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Campfire Dutch Oven Bread

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This classic recipe for Campfire Dutch Oven Bread is a bread recipe that’s long been a tradition. Made camp style in a cast-iron Dutch oven over briquettes, or baked at home, it’s a sweet and delicious recipe for homemade bread cooked outdoors you’ll not soon forget.

Sliced Dutch Oven Camp Bread on a wooden cutting board with a blue and white towel.

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Why this is such a special recipe

We are history lovers. And have taken plenty of opportunities to visit living history sites and museums. Such an incredible experience to learn about the past and teach the children, in living color, what life was like back then.

One of my favorite exhibits, always, is wherever food and its preparation are. I am never disappointed!

Camp woman in traditional dress making food in a fire pit at a living history site.
Living history site: food preparation

Living History Camp Bread

Meandering through rows of canvas tents, I became fascinated by a woman kneading and baking bread in a Dutch oven. A large, 12-quart oven that was producing an equally large loaf of bread.

The aroma was indescribable. People were drawn from every corner of the site, including the large crowd the bread was intended for. Lucky people!

But she was sweet to give me a bit of her time. When I questioned her about the bread recipe, she let me take a photo of the handwritten recipe she’d used for years.

And now I’m passing it along to you.

I can promise, it’s utterly delicious, fool-proof, and truly, serves many people.

To make it more useful for our smaller gatherings, however, I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit. That one can be found in the recipe card below.

But first, let’s take a look at her vintage recipe.

Handwritten recipe card for Camp Bread
Original hand-written recipe.

You have to love handwritten recipes. And this one, I can promise, was well used. It will make 20 to 30 servings.

My dad and I make it for backyard parties of 30 to 40 people, and it’s a perfect size and I just had to include it.

In case the photo is difficult to read the ingredients and instructions, I’ve transcribed the original recipe, written in her own hand, for this Camp Bread.

Dutch Oven Camp Bread Ingredients

Transcribed from the recipe card photo above:

  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 9 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

How to Make Camp Bread

Transcribed from the recipe card photo above.

  1. Combine water, butter, sugar, salt, and yeast. Let proof for 15 minutes. Stir in 5 cups of flour and beat until smooth before stirring in the remaining flour.
  2. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, or until elastic and smooth. Add additional flour if necessary.
  3. Form dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until double.
  4. After the dough has risen, deflate, shape into a ball and place into a parchment paper lined 12-inch, 8-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Let rise until double, about an hour.
  5. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or bake outside over coals. Keep reading on how to bake the bread outside.
Rising Dough in a cast iron Dutch Oven

Baking Camp Bread Outside

Place the Dutch oven over hot briquettes — 10 underneath the oven and 16 on the top. Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the fire and let cool in the pan.

Dutch Oven Camp Bread with Briquettes on the lid.

Family Size Campfire Dutch Oven Bread

When you don’t need to feed a hungry army of people and are looking for the recipe for a regular loaf of Campfire Dutch Oven Bread, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for my version tweaked from the original.

The recipe is almost the same, and much like making no-knead bread. Except for this recipe, I do knead it for a couple of minutes. I believe it gives the bread a bit more loft. But not strictly necessary.

A few more easy recipes you might enjoy!


Make sure you don’t lose track of this recipe by pinning it for later! If you are not already you can follow me on Pinterest, as well as keep up with me on FacebookInstagram and YouTube. If you make this recipe I would also love it if you’d tag me in your photos and leave a star rating below!

A crusty round of Dutch Oven Camp Bread on a white and blue checked tea towel.
Sliced Dutch Oven Camp Bread on a wooden cutting board with a blue and white towel.

Dutch Oven Camp Bread Recipe

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Dutch Oven Camp Bread is a bread recipe that's long been a tradition for us. Made camp style in a cast-iron Dutch oven over briquettes, or baked at home, it's a sweet and delicious recipe you'll not soon forget.


  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 4 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a bowl combine warm water, butter, and yeast; let sit until it becomes foamy; 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture. The dough will be rough but pull away slightly from the bowl. Knead by hand or with the mixer for 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Once the dough comes together, cover and let rise about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Uncover the dough and using a fork or spatula, start from the rim of the bowl to pull the dough loose from the sides and fold it up toward the center of the bowl. Repeat until finished. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Place the dough into a clean bowl, lightly oiled. Cover the let rise until doubled; about 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, place a 6 quart Dutch Oven inside the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Carefully remove the pot from the oven and place on a heat-safe surface.
  6. Turn the risen dough out of the bowl and carefully transfer the dough inside the pot. Replace the lid and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, removing the lid during the last 15 minutes of baking.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.


This bread is best eaten the day it is baked but will keep covered on the counter or in a bread bin for a few days.

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    1. Hi Stephen — I spray the Dutch Oven with cooking spray just before putting the dough into it. But be careful as the pot will be very hot!

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