Dutch Oven Cooking – King Ranch Camp Bread (Pan de Campo)

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When I first followed my husband down to Kingsville, Tx, I had no idea what the King Ranch was, much less how well known it was.  He has family that works there, Ricky and Sammy to name a couple so I was introduced to the history of it all real quick.

Anyways, not only do they sell some sorta pricey, beautiful products, they also have some very tasty recipes.  One that has made its’ way to our home is this Camp Bread cooked in a 12″ dutch oven.  It was served in the cookhouse back in the day when my father-in-law worked there and not just as bread but as bread stuffed with sausage and eggs, beans, or whatever they had on hand.  It was common to have a piece of this King Ranch Camp Bread with a cup of coffee in the early mornings, before heading out to tackle the day.

The bread is good and this recipe makes a lot.  I haven’t taken the time to convert it into smaller portions so we make all of it and freeze it once it’s all cooked.   If you convert it, let me know and I’ll post it here for others!

My husband started the recipe and right at the mixing stage, turned it over to me.  I then turned it back over to him to cook outside in the dutch oven.


  • 5 oz Evaporated Milk
  • 4 lb bag of flour ( I recommend King Aurthur)
  • 4 cups buttermilk biscuit mix
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lard or 1 large stick butter flavored Crisco


Mix all ingredients in a BIG bowl and let rest for about 20 minutes.  Pinch off enough to roll out a 12″ circle about 1/4″ thick.  Grease your dutch oven and place one dough circle inside dutch oven.  Cook 15 minutes with coals on both top and bottom, then remove from bottom coals and cook another 5 minutes with coals on top to brown the camp bread.

This recipe makes at least 8 12″ pans worth.

Thanks so much to my husband’s cousin Marty down in Kingsville for the recipe and for my father-in-law sharing it and his stories with us.    Get the King Ranch Cookbook for more historic recipes.

Because there are SOOOOO many photos, 19 in fact, I made a whrrl slideshow so the loading time is easier.  Enjoy!

King Ranch Camp Bread Ingredients

King Ranch Camp Bread dough

dutch oven

Dutch Oven Cooking - King Ranch Camp Bread

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  1. Mandi

    That looks really good! This is my first time here, but I am definitely coming back!

    Posted on December 27, 2009
  2. Robin G

    That looks great. It reminds me of Irish Soda bread.

    Posted on December 27, 2009
  3. Staci A

    Mmm…It sounds & looks delish!

    Posted on December 27, 2009
  4. Debra

    Great bread! I have actually made this several times when the girls and I take a road trip to do some trail riding. The KR cook book has some great recipes for weekend outings. Love the cactus pepper and steak seasoning they offer in their store.

    Posted on December 28, 2009
  5. Elyse

    What size dutch oven was used? Looks like a great recipe.

    Posted on December 31, 2009
  6. Roger Edison

    Hi lori, I sincerely enjoyed reading your King Ranch Pan De Campo recipe. Often known as Camp bread, or flatbread. Likely you are aware that these are the oldest of breads often cooked in a clay tandoor which was a portable cookware long before the Dutch Oven. What makes these breads popular of there times was they required little fuel to cook being completed in 15 minutes, beside being very delicious. Recipes vary across the world based on grains and taste. Additionally flatbreads do not require leavening. Accent middle eastern parts of the world called it pita, while India called it Naan, and Turkey called it Lavash. For the King Ranch, it is cooked in the Cast Iron Dutch Oven where we serve it annually during the Ranch hand Breakfast held Saturday before Thanksgiving.

    Posted on April 1, 2010
  7. Randi

    Was wondering what the dimensions were for the coal containment and what it is made out of.

    Posted on June 11, 2010
    • A Cowboy's Wife

      You don’t have to use the pan to put coals in. You can put them directly on the ground Randi but the size is around 14″ I believe. It’s just a big ol’ round cake pan.

      June 11, 2010
  8. jaime pena

    This recipe using 4 cup flour and 4 cups biscuit mix with the rest of the ingredients did not work! 5 oz pet milk not enough the make a dough. I added more milk and water but the dough roll was still too dry! The finished product was very flakey and broke apart.Not sure where I went wrong with this recipe.

    Posted on October 10, 2010
    • john elliott


      I don’t think you went wrong with this recipe. Almost all of the Pan de Campo recipes on the internet are too dry. I grew up in South Texas, have eaten camp bread on the King Ranch and other ranches, e-mail me an I will send you a no fail recipe.


      February 10, 2011
      • Micaela Cavazos

        John, I tried the king ranch recipe for pan de campo, and as Jaime Pena says” did not work “, I also had the same problem, I added more evaporaded milk.. Would you share your no fail recipe? Thank you Micaela

        July 27, 2011
      • Roy Garza

        Like that no fail recipe for pan de campo

        January 25, 2013
  9. Erasmo Herrera

    I went to a cookoff in Zapata Texas where Pan se Campo was one of the entries. Some cooks told me to use yeast when making the bread. What do you think? We are trying the King Ranch recipe this weekend. Do you have a good recipe? My wife had the bread for the first time and is now wanting to cook some.


    Posted on April 10, 2011
  10. Robin

    John, Please post your no fail recipe for camp bread. I am cooking this for our hunters this week and don’t want to “fail”. Thanks

    Posted on December 24, 2011


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