We went camping a couple weeks ago in Western Massachusetts in a beautiful state forest. Besides the serene lakeside views, ready access to climbable trees and the distant (or not-so-distant one night) calls of moose, our favorite part of camping is cooking every meal over our campfire. We agreed that the biscuits we made for breakfast one morning were great. Were they great because we waited a while for them to cook? Or because everything tastes better when eaten al fresco? Or simply because they were buttery and flaky? Maybe a combination of all three. Regardless, I encourage you to try this recipe for Bannock, or “wilderness bread.”
I found the recipe in a fun book for kids called, Camp Out by Lynn Brunelle. The author suggests making the bread and roasting it on a stick. I turned it into biscuits cooked in a 9″ cast iron pan. You pre-mix the dry ingredients with the butter so the only prep you do on-site is adding water and mixing. Perfect!
The number one ingredient in my Campfire Biscuits is Patience. Cooking over a fire is a lot of fun but does require extra time and patience. Which, I guess, is another reason I like camping and cooking at our campsite so much. I don’t have a list of things to accomplish, only the meal to watch over and the freedom to take the extra time required. I find it relaxing.
I hope you give it a try over your own campfire or firepit, or even your grill. I haven’t tried these biscuits in my oven. Let me know how it goes if you cook them that way. Can’t guarantee the cooking time in the oven or over the campfire as that will be dependent on how hot your fire is. So stick close by and give yourself the freedom to relax while cooking.
Makes 8 biscuits
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup cold water
1.Place the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a zip-top bag. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the bag. Seal the bag and massage it until you have crumbled the butter into pea-sized pieces. Store in the refrigerator or cooler until ready to use.
2. Pour mixture into a bowl. Add the water and mix briefly until combined.
3. With floured hands, scoop up a handful of dough and shape into a round biscuit. Place in a 9″ greased cast-iron (or heavy-bottomed stainless steel) skillet. Continue until all dough is shaped into biscuits.
4. Cover skillet with greased aluminum foil and place over hot embers (move rack close to embers). Cook, rotating skillet to assure even heating, for about 20 minutes. Then flip biscuits onto the foil and place on grill rack again. Cook for about another 5 minutes to lightly brown top of biscuits.
5. Serve warm and enjoy with or without more butter.