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Bannock and Campfire Bread on a Stick

Posted by Gav Grayston.
First Published May 2012; updated Apr 2023.

Creating bread over a campfire is a lot easier than it sounds. Here are two recipes, one for Bread Twists on a Stick (a great one for kids), and a sweet cake version of Bannock.

Here are some recipes that are fun to make, easy, tasty, and a great activity to do with the kids.

The types of campfire bread in this recipe are the flatbread style (i.e. no yeast).

Cooking this form of bread over a campfire has a long tradition, and was a staple of pioneers exploring the Canadian wilderness.

Bread Twists on a Stick

This is an easy recipe to cook over the fire and a great one that kids love to make.

Bannock twists cooking over the campfire


Most flatbread recipes will work, but here's a suggested recipe you can prepare beforehand and take with you to the campsite.

To make each twist:

  • 1 cup of self raising flow
  • 2 tbsp of powdered milk (Ray Mears uses 2 parts flour to 1 part milk)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tpsp of salt
  • (optional) 1 tsp of sugar

You will also need some vegetable-based oil to bind it together at the campsite.


Gather wood for the fire and for cooking.

Send the kids off to find suitable sticks

Send the kids off to find suitable sticks that they can use to cook their twists with.  The fresher the sticks, the better (you don't want any rotten wood), and about an inch thick.

Get the fire going whilst they're out hunting for sticks.

Using a pen knife, get the kids to strip the bark they'll be cooking with from the end.   Ensure they have a firm grip on their stick, and strip the bark with the knife travelling away from themselves.  Also, make sure they are holding the knife with fingers and thumbs away from the blade, and not doing it in a fashion where the blade can close on their fingers (teaching kids whittling is an excellent way to introduce them to the correct ways to use a knife).

strip the bark with the knife travelling away

Once they've cleaned their hands, pour the ingredients into a bowl (you did bring one, didn't you?) and add enough oil to bind the mixture.  Stirring with a wooden spoon and mixing with their hands is OK.  You don't knead this type of bread.

It's best to roll the dough into strands.

Cooking over the Fire

With the bread dough ready, get them to heat their sticks over the fire.  Ensure they don't burn them, just enough to sterilise and warm.  The sticks must be warm to touch where the bread will be going.

The sticks are warm to touch

Get them to start twisting the bread around the stick, using a bit of pressure to adhere to it.  Then cook over the fire.

The sticks should be maintained at a height where you can hold your hand for a few seconds before it gets hot.  Rotate the sticks regularly so one side doesn't get burnt.


Eating the twists

These twists were fun and tasted good when warm off the campfire.

Also good to enjoy with a stew, which you could also cook at camp (see Cowboy Stew for instance).


Here's a helpful video to show you how it's done.

YouTube Video Thumbnail

Bannock 'Cake'

The name Bannock comes from a round Scottish flatbread traditionally made with oats.

You cook Bannock over a campfire with a cast iron frying pan.

This version of Bannock makes a sweeter flatbread cake.


Use the above recipe for the bread twists, but in addition:

  • Put some more sugar in (Ray Mears recommends brown sugar)
  • Add some powdered egg
  • Add some raisins, sultanas, or other dried fruit
  • Use a drop of water to bind, not oil.


Heat a drop of oil in the frying pan over the fire.

Mix the ingredients with water.  Don't knead.

Push the mixture firmly into the hot frying pan.

You don't place the pan back into the campfire. Instead, you prop it up next to the fire (use a stick) so the bread faces the heat.  Then sit back and wait.