Bread on a Stick

article image
courtesy Roost Books

Bread cooked on a stick is a fun and filling camping snack that can be made in 15 minutes, and probably less if you work fast. It is a variation on an unleavened campfire bread (“un-leavened” means it doesn’t use yeast or sourdough starter to “rise”) called bannock, which has been filling adventurer’s bellies for over a thousand years. The ingredients are simple, it is easy to cook, and there are lots of ways to vary the taste (see the sidebar).

Any bread recipe will work, as well as just flour and water. That said, here’s our favorite. For ease of traveling, we pack the dry ingredients in a Ziploc bag, and add the water and fat at camp.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, lard, bacon grease, or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 1 cup water


  1. Get a fire going well before you’re hungry; that way, you’ll have hot coals to cook over when the dough is mixed up.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients with the fat and as much water as you need to make dough. Make sure to mix everything really well, then divide the dough into twelve balls.
  3. Cut a stiff, green (that is, live, not dry) stick and roll a dough ball between your palms until it’s about half an inch thick and looks like a snake. Wrap the snake in a spiral down the top part of the stick as shown in the illustration.
  4. Cook the dough over the hot coals, turning it frequently until cooked through or until you’re so hungry you can’t wait any longer, whichever comes first.

Hot tip: This bread can also be made in a greased skillet. Just flatten out the dough balls, cook for a few minutes, then flip to be sure they’re cooked through.

Now We’re Talkin’!

Add in some or all of these delicious extras:

  • Raisins or other dried fruit
  • Honey
  • Maple sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Chopped Bacon
  • Apples
  • Coconut
  • Chocolate chips
  • Cocoa
  • Parmesan cheese and herbs (probably make a separate batch for these!)
  • Sundried tomatoes

More from The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Everything:

From The Young Adventurer’s Guide to (Almost) Everything by Ben and Penny Hewitt © 2019 by Ben Hewitt. Illustrations © 2019 by Luke Boushee. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.

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