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KING RANCH PAN DE CAMPO

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KING RANCH CAMP BREAD

I have seen many recipes on the internet for 'PAN DE CAMPO' or 'CAMP BREAD'. Some seem like historical recreations of 19th century Chuckwagon recipes; others just look like a big dry biscuit. None of them look or taste like the South Texas Camp Bread I remember from the many ranches and their cookshacks in the 1960s. I would like to share a true South Texas recipe for Camp Bread, very much like a cross between a biscuit and a flour tortilla. N.B., the skillet sizes are #s NOT inches. The only trick is getting the heat just right so the bread cooks through and the bottom does not burn.

PAN DE CAMPO

BUDDY BOALES' PAPALOTE TEXAS CAMP BREAD

PREHEAT A CAST IRON SKILLET OR CHICKEN FRYER (#8 OR #9) OVER LOW HEAT ON A COLEMAN PROPANE OR KITCHEN STOVETOP.

2 CUPS AP FLOUR

2 TSPS. BAKING POWDER

¼ CUP, ROUNDED, SHORTENING OR LARD

1 ½ TSP. TABLE SALT

1 ½ (?) CUPS WHOLE MILK OR AS NEEDED

WHISK DRY INGREDIENTS AND WORK IN SHORTENING (I USE A FOOD PROCESSOR) THEN DUMP INTO MIXING BOWL. STIR IN ENOUGH MILK TO FORM A THICK, SOMEWHAT LUMPY BUT POURABLE BATTER. LIGHTLY GREASE THE SKILLET THEN POUR IN THE BATTER AND EVEN OUT THE TOP. COVER AND COOK FOR 12-15 MINUTES; UNTIL TOP OF BREAD LOOKS DRY AND HAS PULLED AWAY FROM SIDES OF SKILLET. FLIP OVER AND COOK UNCOVERED FOR 3-5 MINUTES LONGER. SERVE WARM.

RECIPE CAN BE HALVED: I USE A #5 OR #6 SKILLET FOR HALF A BATCH, AND ALMOST A FULL CUP OF MILK.

BUDDY BOALES WAS A HELLUVA GOOD GUY AND A GREAT OLD TIME CAMP COOK. HE WORKED FOR MY DADDY AT THE PAPALOTE SHOOTING RESORT AND LATER MANAGED RUSTY GRIFFITH’S 'ROUND UP' IN SKIDMORE, TEXAS.

BUDDY GAVE ME THE INGREDIENT LIST MANY YEARS AGO, BUT I HAD TO WORK UP THE TECHNIQUES FROM MEMORY AS WELL AS TRIAL AND ERROR. IT’S PRETTY CLOSE TO WHAT I REMEMBER.

MOST EVERYONE AGREED THAT BUDDY’S CAMP BREAD WAS THE BEST.

JOHN ELLIOTT III

8/17/08

Edited by ROCKETS
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