Jan 022014

Happy 2014 from my Airstream Kitchen to yours xoxo

It’s a tradition to celebrate Christmas Eve at my brick and mortar home and have the Bennett family come over.  As usual, my sister-in-law and I get wrapped up in heavy conversation about cooking, growing veggies, sewing and so much more.  I simply adore her — she is such an inspiration.

Such an inspiration in fact that I could hardly wait to try a bread recipe that she’s been baking now for quite some time in her dutch oven at home.  She made it sound so easy (she doesn’t even measure!) but the basic premise is baking bread at a high heat in the dutch oven as to replicate the “steaming” process that takes place in the higher end ovens found in fancy bakeries.

This loaf of bread you see below was my first attempt  — I too did not measure and it came out delicious.  But tonight as I sit here typing this, my home smells so Heavenly as I made a second loaf so I could measure my ingredients this time around and share the recipe with you.

Fresh Baked Bread in the Airstream Oven

When I first made this bread, Oliver and I were in the Airstream playing house.  All I wanted to do on that day was bake this bread and tidy up the Airstream as well as de-clutter it.  I’ve had way to many dishes I haven’t used in the last year among other things.  It was time to get that stuff out.

It was also a beautiful sunny day outside in Seattle and as I worked away in the kitchen, slowly kneading the dough with Oliver snoozing away on the lounge, I couldn’t help but reflect back on 2013.  I had ten minutes to think while I kneaded this beautiful dough and think I did . . .  so many wonderful things happened in 2013 and yet some sorrowful things happened too.   I got a little sad for a moment and when I noticed Oliver was concerned, I picked him up and held him close to me burying my face in his scruffy fur.  This little dog, he is so special to me in so many more ways than just one.   I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

I followed my sister in law’s instructions and placed the dough in a bowl to rise next to the heat register – or in my case, next to the heat vent in the Airstream on the floor.

I opened up the Airstream door with Ollie in my arms, took a deep breath of fresh air and decided it was time for our hike.   Lucky for me, the boys were ready to go ♥ Hiking Coal Creek Trail in Bellevue, WA

Happy New Year From Oliver

It was a pleasant day hiking and then coming back to the Airstream to find my dough all big and puffy in the bowl.

Experimenting with this new bread recipe/concept was so fun and de-cluttering the Airstream was totally therapeutic.  As things went out, a few things came in.

I  added a magnetic knife holder above the stove.  That thing is so strong — it even holds my knives up there with the plastic blade covers on — but you know, the true test of its strength will be after our towing the Airstream down the road, lol.  But I feel confident it will hold the knives up well.  I will keep you posted on that.

Happy New Year Airstream

I also sewed three new pillows for the Airstream after discovering Ikea has a fabric department (!!).  Their fabrics are not only gorgeous and feel high quality but the prices are just right!  If you are a regular reader of J5MM you know my obsession with pillows for the Airstream. They are truly the building blocks around the decor of the trailer.  Switch ’em up anytime and you change the look and feel immediately.  I swear I can open up a pillow shop from my house — it’s a little insane.  Anyone need some pillows?  I’ll send them to you — just pay shipping.  I am serious!

You can see also on my counter is a new mini food processor that I am pretty pleased with.  I will admit, the color sucked me in.  I didn’t really need another mini food processor but the color and the fact that it holds three cups vs. the two-cup processor I currently have aboard convinced me.  Yes, this is how I justify things when I can’t stop thinking about something for more than a week (I did forego the turquoise immersion blender — but it wasn’t easy, lol).  You can have my 2 cup mini food processor too if you want.  Just let me know!

Inside an Airstream International

An Airstream Kitchen with Fresh Baked Bread

airstream International signature 2012 27'

. . . and so this is how our day went.

Baking, cleaning, organizing and de-cluttering.

I felt like I was a little girl again, playing house and being happy.

HAPPINESS is the best xoxo

Airstream lounge and kitchen

And speaking of happiness, I hope my bread makes you happy.  Make it on a day when you have time to enjoy the process — when things are calm and the sun is shining.  Or make it on a rainy day, it will cheer you up for sure and the smell that will fill your trailer will make not only everyone hungry but your neighbors too as well :)

Here’s to an awesome 2014 xoxo

~ Monica & Oliver

Oliver - Canine Wanderlust

Dutch Oven Homemade Bread


  • Cast Iron Dutch Oven (I used the Lodge 5 quart which is 10-1/4 in diameter)
  • 2.5 cups All Purpose Flour
  • .5 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
  • 3 teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Salt
  • 1-1/2 cup Warm Water (75 to 80 degrees makes yeast happy)
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus extra for drizzling on top)
  • 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence (or any dried herb or seed you like ♥)
  • 1 teaspoon Crunchy and Flakey Sea Salt (I used Maldon's)


Step 1
Take a big bowl and add some hot water to it. The purpose here is to "warm" the bowl so when you add your 1-1/2 cups warm water and yeast to the bowl, it will be warm which will keep the mixture at the perfect temp.
Step 2
Once your bowl is warm, empty it of the water. Yeast is happy around 75°-80°, so your 1-1/2 cups of warm water should feel lukewarm to the touch. Add the water to the bowl, the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Don't skip the sugar -- this will "feed" the yeast helping the proofing come along nicely.

