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Bannock Bread camping recipe

bannock camp bread recipeWe've done homemade tortilla flat breads but what self-respecting camping recipe list would be without bannock?

It's so simple, it's not really even a recipe and no kitchen scales required! Now that's the kind of simplicity we really like! 

 

Bannock is a traditional non-leaven bread which seems to originate from Scotland (which funnily enough is where I first got to make it myself with the help of a friend!). I say 'seems' since as I said it's hardly a recipe and I'm sure people have been making variations of it all over the world as long as there's been wheat to grind! Because of it's simplicity bannock has been filling bellies and soaking up soups for centuries and there's no reason to leave it consigned to the history books yet.

As I've mentioned before in our other bread posts, there's something empowering about making your own bread and to do so outside with next to no equipment is super satisfying! 

 

The term non-leaven means that it requires neither yeast nor other chemical raising agents and so it uses only the steam produced during the cooking process to give any lift to the flour inside. Still because of the lack of major air bubbles it does result in quite a heavy kind of bread, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I love how chewy and substantial it feels, it's something you can really get your teeth into when you're hungry. Because of it's density it makes for a particularly filling meal so just go easy on the portion sizes, one 4-5 inch round per person will do nicely.

 

Strong bread flour makes good strong bannock since it contains more gluten to hold it all together but plain flour works too, resulting in a softer texture and is easier on the teeth. You could also use wholemeal flour to make a really rustic camp bread or a mix of the two.

Some recipes call for a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, or use self raising flour, to give it some rise and an even lighter texture. Using these results in something a little more crumbly and cakey in texture than the tougher traditional bannock, but it's really up to you and your own preferences - personally I think I prefer the standard recipe which is what I'll show you below:bannock burger buns

 

Ingredients:

plain/bread flour (approx. one cup per person)

+ a pinch of salt.

 

Method:

Quite simply, all you have to do is mix a couple of cups of flour with enough water to form a sticky dough and knead with more flour until it becomes workable. If the mixture is too dry or too wet, just add more water/flour respectively. Have everyone make their own batch, it's a great activity for kids to get stuck into and good fun for everyone!

Form the dough with your hands into inch thick rounds and cook slowly in a frying pan/BBQ hot plate/heated flat stone for at least ½ hour, or even in the embers of the fire itself if you don't mind a bit of ash. You want it hot enough to gently colour the outside and generate some internal steam at first but low enough to give it time to cook through properly without burning too much and be sure to turn them regularly.

Whilst you're waiting you can pick therapeutically at the dried flour on your hands and rustle up something to go with it... ;)  

 
Bannock bread with Wild Garlic variation

 

Once they're done you can slather butter on top and enjoy like a crumpet or sweeten up breakfast with some jam. Alternatively dunk a piece into warm soup or stew or our favourite use so far – slice and use as impromptu buns for burgers or bacon!

 

Adapt and adapt some more!

Add honey or sugar for a sweet bread (be aware sugar content makes them burn easier!). Throw a handful of chopped fruit or berries into the mix near the end of kneading or foraged herbs - check out our post on Wild Garlic for our take on garlic bread!

 

Let us know which variation you prefer in the comments below!

 

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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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