Want to enjoy freshly baked banana bread on your next camping trip? All you need is a Dutch oven! Imagine enjoying a warm slice of banana bread with a mug of campfire coffee. What could be better?!
Baking banana bread while camping might seem like a challenge on the surface, but it’s a lot simpler than you might think.
Banana bread is a “quick bread” which means it uses baking soda as a leavening agent rather than yeast. This makes the process a lot easier and puts the difficulty level on par with pancakes.
The other great part of this recipe is a lot of the ingredients can be mixed ahead of time. At home, you can whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and put it in a single container. Then, when you’re at the campsite, all you need to do is mix together the wet ingredients in a bowl and combine it with your dry ingredient mix. Voila! Banana Bread batter!
How to Cook Banana Bread in a Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens tend to trap in a lot of moisture when cooking, essentially baking and steaming at the same time. This wet heat is not ideal for traditional bread, but it’s amazing for banana bread. All the trapped steam helps keep the bread light, fluffy, and super moist.
When we’re cooking banana bread, we aim for a gentle heat somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 F. Using our 10″ Dutch oven, we go for roughly 15 coals on top and 5 coals on bottom. A little crispness on the top is fine, but you want to avoid accidentally burning the bottom.
To keep the moisture inside, it’s best to keep the Dutch oven sealed for at least 30 minutes. But after that, we crack it open to check it. The smell that rushes out is pure heaven!
Once the bread is finished baking, remove it from the Dutch oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. This cool down process helps firm up the bread’s structure, but if we’re being honest we only have the self-restraint to let it rest for 2 minutes.
So if you’re into the idea of having a dessert for breakfast, then this Dutch oven banana bread is for you!
↠ Parchment Paper: Using a parchment paper liner is our best Dutch oven baking hack. This keeps your oven relatively clean and prevents food from sticking to the bottom. Usually, all we have to do is wipe it out with a damp towel at the end of the meal, and the cleanup is done!
↠ Chimney Starter: A chimney starter is super helpful when lighting your coals. We love this collapsible model because it easily packs into our camp kitchen box.
↠ Heat-resistant Gloves: Any time we’re cooking on the campfire or using hot coals, we like to wear a pair of these heat-resistant gloves to be extra safe.
↠ Egg Holder: Have you ever had an egg break in your cooler? Avoid that mess altogether by storing your eggs in one of these hard-sided egg holders.
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Dutch Oven Banana Bread
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 4 ripe bananas
- ½ cup softened butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional
- At home (or in camp) whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Prepare a campfire or a bed of about 20 coals.
- Place the bananas in a medium/large bowl and smash with a fork until fairly smooth. Add the butter, egg, and bourbon and stir until combined.
- Add the dry mixture, stirring until it’s completely incorporated with the wet ingredients.
- Line your Dutch oven with a sheet of parchment paper. This will help prevent the bread from sticking to the pot.
- Pour the batter into the Dutch oven and cover with the lid. Make a ring of 5 coals and place the Dutch oven on top. Place the remaining 15 coals on the lid.
- Bake for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and carefully lift the bread out of the oven.
- Cool for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!