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With just a gas stove and rice cooker, what kind of food staple based on dough or batter can she make most simply? I don't know what you call the category of "bread, cake, pancake".

My mom lives Hong Kong when Toronto's cold. Here are strictures:

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  • No milk of any kind, like coconut or soy as they taste icky to her.

  • No eggs. She has medical issues and her doctor forbid them.

Bon Appetit says

8. Mussels Without Bread Are No Mussels at All

A mussels-must: Serve plenty of fresh, crusty bread with a pillowy interior alongside. The bread will serve as a vehicle for that aromatic, boozy, briny sauce you worked so hard to create. And if you want to flex even harder, throw a little mayo on that bread. Maybe a ginger-y, garlicky aioli? Just a thought. And here's one more. Don't forget to place a large bowl on the table for the empty shells. That's just common courtesy.

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    Could you clarify some stuff? You say she has no oven, what does she have? Single gas ring/wok burner? You also say no egg as she is trying to be vegan, but wants this bread to soak up juices from mussels... which aren’t vegan? – Spagirl Jul 21 at 8:40
  • @spagirl of course! "Single gas ring/wok burner?" i don't know if this is the term, but i added a picture. does it answer this? – Pamela Lee Jul 21 at 15:46
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    @spagirl debatable if mussels are vegan - redd.it/833r5g. i edited and focus on health. – Pamela Lee Jul 21 at 15:47
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    I'd hardly call a reddit thread any kind of 'proof' of anything... anyway, this is a site for cooking issues, not heath or lifestyle choice issues. – Tetsujin Jul 21 at 16:07
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    Hong Kong... rice cooker... how about just plain white rice? it soaks sauces pretty well and it's an asian staple food. – Luciano Jul 22 at 8:35
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The easiest dough staple to make stovetop is some kind of flatbread.

Bread dough can be pretty simple, flour and salt and water and yeast, so you don't need to worry about milk or eggs - though you can try adding additions if you want to modify the results, fats to make it softer, flavoring agents, etc.

I think you'd be looking for something rolled thick, to give as much contrast as possible between a crisp crust and a soft interior. It might be helpful to cover the flatbread with a lid, to help it cook more evenly (with steam), and also keep it a bit softer.

I think you'd end up with something like naan, which has both soft and crisp areas and is quite good at mopping up sauces... though the flatbread will likely be a bit less tender and more lean since naan recipes I've seen use yogurt while you're avoiding milk.

  • Flatbread was my thought, too. I use the olive oil dough recipe from the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, which would meet the requirement of no dairy while still having good texture. – Joe Jul 22 at 22:49
  • @Joe - that sounds good. I'm don't make flatbread often and don't have a recommendation for OP, so its helpful that you have one to share :) – Megha Jul 22 at 22:54
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Flatbread like naan definitely seems like the easiest way to go. For the best results I recommend a dutch oven or a cast iron pan with a cast iron lid. Here are instructions for using a dutch oven with a bread pan.

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Some flatbreads are cooked directly over a gas flame (at least on one side. When a colleague made something similar they were rolled out rather thicker than naan and had a nice combination of thin crispy crust and soft interior. The bread is held with tongs. This dough is made from only flour, water, and oil

Another option that might work (I've only ever done it over a campfire) is bread on a stick. This is a leavened bread with yeast, and gives you something like a hollow bread roll. Some experimenting might be needed. Indoors I'd probably use a long-handled wooden spoon unless I could find thick/long enough bamboo skewers.

I recommend good ventilation, ideally an extractor hood.

The recommendation for crusty, fluffy bread is traditional - in French restaurants. As this isn't a French restaurant feel free to choose a more suitable bread.

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In the southern US, people make what is known as flour bread. (Also known as biscuit bread or skillet bread.) It's made with biscuit dough that is flattened into a circle about 1/2" thick. It is cooked on top of the stove, in a lightly greased skillet over medium-high heat on one side until that side is golden brown and then flipped and cooked until golden on the other side.

I typically use leftover biscuit dough that has been shaped into a ball, wrapped and refrigerated overnight. (It doesn't have to be leftover but I do find that the time in the fridge makes a difference.)

Typical southern-style biscuits are made with flour, salt, hard fat (vegetable shortening or lard), baking powder, and water or milk (cook's choice). So, no need for milk, eggs, or an oven.

It's great for sopping up gravy or juices.

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