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Flapjack bread

With my next (65th) bike tour coming up in 4 weeks I am beginning to get back into my vacation mode and thinking of variations of meals to eat on the road.

One of my favorites is Flapjack (pancake) bread. I got the idea from a German guy I met 30 years ago. He would make about a dozen or so pancakes in the morning and then let them cool. Then separated them stacked with wax paper between them and put into a plastic baggie/Ziploc. Then when he stopped to have a snack or meal he would use the cold flapjacks as bread.

So I plan to buy a good small use frying pan so I can make breakfast cakes as well as my daily bread. And buy potatoes,onions and garlic to make sauteed meals. Also use items like bell peppers,chili's, corn and other things to make the meals interesting and delicious.  

What things do ya'll make on the trail to make the meals better?


When traveling by bike I bring along an olive drab plastic egg container that I found in a surplus store. It holds a full dozen eggs.

Cheap protein! Available at just about any road side store, and they keep well enough. I think I've had only one or two break, and I ate those too.  Sometimes I hard boil a few for lunch.  

Enhances many dishes, throw one in yer pancake mix, and in your sauteed meals. Heck, if yer carrying a frypan, why not have some eggs?

EDIT - On one trip I carried a quite large aluminum fry pan from walmart.

I got it because it was cheap and the lightest they had.

It was teflon coated and cooked well, but I had to unscrew the handle every time I packed it - Or the handle would stick out from under the cover of a pannier. A big fry pan ( and a decent stove! ) do open up a whole new world of cooking, and on long trips I think paying attention to diet is very important.  I can't live on dehydrated stuff!

I don't eat dehydrated food. Except pasta and homemade cooked beans and rice (cooked then dehydrated to make easier preparation outdoors)  Instant rice is just cooked rice that has been dehydrated.  

Eggs can be cooked in their shells. Take an eg, poke a small hole in both ends, poke a green stick through, bend the end where it comes out, place the egg on well burnt coals and when the egg shell turns completely black, remove from coals with the stick poked through it. Its like a fried egg, peel and eat.

Or make bacon, toast and a fried egg on a rock. Take a flat rock place it on the coals, take two or more slices of bacon and make an X on the center of the rock slab, take the bread slice and remove 1-2 inches of the center (making a hole in it) anplace this with the center of the bacon X in its center and break the egg into the hole. The bacon keeps the whole mass from sticking to the roack. And wholla, you have bacon,egg(s) and toast.

And eg can also be boiled in a paper cup of water placed on a grill on the fire. The water temp stays below the fire temp and only the outside of the cup will burn. Removal of the egg requires a small ladle or spoon as the cup will be very fragile once its outside edge has scorched 

I have never liked dehydrated food. Spoiled by canoe trips and the use of pack animals. All of it can be greatly enhanced with the addition of vegetables either fresh or dehydrated. Fresh salad is a great treat in the backcountry. Cabbage, and root vegetable hold up well although heavy. I like to add a small tin of chicken or shrimp to dehydrated foods. Just saw an article of making tapas with tortillas and things like olives, tomato puree in a tube, cheese, pesto, etc.

Gary, your flapjack bread sounds a bit like bannock, a northern staple. I add fresh berries, especially high bush cranberries in season. Many old cabins in the north have rhubarb. Although my canoe trips allow me to take some heavier items, the length usually means dried or dehydrated. I supplement with fresh things for the first week or so, eggs, bacon. Hard cheeses last a long time, as do good sausages. Even on back packing trips, I usually add a small tin or two of mandarin oranges or peaches. By day 15, mandarin oranges are a real treat. A small bottle of Tabasco keeps well and adds spice to most of the bland foods found freeze dried.

On the shorter trips, a little weight loss is ok. On my longer trips, I count calories and make sure I consume enough to keep my energy up. That's where the cheese and sausages come in.

I eat a lot of crackers and cheese while cycle touring as pedaling burns a lot of calories. I am looking in to doing some fattier breakfasts like sausages and adding cheese to my pancakes. 

As I get older I find I need more calories to stay well fed on these long bike tours. 

I generally eat a big pot of pasta and cheese at night, mixed with spicy tortilla chips (Dorito's) fr a southwestern flavor.

