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2/04/2016 1:27 pm  #1

Back Country Bread

Hey all, hope you're weathering the winter well. 

One thing I've thought about much in the last year or so is bread – I love bread, and farinaceous, carbohydrate rich foods are vital for keeping the energy up on those long portages, but I hate the idea of carrying it more than a day into the park as it takes up too much space and is liable to get squashed, soggy, or stale in the process. For longer trips, I've been toying with the idea of bringing along a bag of flour and baking fresh bread in situ. I've got my eye on a coated aluminium dutch oven that would serve well (cast iron, though superior, would be madness to portage with). 

Does anyone have experience with (or anecdotes about) campfire baking? I'm fairly proficient with the process in my own home, but have yet to try in it the 'wild'.

Best wishes,



2/04/2016 2:44 pm  #2

Re: Back Country Bread

hi bread ed,
why not try a harder style of bread,, like baguette, or rye bread, something a little more crusty will take more of a banging around. pita bread, flat bread, english muffins. are my breads of choice. also make up some gheee. cream cheese is also good.
   i have had rotten luck with pre mix at home bannock mixes over the years.


2/04/2016 2:55 pm  #3

Re: Back Country Bread

I've done the bannock thing. Find a recipe online, make the mix in advance (mostly flour etc), then pack the dough around a stick and roast it over a campfire like marshmallows, or fry it in a pan like pancakes. Pan method is probably better if you're going to be saving it for later. I've never tried using actual baking equipment on trip.

Usually I'm more like swede though, just bring more compact/less crushable bread. Pita mostly, and Pita Break is my favourite brand for retaining freshness. I've also brought naan, which is real nice heated up on the fire if that's when you're eating it.


2/04/2016 4:33 pm  #4

Re: Back Country Bread

Peek's recipe for bannock (see the thread on Biscuits in Campsite Cooking) worked really well for me. It was super easy (even over the fire) and so delicious. It was also a lot less weight to carry than a dutch oven.

For non-baking substitutes, we use bagels or tortillas typically. 


2/04/2016 8:21 pm  #5

Re: Back Country Bread

I,m lazy. I bring flour tortillas. There must be enough chemicals in them as we have had a couple left over from two week trips and nothing is green.  They are not very exciting though. We put jam, cream cheese, peanut butter in them as well as scrambled eggs and veggies


2/04/2016 8:30 pm  #6

Re: Back Country Bread

Yep, I bake all kinds of bread on wilderness canoe trips. I have an outback oven, 10" size ( you can see what it looks like on the mec website)
I make cinnamon buns, fresh pizza, and fresh donuts.
It comes with a recipe booklet.
Although I see that's quite the price tag on it right now. Maybe a online swap site ( mec has one) has one for a better price.
I've had my set for 15 years and it's still in great shape and I use it all the time.
I make a serving of ingredients ready in a zip log, so flour, milk powder, tablespoon of quick rise dry years and a bit of sugar, and add oil and water at cooking time.  about 1 1/2 cup of flour. Keep a few tablespoons flour aside to add so your hands don't get too sticky. Makes 4 good sized cinnamon buns or 2 pizza bottoms. Let bread rise in pot with lid sized large enough to double .
I often set the whole thing in the sun for a while.  Takes much longer in the fall.
In that case I make it right after breakfast so it has several hours to rise. The pot I use is a Large plastic see through storage container with sealing lid ( can take it along in the canoe that way, or backpack ) I would not leave it unattended, wildlife may take off with it ( coons for sure).
Have fun whatever you try, but it surely is possible!!


2/04/2016 9:51 pm  #7

Re: Back Country Bread

Yeah we usually make bread. Here are some general observations that are " in my opinion"

-it's easier to make bread in a Dutch oven than a reflector oven.
-I have never used an aluminum one but.... yes a cast iron oven is heavy, especially if you are lugging it only for bread ...but if you commit other meals to it like lasagna, cinnamon rolls, stew, pancakes, garlic bread, etc... then it becomes worth it.
-for iron ones:
season it well, use sand to clean it and avoid soap unless it's really dirty
-stay away from slow rise recipes like sour dough, and stick to easy recipes like bannock, no rise breads, and soda breads.
-as mentioned pre mix what you can
-use the bread to make other things like grilled cheese bannock, garlic bread, etc...
-build a big hot fire to provide lots of coals, but don't use the flames.
-rotate the pot/coals a lot, it's easier than trying to place coals evenly.



2/05/2016 7:54 am  #8

Re: Back Country Bread

While we have done bannock in the past and it is a great treat and experience, we generally settle on hard rolls of the multi-grain or similar varieties available in the bakery of most grocery stores.  These are typically football shaped or rounded and they really hold up well in the pack = they take a beating and are none the worse for wear.  They can be sliced and toasted, torn and used as dipping tools or spread with peanut butter and drizzled with honey.

The real benefit is that they are plainly quite filling.  One of these 10-15 cm rolls is easily enough for a filling lunch (assuming you throw some protein on it of sausage, peanut butter, cheese or something else) and is almost big enough to share with a tripping partner.  

Experiment...figure out what you like.  That's what we've done and landed on this conclusion but it might not fit all tastes or tripping styles.


2/05/2016 9:22 am  #9

Re: Back Country Bread

HOOP's bannock, made over a twig stove. I thought it would burn, but no, turns out great.


2/06/2016 4:09 pm  #10

Re: Back Country Bread

Thanks for the responses, some great ideas – can't wait to try some of these out come springtime.

     Thread Starter

2/06/2016 6:02 pm  #11

Re: Back Country Bread

On our long trip last summer we took an outback oven and a cast iron dutch oven. We make bannock and regular (yeast rising) bread in the outback. Love it - worth it. The dutch oven we use for lots of meals - 2 person size was perfect.


2/06/2016 7:40 pm  #12

Re: Back Country Bread

I love bannock.


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