Bannock and Campfire Bread on a Stick

May 23, 2012

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 a really easy recipe to cook over the fire and a great one that kids will love to make.


Most flat bread recipes will work, but here’s a suggested recipe that you can prepare before hand and take with you.

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 tpsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tpsp of salt
  • (optional) 1 tpsp 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.

[pullquote style=”right”]send the kids off to find suitable sticks[/wpsm_quote]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 (we have a recommended pen knife for kids here) get the kids to strip the bark from the end they’ll be cooking with.  Make sure they have a good firm grip of 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 a good way to introduce them to the correct ways to use a knife).[pullquote style=”right”]strip the bark with the knife travelling away[/wpsm_quote]

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 is fine, as well as mixing with their hands.  You don’t knead this type of bread, just mix it.

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.  Make sure they don’t burn them, just enough to sterilise and warm.  It is important that the sticks are warm to touch where the bread will be going.[pullquote style=”right”]the sticks are warm to touch[/wpsm_quote]

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

The sticks should be maintained at a height where you can hold you hand for a few seconds before it gets hot.  Make sure they rotate their sticks regularly so that one side doesn’t get burnt.


These twists were fun to make and tasted good as well, especially 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 useful video to show you how it’s done.

Bannock ‘Cake’

The name Bannock comes from a round Scottish flatbread that was 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 raisons, 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 that the bread is facing the heat.  Then just sit back and wait.


Here’s the man himself, Ray Mears, providing a much better explanation.

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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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