The simplicity of the doughy deliciousness of a fresh loaf of bread is a total luxury when it comes to camping. The mere whiff of hot baked goods is guaranteed to lift the spirits of even the weariest of wanderers. So whether you are out in the wild for weeks or on a last minute over-nighter, have a go at ‘baking’ some Bannock bread on your campfire to add a little variation and comfort to your usual camping meal.
What is bannock bread?
Bannock is a type flat of bread made from grain that is baked or cooked over or in a fire. The Scotts, who also refer to is as a ‘scone’, originally made the bread out of barley or oats, but modern bannock often contains baking soda or other raising agents, giving it a lighter more airy texture.
There is an Australian version of bannock called damper bread that was traditionally prepared by drovers and travellers out in the bush for months at a time. It has basically the same ingredients as bannock bread, but is cooked in the ashes of the campfire rather than on a hot stone in the fire.
A quick and easy way to enjoy cooking bread on the campfire is to wrap the dough around a stick and slowly cook over the heat. This a great way to get the kids to help out with dinner too – they’ll love it! To get started you will need:
Fire: make sure you feed the fire well and wait for the flames to die down. Once you have a bed of super hot embers, similar to a BBQ, then you’re good to go. If there are too many flames, the bread will burn and not cook through, so be patient!
Sticks: find some long, thin and preferably green sticks from a live tree. Strip the leaves and bark off, and whittle down the ends to create a nice pointy skewer.
Bannock bread recipe
Pre-weigh the ingredients at home to make this basic bannock bread recipe easy to whip up at camp.
- 3 cups self-raising flour
- 1 tsp salt (optional)
- 2 – 3 Tbsp oil or butter
- 1 cup warm water
- Put everything but the water in a bowl and mix with your fingers until crumbly.
- Slowly add water and mix until the dough feels soft. It may seem like you don’t have enough water, but keep working the dough and be rough with it until it holds together in one big smooth lump.
- Take a small handful of the dough and roll into a thin sausage. If you go too thick it won’t cook through but you can play around with this.
- Gently wrap the dough around the end of a your whittled stick.
- Hold the bread over the hot embers of the fire until it is golden all over. You will need to rotate to ensure it is cooked evenly.
There are loads of ways to vary your bread and get a little experimental. Here are some that we have tried and loved:
Campfire cream tea
Turn it into a sweet scone by adding some sugar and raisins to the mix and serving with jam and clotted cream (and a hot flaskof your finest Earl Grey of course!)
Energy fire bomb
Mix dried fruit, seeds and chopped nuts into the dough for the perfect way to replenish your energy stores after a long day out and about.
Savoury sausage starter
Skewer a cooked cocktail sausage onto the end of your stick and wrap the dough around the sausage for the perfect campfire appetiser.
Setting up a stand to support the bannock bread sticks means you can get on and prepare the rest of your meal. Just don’t forget to turn them every now and then to prevent burning.
Before your next hiking expedition mix up a bag of the dry ingredients (flour and butter). Then just add water and mix up the dough to give an instant boost to team morale that will keep you in favour for days!