Let the yeast and water sit for a few minutes until a bubbly foam starts to form on the surface.
Step 3
At this point add your flours, salt, sugar and extra virgin olive oil all into the bowl and mix with a spoon until a nice dough ball forms. If you feel your dough is too wet, you can add a sprinkling of flour.
Step 4
Turn the dough ball out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Think of this as a relaxing time to ponder about the future and all the happiness that it holds for you. Set your timer too -- because yeah, ten minutes can seem like forever . . .
Step 5
After ten minutes have passed and your arms feel fabulous :) -- take your original big bowl that you used and wipe it clean -- add a few drops of oil to it and rub the oil all around the inside. Place your dough ball into the bowl and cover the bowl with a tea towel or loose plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot to rise for about 1.5 hours.

When I made my bread, I put my bowl with the rising dough, down on the floor in the Airstream next to the furnace vent and let it work its magic while hubby, B, Oliver and I went for a nice long hike.
Step 6
When the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and give it a good kneading for another minute or so and form into a nice ball or shape of your choice and let it sit for another 30 minutes or so until it has risen a second time. You can let it sit on the counter with a tea towel over it if you like or place it back in the bowl.
Step 7
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and at the same time, place your dutch oven inside with the lid on.
Step 8
After 30 minutes has passed, {carefully !!} with nice big oven mitts, open your oven door and remove the dutch oven and lid carefully placing on a heat resistant surface (it will be super hot).

Carefully take the lid off and drop the dough into the dutch oven.
Step 9
With kitchen scissors, snip three slits on top of your dough and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil -- all over the top. You don't want to use a knife to cut the slits because you will burn your hands (trust me).

Sprinkle your herbs over the oil and finish with a generous sprinkling of flakey sea salt.
Step 10
With your oven still at 450 degrees, immediately cover the dutch oven with the lid and place back into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 11
After 15 minutes, remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes.
Step 12
Turn the dough out onto a wire rack and let cool until you handle it and serve immediately ;)
Step 13
Bon Appetit ♥

  10 Responses to “Happy 2014”

  1. I can practically smell that bread from Phoenix! Tillie thinks her beau looks very handsome in his hiking outfit. I love, love, love your kitchen. I wish we could get the Airstream first so I could play house and THEN the truck to tow it. Who cares about an ol’ truck…I want my Airstream! ;-)

    Just was at Ikea yesterday getting goodies for the remodel of my daughter’s bedroom. From girlie to young woman in 5 days of fun work, and it looks so amazingly good. I love Ikea, and already have been eyeing things I want for the trailer! I wish I knew what color our Airstream is going to be, because I would totally pay for you to ship those pillows down here!

    • Oliver told me to tell Tillie *Ruff Woof Ruff* — thanks for the compliment :) He wants us to get a motorcycle now too — can you believe it? Crazy canine, lol. But Tillie is truly such an inspiration for him !! I told him no on the motorcycle but yes on the Kayak. I don’t think he was too keen on that, ha!

      Must be fun to decorate your girl’s room from Ikea — they have so man cute things there I seriously have to get control of my wallet, lol. But I know what you mean about holding off until you get your Airstream and then deciding on what color scheme to go with.


  2. I not only love your recipes and travels around the Northwest, but I really like the way you make your Airstream look so homey and plush! Your pillows are awesome! Ikea is definitely the way to go! Look forward to your travels in 2014. Hello to Oliver!! Take care.

  3. Another graphic design achievement. You are incredibly talented, Monica.
    Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014.

    • Coming from a talented Graphic Designer as yourself, I am completely flattered by your comment to me !! Thank you my sweet friend, from the bottom of my heart — Happy New Year to you too and looking forward to spending time with you in the very new future ESPECIALLY fly fishing the Yakima xoxo !!

  4. I love that happiness is an ingredient in that bread and I love everything about everything you post and seeing pix of some of my very favorite people. XO

  5. Hi Monica!

    Just wanted to scoop your bread recipe – looks so delicious – and I couldn’t help but notice the cool food processor!
    Where would I find one in such a great colour? and what brand is it?

    Many Thanks!
    “The Breeze”

    p.s. any cushions left over?

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