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Pan de Campo {Camp Bread}

Did you know that Pan de Campo was designated by the Governor of Texas as the official state bread of Texas?  Its true 🙂

This Pan de Campo recipe has been in my family for years.  I grew up eating this bread.  We ate with eggs and bacon, with huevos rancheros, with barbecue, or my favorite, with butter and honey.

If you’re knew to Pan de Campo, here’s a little history.  The translation for pan de campo is “camp bread”. It is just as often called cowboy bread. It is a simple baking powder bread that was a staple of the early Texans. It’s still very popular today, and there are several pan de campo cook-offs in South Texas every year.

The ingredients are simple.  You need flour, baking powder, shortening (traditional recipe calls for lard), salt, and some hot water.  I’ve made this recipe with water, and with milk.  The end product tastes the same so my recommendation is to use whatever is easiest for you.

Here’s what you need to make classic Pan de Campo…

First thing you wanna do is sift together all the dry ingredients.  Once they are mixed through, you want to cut the shortening in.  I used my pastry cutter, but if you don’t have one, just take a couple of blunt knifes to blend the shortening in.  If you’ve never used this method before, here a tutorial.

Next you want to add in the liquid.  For water, heat it up in the microwave for just over a minute.  If you’re using milk, do not heat it up (the milk will curdle).  You want to gradually add your liquid to the dry ingredients.  The best way to mix this is with your hands. Mix through until all the liquid in incorporated.

Form the dough into a ball.  Its okay if the doughs not smooth.  This isn’t gourmet bread, its cowboy bread.  The more character it has, the better 😉

Cover with a dish cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.

Now you’re ready to roll out the dough.  I roll this out directly on the baking sheet.  Sprinkle a little flour onto the baking sheet and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Next you want to take a knife and score the dough into 9 pieces.

Bake at 400 degree for 20-23 minutes.

Break the bread into pieces, spread some butter on a piece and consume immediately.

Recipe makes two loaves. For one loaf, divide each ingredient by half.


  • 4 cups flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water (or milk)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift all dry ingredients together.  Cut shortening into dry mixture until crumbly.  Slowly add hot water, little by little.  Using your hands, knead dough until all liquid is incorporated.  Form dough into a ball.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  Divide dough into two round loaves.  Roll out each loaf to 1/4-1/2 inch thick.  Score into 9 pieces.  Bake for 20-23 minutes or until golden brown.

When I say this bread is addicting, it is… trust me.  Just make sure you’ve got plenty of butter and honey on hand 🙂

21 Responses

  1. Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) said on January 24, 2011 at 7:54 am

    This is actually very similar to a recipe my grandmother gave me for a “country flat bread” her mom used to make when she was little. They lived on a farm and I guess it was just as handy for them as it was for the cowboys. I love fresh, simple things like this. Your bread looks beautiful!

  2. Blog is the New Black said on January 24, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds great. Lucky me, I FINALLY got a pasty cutter! 😉

  3. Lauren at KeepItSweet said on January 24, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I’ve never actually heard of Camp Bread, but it looks tasty!

  4. Estela - Weekly Bite said on January 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Its so good! Its like a giant flat biscuit 🙂

  5. Heather (Heather's Dish) said on January 24, 2011 at 8:49 am

    um, giant flat biscuit?! yes please!

  6. Jessica @ How Sweet said on January 24, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I’ve never heard of this but I am obsessed with biscuits! I assume I would love it.

  7. Kristina @ life as kristina said on January 24, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I’ve never heard of this type of bread-but i’ve never met a type I don’t like-this looks delish!

  8. Laura said on January 24, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Sounds delicious! I’ve never heard of pan de campo before but I think I’m going to have to give this one a try! Thanks for sharing!

  9. marla {family fresh cooking} said on January 24, 2011 at 9:16 am

    This camp bread recipe looks great. I bet the texture is awesome with the shortening in it. I think when I went to visit Monument Valley they had something like this with the eggs. I might try to do this with whole wheat?? xo

  10. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman said on January 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I’ve never heard of it, but I’m generally in favor of any kind of bread. I might try this if I find out I don’t need to eat gluten-free. 🙂

  11. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday said on January 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Oh this looks awesome (You know I love bread!)
    I’ve never had this before, is it anything like Irish soda bread?

  12. Estela - Weekly Bite said on January 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    It tastes more like a biscuit than soda bread. Its so good 🙂

  13. emily (a nutritionist eats) said on January 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Um, yes please!!!

  14. Nicole, RD said on January 24, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Those look amazing! I’ve never cooked with shortening but I know how fluffy and delicious it makes all things baked!

  15. mary (what's cookin' with mary) said on January 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I really love that shot of the white ingredients on the silver platter. SO cool.

    I’ve never really cooked with shortening, but may have to give it a whirl bc this recipe looks great. Oh.. and I’ll need one of those pastry cutter thingy’s 😉

  16. Apicius' Apprentice said on January 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Thank you so much for linking to the instructables site! I’ve never checked it out before and it’s basic how to videos are really helpful for a newbie like me 🙂 This bread look absolutely delightful! I can imagine dipping it into the bean soup I’m making tonight. Will have to try this.

  17. Anne Marie said on January 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Hurray for all things TEXAS!! Does the recipe really say buttermilk or water?? That seems like something you wouldn’t see as substitute-able 🙂

  18. Estela - Weekly Bite said on January 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Yep, buttermilk or water, or regular milk. No matter what you use, it’ll taste the same. It sounds crazy, but I’ve made it all three ways.
    Your wouldn’t think it tastes the same, but it does. 🙂

  19. Pilar said on January 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    This recipe is almost identical to our flour tortilla recipe, but with more flour than I usually use for tortillas. How interesting….I love how land-based peoples everywhere all created their own recipes for yeast-less, easy flat breads!

  20. Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) said on January 25, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I have never heard of camp bread (blush) but I like the sound of it..and it sounds easy enough for this novice baker. 😉