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Campfire Bannock on Cast Iron

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Adjust Servings:
300g Plain White Flour Plus extra for flouring your hands
2 Tsp Baking Powder
0.5 Tsp Sugar
0.5 Tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Olive Oil Plus extra for the pan
150 - 200ml Water

Campfire Bannock on Cast Iron

A straight forward Bannock recipe to cook on your next campfire.


      A tasty bannock bread recipe you can cook either on a stick, baked as a loaf or in little flat breads fried on cast iron

      • 40 minutes
      • Serves 6
      • Medium




      Backwoods Cooking is a key element in Scouting and makes up one of the nine adventure skills in Scouting Ireland’s ONE Programme. Bannock is one of those recipes that everyone will try at some stage or another. It can range from flour and water to something a little more time intensive. If you’re going for the former, you’ll need something to flavour it, think jam, butter or even Nutella. If you start with a good recipe, you can eat as it is but a little extra never hurt!

      I made a very crude spatula to help flip the bannock

      The Down and Connor Columbanus Shield is the annual campcraft competition for Scouts in the Down and Connor Scouting County. The county takes in groups from Belfast, Lisburn, Holywood, Downpatrick and everywhere in between. This year, as part of a backwoods cooking base, the patrols competing will have to make eight individual bannock breads in a pan.

      You’ll see bannock being cooked in all sorts of ways from being individually cooked on a stick to being baked in a Dutch oven. But having eight mini ones cooked in a pan is designed to simulate working in a patrol situation. While one or two people prepare this element of the base for the rest of their patrol, the other members will be busy with some other part of the task.

      This recipe also works cooked on a stick. Cook slowly and ensure the bread is cooked through so you don’t end up with raw dough!

      If you are not in a competition setting, this exact recipe will work prepared on a stick. It’s good if you are just chilling out around the campfire, for example. I much prefer the taste of the lightly fried bannock bread though. Of course, it’s nicer when it’s fried! But the weight of carrying a cast iron pan might put you off.

      Other Ideas

      Bannock is delicious on its own prepared like this, but you can change up the recipe if you want. In the past, I have mixed dried raisins through the bread for a more breakfast type bread. I’ve also seen people add flavours such as orange zest and chocolate chips (beware, these burn easily). Something I want to try is grating in a little mature cheese for a melty cheesy bread, perfect for lunch! I’d love to hear if you’ve tried this or if you have any favourite additions for your bannock!

      Safety Tip

      If you use a cast iron pan like I have done here, be sure you have something to pick it up with. The handle will get very hot! A fire glove or tea towel should do the trick.

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      Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and then add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil too. Mix everything together while slowly adding the water, a little at a time. You might not need all of the water. The dough is ready when it's all bound together and it's not so sticky you can't pick it up. If you do add too much water and it's very wet, you can bring it back by adding more flour.


      Leave the dough to rest for around 20-30 minutes. Use this opportunity to get the fire burning nicely and establish a nice bed of coals. If you are cooking on a stick, prepare your stick now. Use a non-toxic wood such a birch and select a thin but strong branch you can strip the bark off. If you're cooking in the pan, get everything ready - maybe make your spatula if you need to!


      Cut the dough into 6-8 balls and with slightly floured hands, roll into a ball and squeeze flat so they are between 1 and 2cm thick. These disks can now be wrapped around your cooking stick or set aside to cook on the pan.


      Using a fire glove, carefully place the pan on your bed of embers. Add around a tablespoon of olive oil and swirl it around. When the oil is hot, gently place a couple of your bannock disks into the pan. Do not crowd the pan because they will stick together. Lightly cook around 3 minutes per side and flip with your spatula.


      Batch cook until all of the mini bannocks are cooked through. You might need to add a little more oil in between batches but not too much.

      Mark T

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      4 Comments Hide Comments

      Made one big bannock on a cast iron griddle pan i put on the bbq. Worked a treat and went very well with the griddled sardines!

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