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Baking delicious loaves of camp bread has played an integral role in the human diet and has been a hobby many have enjoyed for centuries. Over the years, recipes have gotten increasingly more delicious as ingredients and baking utensils have improved.
But what happens if you lose access to an oven? Can you still bake bread?
Of course, you can. Knowing how to make campfire bread is valuable, whether collecting survival food buckets and urban prepping, or preparing for a more primitive survival scenario.
Keep reading to learn about our four favorite ways to make delicious campfire bread with limited ingredients and resources.
Contrary to popular belief, bread is not only baked in conventional ovens. Believe it or not, back in the good ole days, bread was baked in wood-fired makeshift ovens. Depending on the recipe, bread was sometimes even cooked directly over an open fire.
Here are four ways (or tools) you can utilize to bake campfire bread. The method you choose will depend on the type of camp bread you want to make, your camping scenario, and the available tools.
We recommend experimenting with each method so you can fine-tune your process and improve your bakes. Then, you will be glad you practiced—whether camping for fun with the family or going to the best places to live off-grid or surviving the aftermath of a SHTF event.
Our four ideas for baking campfire bread will go from the most “advanced” to the most “primitive.”
The cast-iron Dutch oven is the reigning king and queen of campfire bread baking. It is a highly versatile tool that can be used to cook various recipes over an open fire. Dutch ovens can be used for everything from baking camping bread to soups, stews, and dessert cobblers.
Here are some helpful tips for using a Dutch oven:
A cast iron skillet is another good tool for baking bread. The iron composition of the skillet heats up quickly and remains hot for a long time, which is perfect for camping bread.
However, since cast-iron skillets do not have lids, you are somewhat limited in the type of camp bread you can make. Without a lid, you cannot replicate a baking oven. Therefore, cast-iron skillets are ideal for making flatbreads and bannocks.
Here are some helpful tips for using a cast-iron skillet.
You can also bake campfire bread in pots. Most of us have steel or aluminum pots in our normal camping gear. Simply add a lid, and your pot will function like a miniature oven. And believe it or not, you can also make campfire bread in clay flower pots!
Here are some helpful tips for baking with steel, aluminum, or clay pots.
Executing a camping bread recipe is much easier when you have luxuries like Dutch ovens. However, even if you don't have pots or an oven, you can still make campfire bread. You can also make camp bread on a stick.
Despite only making small amounts of bread, cooking bread on a stick is a viable way to make camp bread. We like this technique because it requires a more hands-on process.
Here are some helpful tips for making campfire bread on a stick:
Bannock bread is the quintessential North American campfire bread. Bannock bread is specifically attributed to the Cree and Nunavut Native American Tribes. Besides its rich cultural history, the second best part about Bannock is that you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry.
Flatbread is the perfect low-maintenance and flexible campfire bread. It’s the ideal type of bread if you do not have pots or a Dutch oven. Instead, it can be cooked on a skillet or directly over the fire with a grill.
Damper bread, also known as bush bread or seed cake, is a type of bread traditionally made by Australian Aborigines. It became known as damper bread because of its ability to “dampen” a person’s appetite. Traditionally, damper bread is made by crushing a variety of seeds, nuts, and roots mixed with water to make a dough. The dough is then buried and cooked in the coals of a fire.
Since then, damper bread recipes have been simplified. In fact, damper bread can be made with only three dry ingredients. However, if you want to add more flavor and nutritional value, we recommend adding sunflower seeds or almonds.
Thus far, we’ve only talked about quick cooking types of camp bread. However, you can also bake a traditional loaf of bread that will rise over the fire. For the best results with this type of loaf, we recommend using a dutch oven or something similar.
We love campfire bread because it’s easy to make. Between the readily available ingredients and the simple process, anyone can pull it off. Here are some more tips to help.
The type of fire you build and how you build it is a personal decision. However, you are striving for a hot fire, at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit, with a well-established bed of coals.
To get the right temperature and duration of the fire, we recommend using hardwood, such as oak or ash wood. However, in a survival situation, you may not have the luxury of choosing.
After you've successfully lit the fire, avoid continuing to split logs. Small, split logs will burn too quickly and not get hot enough. Instead, use full-size logs, because they burn hotter and hold more heat.
Lastly, we recommend building a fire pit big enough that you can burn wood in one area and cook in another. That way, as your logs burn into coals, you can move them over to the cooking area to continue baking your bread while stacking the fire with fresh wood.
One of the best ways to make campfire bread is to pre-mix your dry ingredients. This strategy works well if you plan to bake bread while spending the weekend camping or if you are bugging out and want to bring the necessary ingredients to bake bread.
You can easily mix flour, salt, baking powder, and other dry ingredients and store them in ziplock bags. Then, when it’s time to make bread, you are one step closer to freshly baked bread.
One of the significant advantages of campfire bread is its simplicity. However, if you’re like us, you enjoy customizing your recipes and adding extra flavor.
Adding fruit to your campfire bread is a simple way to sweeten the recipe and add nutrition and a pop of color. Dried fruits are typically the best because they are affordable, lightweight, and nutritious. Here are some of our favorites:
Who doesn’t love a little sugar? Sugar, and other sweeteners, are one of the best prepper foods. Sweeteners have a long shelf life and are the perfect addition to bland campfire bread recipes.
Cooking anything over the fire takes time, especially baking bread. Therefore, we recommend starting to build and light your fire at least one hour before you plan to eat.
As the fire is heating up, you can spend time gathering your materials and prepping your ingredients. Then, your fire will be hot enough and ready for cooking when that task is done.
You do not need a conventional oven and expensive ingredients to bake bread for camping. Instead, you can bake delicious bread right over the campfire in the backyard or on your annual camping trip.
All you need is flour, salt, baking powder, and water for the most straightforward recipes. Then add jam, jelly, or honey, and you’ve got a perfect addition to breakfast or dinner.
For more helpful articles like this one, visit our Practical Prepper Blog. Or, to speak with one of our product experts about freeze-dried meat or any of our other nutritious products, you can schedule a meeting. We are happy to help.