down to the bottom of the page for the recipe) so easy to make, notice she says texture comes out best when mixed by hand, serve lightly toasted (or broiled) with your favorite spreads
Don’t be afraid to make bread on your boat. It’s totally doable. There really is something comforting about the smell of fresh baked bread through the boat. If you’re land-based, practice making bread now. Your crew will love gobbling it up!
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More Bread While Cruising Resources:
- https://www.sailingtotem.com/2017/06/easy-bread-to-feed-a-hungry-crew.html Behan’s Monkey Bread – salty or sweet versions
- https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/in-defense-of-wasa-crackers-article In Defense of Wasa Crackers