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Bannock is one of those breads you can make on the fly. It is perfect for making a quick and easy bread for camping, backpacking, or just because you forgot to run to the store and you need bread.
What I like most about bannock is you can cook it in a variety of ways. Pan fry it. Bake it in the oven. Grill it. Or throw it in a pan on the campfire. Campfire cooking is something we do frequently.
Cooking Bannock on a Campfire
Usually, I just mix up this bread dough and throw it in my backpack. We can take it dirtbike riding, hiking, and day camping.
By the time we get to our camping site, the dough has had some time to rest (or ferment if I make a sourdough version).
We set up camp, build a campfire and enjoy some tasty home-cooked goodness (only out in nature).
Bannock Bread Recipe
The recipe for bannock bread is very simple. Flour, some leavening, oil and water. When I use sourdough, I just replace some of the water so it doesn’t get too sticky.
- 3 cups flour
- 2 TBS baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup oil (butter, olive oil, or lard)
- 1 1/2 cups water (adjust this if you use sourdough…I usually add 1/2 cup started when I use it and then add in about 1 1/4-ish cups water).
Mix the dough. Put it in a ziplock bag or a sealed container that fits in your backpack.
Making Bread Outside
When we get to our campsite, we usually all work together to get the campsite set up.
Everyone does something to help with the fire-making. Gathering tinder. Breaking up small dry wood around the campsite to use as kindling. And then gathering larger pieces of wood to get a good bed of coals and some decent heat.
It used to be that Mr. T would make the fire. Sometimes I would practice. Usually, I just helped the kids would be in charge of the wood gathering. When they started packing their own backpacks with fire-starting materials, we started letting them practice so they had the skill too.
Now it is usually one of the kids that makes the fire. But we all pitch in to get the supplies and area prepped.
Once the fire is warmed up nicely, it is time to divide the dough and make some flat bannock rounds. Making them about the size of the pan and around 1/4 inch thick works best.
It isn’t easy to be precise when you are just hand flattening out in the woods. Whatever you can manage is fine!
Cooking the Bread Patties
Place a little bit of cooking oil or lard in the pan if you want to fry the bread dough. Depending on your cooking pan size, you might only be able to get one bannock bread cooked at a time. You can also bake it in tinfoil.
We usually carry tinfoil in our bags.
Placing the cooked bannock in the tinfoil when it is finished and then putting that by the fire will keep it warm until all the patties are cooked and you are ready to eat.
Campfire Cooking Our Lunch
Sometimes we grab Mountain House packs and take those for lunch. Other days we grab some meat and veggies and carry that into the woods with us.
On this trip we took some steak, onions, peppers, mushrooms and shredded cheese with us.
Mr. T was in charge of cutting up the steak and veggies while I was making the bannock bread. He likes to carry seasoning in a small bottle. Just incase. You never know when you might need to season something to eat in the woods!
His little Opinel knife is perfect for cutting meat and veggies. We all have at least one of these knives in a bag. I like that they come in different colors. But that is just because colors make me happy.
We didn’t take any extra tinfoil or lightweight cutting boards on this trip.
It was easier to just use a piece of bark as a cutting board and tray. He just used different pieces for each thing that needed to be cut.
The steak was cut into strips (in a fajita style).
Then he cut the onions in thin rounds and sliced in the center. We planned on just making a veggie and steak stir fry to serve on the bannock bread.
Mushrooms are one of my favorite things to eat with steak. Honestly, I think this bannock bread with some sautéed mushrooms and garlic and a drizzle of olive oil would be amazing too. Or maybe some Cuban dipping table oil. YUM!
While Mr. T was finishing up all the veggie slicing, I was finishing the last few bannock rounds on the fire. Because they were made to fill the pan, I had to cook each one individually. (We use this backpacking set here.)
Once the bread was finished it was time to cook up the meat and veggies. The pan was smaller than our pile of food. It was easiest to cook it in stages. We cooked enough for the kids to have their food and then cooked the second half for ourselves.
There was tea to drink and sunshine to soak up while we were waiting so we didn’t mind lunch taking a little longer.
Once the veggies and meat were cooked, the mixture was spooned onto the bannock bread and then sprinkled with cheese.
If it had just been the two of us we could have cooked our bread in one pan and our veggies in another. No rocks needed for serving platters.
H.T. thought it was fun to eat his lunch off of a rock, so we served his up without a pan or plate.
We all like our meat a little rare and the veggies still crunchy. Cook your toppings as long as you need to fit your likes.
This bannock bread recipe is very versatile. If we had made a stew the bread would have been perfect for dipping.
Pizza on the fire with this bread would have been very yummy and easy. We cooked up another batch at home on the fire and ate it with honey and butter.
Make up a batch and take it with you the next time you go out hiking. I promise you will love it!
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