Appalachian Food

Cooking Bread on the Wood Stove

pone of biscuit bread

Over the weekend The Deer Hunter decided he wanted to try his hand at making bread on the wood stove. We looked up several bread recipes, but wanting to experience instant gratification, The Deer Hunter decided to make biscuit bread instead.

He used the same recipe I use to make biscuits.

After placing the batter in a cast iron dutch oven he added coals from the inside of the stove to the top of the dutch oven. He let the bread cook for about 40 minutes and then flipped it over to brown the top.

The bread got a little too done on the bottom, but the rest of it was so good! He had a big piece with butter and honey harvested by one of his friends and I had a big piece with butter and sorghum syrup that was made by a family over in Robbinsville. Good eating for sure!

A quick google will turn up all sorts of information about cooking on a wood stove. We hope to continue our pursuit of wood stove bread along with other dishes. If you’ve got any tips we’d love to hear them!


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  • Reply
    Jill Elaine Young
    June 11, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Tipper. Im from Western NC. born in Hendersonville grew up in Flat Rock and we lived all around that area. My mother used to make a bread on the stove top in a cast iron pan that she called Batter Bread. I’ve often wished I could have gotten the recipe but she onky made it when I was young and we either had no money for store bought bread or we lacked the ingredients to make any other kind of bread. And bread always made the meal go farther and the Lord knows that was so very important because there were so many mouths to feed. I truly appreciate your chronicling the mountain life and the ways of our people. We certainly have a lot of history that’s been overlooked or sometimes discounted but people now long for and realize they missed out on something very special if they aren’t from our part of this country. I look forward to trying this recipe and seeing if it tastes like my Mama’s. I’m trying to reconstruct her recioe for banana bread also. By the time I grew up she had forgotten so many things she used to make fir us kids. Her banana bread was the very best any of us have ever had. Keep up the goid work!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 9, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    I make drop biscuits on top of my stove…(electric) with porcelain top…I use my cast iron skillet..Have to be careful using cast iron on porcelain stove top…I just mix up the dough to drop consistancy, grease the pan and drop in…makes about six or seven biscuits…I usually put a lid on top after a few minutes turn down the stove eye and they bake just fine…
    My grandmother used to bake on top of her little woodstove…When she was in her former home with a huge wood stove with a oven…She managed to bake about everything in the oven and ummm fried chicken in the iron skillet on top could not be compared with the kfc…so good…Lordy, and that chicken gravy…Mercy, I’ll never be able to get it to taste like her gravy…Old story is, it is the Love put in the cooking that makes the flavor of Mothers and Grandmothers cooking…
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    William J. Boone
    January 24, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Once when was a kid and staying with my aunt Nanny, a friend down the road brought a large shad, a local fish that swam up rivers in huge numbers to spawn each spring in what people called a “run”. The friend, Edie, asked her to cook supper for her and her husband, Bill, as well as us . She baked the shad along with other fixings. For bread, she made a very short dough, much like biscuit dough, and fried it in a cast iron skillet. It was about 12 inches across and maybe 3/4″ thick. It is, to this day, the best tasting savory item made with flour I have ever tasted.

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    February 10, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    We grew up with a big ol warm morning stove ..used wood and coal…lots….but best thing about it was the roasted taters we’d bake in the ash bin . You could smell them cooking…then dig them from ashes…black outside…delicious inside. .I can taste them yet!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    All the years I’ve had a little woodstove but I’ve never cooked on it!
    Many years ago I thought of buying a kitchen-type woodstove with a water tank, but there just wasn’t room. For about twenty years I had no oven at all, then I finally saved enough to have the kitchen “done” and had an electric wall oven installed and a separate propane 4-burner cooktop. And the amount of mess I make on that cooktop is the reason I’ve never cooked anything on top of my woodstove.

  • Reply
    Barbara Parker
    February 10, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Making me hungry again! And (I love it!) I just now put in a black skillet with biscuit batter in my oven for some pone bread. We called the little fried dough flitter bread when I was little. Haha. I guess the proper term would be fritter bread! It sure was good. I remember Mama sending me some of the flitter bread and jelly for lunch at school a few times and it was so good! We didn’t have a lunchroom then in Cleveland GA. where Leaf Grocery is now. We used wooden planks for our seesaws. And we had a water bucket and a dipper we drank from. That was a long time ago but I still remember it. Long ago in the memory files of my mind, simpler times were good.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    Looks mighty good to me. I remember our first winter in the first house we built, we had a wood stove also, and that winter we had an ice storm, at the time I wasn’t working for the Electric Coop, we were stranded for 7 days without power and that Old Ashley wood stove was a very welcome companion, we cooked ( more like corn fritters) bread, cooked soup, fried bacon and eggs, you name it we cooked it, even baked potatoes in the ash bin. You just can’t beat a wood stove, kinda miss it, but not the work.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 10, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Has Matt tried taking coals from the stove, putting them is a bucket of sand (or anything that is fireproof), setting the dutch oven in them then adding more on top like he would cooking on a campfire? The stovetop might be too hot.

