Easy Bannock Recipe - Food for Camping
Food For Camping Made Easy
Nothing makes breakfast more memorable than making bannock or fry bread over an open fire. This easy bannock recipe can be made as a dry mix at home and whipped up at the campsite in any amount by just adding water. It is quick, simple food for camping.
The smell of blueberry bannock cooking over an open fire brings back memories of camping in my youth. I've wrapped bannock dough around a stick, then roasted a hotdog, then slid the hotdog into the coiled bannock bun. That was fun.
Enjoy this easy bannock recipe and keep it fun.
Bannock is a traditional bread of the North American aboriginals. Before the Europeans discovered America, bannock was made with flours made from ground roots, seeds and nuts, mixed with fat and berries water, and cooked over an open fire. After the invasion of the Europeans who brought with them flour, baking powder and sugar, things changed.
The fur traders of the Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Fur Trading company spread out across the northern half of the continent bringing with them supplies of flour, sugar and baking powder and traded these things for furs as well as supplying the various trading posts along the rivers of the great backwoods.
I am Canadian. I have roots that spread deep across this land and back over the Oceans to both France and England. I can imagine that I have native roots as well, but I have never traced my family tree back that far. My wife has a native in her lineage and counts herself with proud Metis roots.
I grew up camping and cooking outdoors. I was in the Boy Scouts movement from Cubs up to being a leader for several years. I cooked a lot of bannock back in those days. Let me share with you what has evolved into my easy bannock recipe, food for camping.
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- Mix these dry ingredients together in quantity ( keeping these proportions ) and store in a plastic bag or container for easy transport to your camping spot.
- Now add just enough water to make a stiff dough. Do not over work this dough. I dust my hands with flour and form the dough into 1 to 3 flat pancakes.
- There are as many ways to cook bannock as there are recipes. It depends on my mood and location how I cook it. Sometimes I form the dough over a stick and bake it over the flames of a campfire. It gets a great smoky flavor this way. Another is in a heated cast iron fry pan, first held over the flame to cook the bottom then tilted up and leaning the handle on a stick so the flames cook the top of the bannock in the pan. But my favorite is frying in oil.
- Frying in oil over a campfire is dangerous so I usually cook this way on a stove. Spilling heated oil into a open flame is a recipe for flareups and flash fires.
- Traditionally is was bear fat, then lard, but I like to cook healthier these days so I cook my bannock in coconut oil. It not only stores well without the requirement for refrigeration but it melts well and has no cholesterol. It also imparts a lovely flavor to the bannock.
- Of course the time it takes to cook depends on the method, how hot the fire is and how thick you start the dough.
Variations on the theme
What's fresh is fair game
This is where the fun starts.
The basic recipe is just that basic. In itself it is good but add fresh blueberries or saskatoons (service berries) and you have the beginnings of a grand experiment. Go with what is in season or what you can forage for while you are camping.
Lately I've added whole oats ( partly ground in a spice grinder) as well as fresh ground flax seed to the mix. It is awesome.
Try adding cinnamon or nutmeg. Raisins or ground walnuts would also add flavors and textures to the bannock.
How about adding garlic powder and diced spring onions to the bannock? Wow! I must try that one.
The choices are astounding. Let what you are eating the bannock with decide what you add to it.
Sometimes simple raspberry jam is enough. Why fool with a good thing.
"Bannock is simple. Basically it is just a pan fried bread dough. Lots of leeway in this recipe. Use your imagination with it. It can't be hurt! LOL (unless you try and add chocolate chips! ech.!)" - by Rick Mortimer
Bannock at Home
We recently bought ourselves a pellet-fired BBQ. After enjoying the new experience and wonderful smokey flavours, this BBQ gave the chicken and burgers we cooked. I thought about baking some bannock on the grill.
As expected, it was an incredible success. Not only the tremendous smokey, campfire flavour, but it was so easy to do. I made the typical bannock dough and placed it in a lightly greased metal pie plate to cook on the grill. Fifteen minutes at 350 F. and it came out beautiful. Which makes me think I could cook fresh buns on the upper rack while grilling my burgers on the main grill. That's for next time.
Did you want to get your kids involved? Store your premixed ingredients in a heavy zip-plastic for transport. At camp, add the liquid straight to the bag, zip it closed and let the children knead the dough in the bag itself.
© 2013 Northerntrials