Notes from the Camp Kitchens

Staff training is upon us! All of our counselors and support staff started at Camp Vermilion for the first week, learning about policies and procedures, hosting guest speakers, and taking the swim and swamp tests. This last week I also planted my tomato garden and herb planter. This year I decided to grow some bronze fennel behind the kitchen, among other things. Fennel is used with fish and chicken a lot, and it pairs well with tarragon and dill. As I was preparing a picnic lunch for all of the staff, l was itching to try out some of my fresh herbs in some bread. So here is my pumpernickelish (but hopefully not pumpernickel "ish") sandwich rolls...

Pumpernickelish Sandwich Rolls

  • 2 1/2 cups scalded milk 
  • 1/4 cup instant coffee
  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbs Molasses
  • 1 Tbs caraway seeds
  • 1/2 grated orange peel
  • A few sprigs of fennel (about 1 Tbs)
  • A bit of tarragon  (2 tsp)
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup melted butter  

Mix ingredients in a bowl. Make sure it isn't over 100 degrees. Add:

  • 2 Tbs of yeast  
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour 
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup rye flour

Mix, then let the dough rest for ten minutes to sponge. After you see bubbles forming or little yeast volcanoes start erupting all over your little dough island, add:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups flour (white)

Mix as much as you can, then scrape it out onto a floured work surface to knead in your final cup of flour (more or less depending on humidity and temp). Turn it back into a bowl and let it triple in size. Slow growth with this dough is a good thing!  More complex flavors form the longer you let it proof.

Once it is ready, shape it how you want, and bake for 25-30 min at 375 degrees.


Kai Abrahamson

Camp Vermilion Hospitality Coordinator

Kai@VLMcamps.org