    • Reply
      February 10, 2020 at 4:45 pm

      Ed-good idea! I’ll tell him to try that 🙂

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 10, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Mama called bread that hasn’t been cut ‘a dodger’. Everyone could break-off a piece and have some crust. Mama use to fix a ‘dodger and a big pan of biscuits for us boys. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    February 10, 2020 at 11:32 am

    Me and Harold use to go Frog Gigging in the Bull Rush and other weeds before Dillard’s Pond was built. That was way before Dope Heads were even thought about, now they’d even Kill you for a Snort. But after we finished Frog Gigging, we’d come home and fix a Battered Egg on top of the stove. We knew how to fix a fire in the old wood stove in the kitchen, but was no match for Mama. We’d put some Self-Risin Flour in a bowel and add a couple of Eggs, salt and pepper to taste, pour it out in a pan and yummy, we filled our Craw. …Ken

  • Reply
    February 10, 2020 at 11:15 am

    I remember the wood stove my grandmother had out in the country before she moved to town but I don’t remember actually watching her cook. I was too little but many years later after I was married and had children of my own, I watched my mother out in the yard take a cast iron dutch oven, sit it in a wood built fire that had burned down and she put embers on top. She cooked biscuits at a camping place. I was shocked to see her take a couple eggs, and push them into the embers too. She told me her mother used to take eggs in shell, of course, lay them in the embers in the fireplace and make hard boiled eggs for the children. Seems like I remember mother wrapping them in a damp cloth before she put each in but that isn’t clear in my mind so I am not positive about that. I do know my Mother was a whiz at cooking over a camp fire, wood stove or electric. My Daddy, the Bird Hunter, was a good cook took. The deer hunter’s biscuit looks pretty good to me. No doubt I would have enjoyed eating it.

  • Reply
    Sue McIntyre
    February 10, 2020 at 9:19 am

    Try a flitter. My husband uses self rising flour, mixed with water (consistancy of pancake batter or a little bit thicker), he then fries it in melted butter in a cast iron skillet. Tastes like a butter biscuit, but so much easier. I like mine topped with a fried egg, over easy.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2020 at 9:09 am

    The only thing I ever cooked in a heating stove was a baked tater. The unwrapped tater was placed right on the hot ashes of the coal stove. I have never cooked on a woodstove except to heat soup on top of it during the ice storm of 2009 when we had a ten day power outage.
    That biscuit bread looks good. I would have a hard time deciding whether to eat it with honey or sorghum.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2020 at 8:30 am

    As children we used to roll potatoes around on my grandmother’s wood stove. We thought they were delicious. Of course, if the deerhunter tries this he would have to enlist a couple of bored children to constantly roll the potatoes around for him 🙂 That looks like the bread my mom used to cook on the electric stove in an iron skillet. She called it “batter bread.” I still cook it today the same way on occasion. It is simply biscuit dough fried. You sure have to be skilled to use a spatula to flip it without making a mess. I also cook cornbread like that in the Summer. I have kept a lot of old ways of cooking handed down from Mom, and by her mother before her. This was always done more often than biscuits. My favorite is frying greens in bacon grease in an iron skillet. This might be something that would taste double good if cooked on a wood stove.
    My sis cooks “batter bread” like that and puts on a pizza pan into oven. She always called it pone bread. She uses a very old recipe from her MIL where she cooks pork ribs in a pot then rolls in flour and browns them on all sides in oil. She makes gravy with the liquid the ribs were cooked in. I never cook that, because too much fat involved. However you cook bread it is always delicious with butter. I sometimes cover the bread with a lid, and acts just like an oven if thick. A little off subject, but I am remembering how good the corn was that my aunt roasted in the oven. The different ways of cooking from yesteryear cannot be found in a fine restaurant, but so much better I think. He will do well with his cooking I am sure, and looking forward to any new recipes.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    February 10, 2020 at 8:19 am

    My Mom made a biscuit fry bread every once in a while. She called it ‘lazy pone’. It was like one giant crusty biscuit. I liked it because I like crust. But it is not for those who do not like crust. As I recall, it was more chewy than flaky. I’m not sure why she made it so seldom unless maybe because my Dad might not have liked it much.

    About the only thing I recall being cooked on the wood stove was pinto beans. I think that was probably because adding water made it not very likely to scorch and also less bother about tending, especially as the temperature could vary quite a bit. I guess that goes for any ‘watery’ kind of recipe like soups and stews.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 10, 2020 at 8:08 am

    That looks wonderful and crusty! The only thought that I have is that you might try rolling the dough into cat head biscuits then put them in the hot pan and mash them down a little. Then when cooked they would be “pull apart” biscuits.

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