As we've seen throughout this website and others, Altoids tins can be used for a multitude of things. Some examples are survival and fire starter kits. Heck, I pack one of, if not both, every time I load my pack. Be that as it may, I have never seen an Altoids tin used like this. If you have ever been camping or hiking in remote mountain ranges or other extreme conditions, you are more than likely to have a few staples from the kitchen in your pack. Where as flour may be a stretch, who knows, I have heard of stranger things taken on trips! (Like an Altoids tin full of God knows what!) If you do in fact happen to have flour in your pack, (and an Altoids kit of some kind), while in the wild, or your just bored at your house/dorm room and feel like a home made biscuit that rivals your grandmothers, lets carry on to the next step.
Step 1: Ingredients (What You Will Need)
Again, you probably won't have all of this with you if your camping, but using only water and flour and mixing everything together in the Altoids tin will work just fine. For the sake of this Instructable, I will be using the full line-up of ingredients.
*Self Rising Flour (appx 1/2 cup per serving)
*Water (appx 1 - 1.5 oz per serving; go by consistency)
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( just a drizzle)
*Salt (i just use a dash to flavor since the flour already has some in it)
*An Altoids tin, clean of decoration (The best way I have found to do this is to take a wire brush and just go to town. It takes about two minutes to get the entire tin clean.
*A mixing bowl and a mixing utensil. I like to use a small bowl and a whisk. (If your in the woods, the Altoids tin and a clean stick will work just fine.)
Step 2: Combining Your Ingredients
Combine the flour and a touch of EVOO in the bowl, drop a pinch of salt in to taste if you want. Drizzle water in as you stir the mixture. You want the consistency to be more dry than wet, but not powdery. ( See 2nd and 3rd pictures)
Stir until you have a little doughy ball.
Step 3: Prepping the Tin
Just like any other type of pan you cook with, you want to have something in the bottom of it to act as a non-stick agent. (Altoids tins are not non stick, I assure you!) I chose flour because that may be all some of you have at the time. (The best thing to use is a dab of the olive oil and lightly coat the sides and bottom of the tin so the bread won't tear when you pop it out.) So just dump a little flour in the tin, close it and just shake it up a bit to get an even coating inside.
Step 4: Pour in the Mixture
Take your dough and scoop it into the tin and spread it evenly throughout. Make sure to only fill the tin about halfway up. Any more and the mixture will overflow and you'll have an incredible mess to clean up. I know from experience!
*The dough will be very, very sticky. Powder your hands with flour if your using them to scoop it out.
Step 5: Choosing Your Fire Power
You have some choices here. You can cook your bread several different ways. Here are two of my favorite compact ways.
1) If you've searched Instructables.com for anything survival related, I am almost positive that you have come across a penny stove. I've made more than I care to tell you about.
2) A large size tea candle. You can also use two small ones side by side.
For those of you that haven't seen one in action, here is a link to my favorite instructable on penny stoves. https://www.instructables.com/id/Pocket-Sized-Camp-Stove-The-Improved-quotPenny-/
Step 6: Making a Stand
Either way you choose to heat the tin, you will have to have a way to keep the tin raised off of the flame. If the fire is too close to the tin (touching it at all), it will burn the bottom of the bread and leave a nasty char on the inside of your tin. I took a wire hanger (non painted or covered in plastic), and bent it into a shape that I found works quite well. You want it to be wide enough to accommodate the tin and flat enough that it wont slide off when you open it. See the pictures below of my stand (which was actually made for my penny stove), and use it as an example.
Step 7: Cooking the Bread
Once everything is ready to go, set your stand up on a flat surface. Place your choice of heat under the stand and ignite it.
Place the Altoids tin on top of the rack and let the lid of the tin rest on itself so that if pressure builds, it wont explode. (This has never happened to me, but hypothetically it could!)
Depending on how much dough you put in the tin, the process of cooking your bread should take 12-15 minutes. The cooking time also takes into account how close or far away your flame is from the bottom of the tin. I like mine to be just under the tin without actually licking the bottom of it.
After about ten minutes of cooking look at your bread. The top of it should be starting to firm up. At 12 minutes take a toothpick and stick it in the center of the tin. If the toothpick comes out smoothly, with no batter stuck to it, then its safe to say your bread is ready! If your toothpick gets stuck, close the lid again and let it cook for another two or three minutes.
It is a good idea to let the tin cool for about 25-30 seconds. That should be enough time to cool it off if your flame wasn't touching the tin. Turn the tin over and tap the bottom of it until your bead pops out. If you didn't use olive oil, you may have to pry it out with a small stick or your fingers.
Step 8: Rinse and Repeat
As with many things in life, the cleaner your workspace, the better you'll work. And the quicker you clean up your messes, the less you have to do later! Remember to clean out your tin if you had anything stick like I did.
That's It! Hopefully your bread was as tasty as mine and I hope you had fun making it. Remember if you have a couple of extra ingredients with you, wherever you may be, throw it in there! Cheese? Bacon? Garlic? The possibilities are endless. Have fun and please leave some comments! Recipes are also welcome!