Bannock on a stick over a hot bed of coals is one of our favorite camping foods. Lucky for us, this recipe also works to make oven baked bannock so we can have it at home too.
I prepare the mix, in the recipe below, at home and then add the water at the site. Pat it on a fresh sapling and let it cook over hot coals.
Much like toasting the perfect marshmallow, we challenge each other to make perfectly toasted bannock.
Then we smother it in butter and homemade strawberry freezer jam or cinnamon sugar which tastes a lot like Canadian beaver tails.
The great thing about this bannock mix it that it’s just as easy to make at home in a pan. In the photo below, I used leftover bacon grease that had hardened in the fridge. Some of the bacon crumbs made it into the dough too! I also tossed in a handful of grated cheddar cheese. We ate this bannock with a bowl of pork and green bean chili.
Oven baked bannock with hard cooked eggs and fresh fruit makes a great breakfast at home too.
Whichever way you choose to make your bannock, it starts with a great recipe.
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup shortening lard or butter, cubed
- 3/4 - 1 cup water
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Cut shortening or other hard fat into the flour mixture. The fat should be evenly distributed throughout the flour while still being in small lumps.
- If going camping, stop here! Place the flour mixture into a large plastic bag and label it. You'll mix in the water at your campsite.
- Gradually add the smallest amount of water and stir until ingredients come together.
- Knead the dough gently until soft, adding more water if needed. You should be able to handle the dough without it being too sticky.
Bannock on a Stick
- Take a palm full of dough (1/2-3/4 cup) and wrap around a thick stick. Wrap it as evenly as possible and only about 1/2 inch thick on a stick. The ideal stick is a fresh sapling (so it won't burn) that's 1/2 to 3/4 inch around. Marshmallow sticks are too small for roasting bannock. Strip the outer bark on the top 6 inches so you have room to wrap your bannock.
- Hold the stick over hot glowing coals for 10 minutes rotating frequently. The goal is brown on the outside and cooked all the way through. Avoid direct flames as they will char the outside while the inside stays raw. You'll know the inside is done when the inside of the dough pulls away from the stick and the bannock moves easily.
Bannock in the Oven
- Pat dough into a heavy pan and bake in a 450°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Bannock on a Stick
There’s a certain pride that comes with cooking bannock on a stick that is golden brown on the outside and baked all the way through on the inside. It takes patience and practice to get the perfect bannock. My big brother (in the photo) has the patience it takes to get beautiful golden bannock, my kids on the other hand, prefer cooking it a little faster resulting in a dark brown or burnt look! Luckily even food that’s a little underdone on one side and overdone on the other tastes heavenly when camping.
A thin, metal marshmallow/wiener roasting stick is not thick enough for bannock on a stick. Your stick should be as thick as your thumb or thicker. I use fresh deadfall from the forest surrounding our campsite or find a young sapling. You don’t want a stick that’s completely dried out because it will burn.
Shave off 8 to 10 inches of bark off the tip of the stick but do not make it pointy.
It should be long enough to comfortably reach the hot coals while you sit back in your favorite chair. You’re going to hold that stick for almost 8-10 minutes – might as well be comfortable!
Take a handful of bannock dough and shape it around the shaved part of your stick. Ensure the dough is even thickness all around the stick and press the seam where the dough comes around the stick together firmly. Ideally, you would try not to overwork the dough – but do what you gotta do!
Hold bannock over hot coals – not flames.
Watch the color of your dough carefully as it will be a good indicator of whether the outside is cooking too quickly. It should take about 8-10 minutes to bake your bannock. If it turns dark brown too quickly, move further away from the coals.
The bannock will shrink away from the stick and move freely when it is cooked sufficiently on the inside. At that point, slip your bannock off the stick and enjoy!
Bannock in the Oven
This mix can also be used at home in the oven.
Before adding the water I added a little cinnamon and brown sugar (1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon) to the bannock mix. I patted the dough into a lightly greased 9″ cast iron pan and sprinkled the top with a little brown sugar and cinnamon.
It went into a preheated oven at 450°F (230°C) for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown on top.
Have you ever made bannock? Do you prefer bannock over an open fire or in the oven?
If you try this recipe on your next camping trip please take a photo and tag #getgettys. I’d love to hear about your camping experience and see how your bannock turned out.
Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist, speaker, frequent media guest and writer sharing tips and recipes to build confidence and teach skills on how to use whole seasonal foods. She is the author of several recipe books, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.