Well, I dunno what flapjack recipe you use, but you can certainly add fat in various forms to that. Heh, and add an egg, for protein!

My favorite flapjacks are genuine sourdough pancakes. Our starter is about a decade old now, and is always in use. 

Lets see, I throw an egg in a bowl and beat it with a spoon, adding a pinch of salt, a shot of sugar, and a dallop of olive oil. Sometimes bacon fat instead of oil, but I mostly use the oil.  

Then I dump in a good blop of sourdough, and mix it up. Last, I throw in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, the magic ingredient. Just mix it in and watch it rise. It reacts well with the acid sourdough.

Then just spoon the glop into the pan and fry. I have 'em several times every week, and not just for breakfast.

Sometimes I'll just grab 'em up and eat 'em hot out of the pan while I fry the next. They taste so god they don't need anything on 'em.  And they are very nutritious! Often we feed our sourdough starter whole wheat that we grind ourselves.  

I feel sorry for folks that use packaged pancake mixes! Well, but I've never used sourdough on the trail.

On the trail you might want to try Hoe Cakes, if you like corn meal.

Ya start by making hot water for coffee or tea. Heat an extra cup of water while yer at it, and leave it in the pot.

Throw in 1/2 cup of corn meal. The best by far is whole grain corn meal, which is quite nutritious. But much of the stuff in stores is just the kernel, just starch, with the germ and husk removed, Avoid that stuff if you can. We usually grind our own. Anyway -

Toss in a fair amount of powdered milk.  Maybe two heaping camp-spoon-fulls.

Now you need to add fat. Butter is great if you got it! If not, add a healthy glug of olive oil. Maybe 1/2 to even 1 ounce.

You can add salt, sugar, butter buds, spices, whatever.

Now go fry 'em up!      

Eat 'em dry, with honey, jam, butter, peanut butter ( a great way to add fat and protein! ) or whatever. They save well for lunch too, if you have a place to store them, and something to put 'em in.

I use a ziploc bag and separate them in wax paper. I make em small,about 4 inches wide at most. 


Foresters have been putting left over pancakes in their shirt pockets for at least 100 years. In forestry school there were pancakes on the menu every morning. It was easy to grab a couple going out the door even on days that they were not eaten for breakfast. Hotcakes, flapjacks, johnny cakes, bannock, it is all similar and perfect for the mid morning especially on hard days in the rain.

Verlen Kruger and his son in law talked about the power of pancakes when they paddled across Canada. They had lots of 50 mile days in a canoe, and some 75 mile days and even 100 mile days. When they got tired or puny, they would pull over and make pancakes, and eat them with maple syrup made from tree sap that is. Then they would be refreshed and ready to head out again.

When they got to Flin Flan, Manitoba for the big canoe race, they thought they would be very competitive having traveled for 2 months in a fast 20 foot stipper. They got smoked by the local Indians that have paddled all their lives.



All the above sounds delicious.

I like potato pancakes as well as flour pancakes, my favorite store bought brand is Streit's Vegetable Potato pancakes. You can make your own potato pancakes with potato flakes, adding your own bits of onion, bacon bits, or whatever you like. 

Bicycle touring a paddling sound very familiar. I have often gone as much as 75 -100 miles in a day on my bikes over the years. I once even rode 156 miles between Pahaska Teepee and 10 Sleep Wyoming on my first bike tour in just 7 hours when I was 26 in 1982, only stopped by the mountains in eastern Wyoming which were under highway construction reducing my second days travel to 30 miles.

Even with a fully loaded bike carrying two weeks of food plus gear from Jackson WY to Moab Utah, I covered at least 70 miles everyday in 2012.

The potato pancake sounds good. My mother used to make them for breakfast from leftover mashed potatoes served with maple syrup or salt and pepper.

Adding egg to the pancake batter and using less water than called out will make your flap jacks lighter and more cake-like.  minimal stirring of the batter will make them more fluffy, while excess stirring will activate the gluten in the batter, making them more chewy.

I find a dry spice kit adds dimension to dry meals, but fresh chilies and fresh basil are vastly superior to their dry counterparts.  I also like to bring powdered gravy, powdered milk, butter and olive oil.  These all make many dishes more palatable.  Powdered mash potatoes with gravy is a great comfort side dish; easy to make too.


Yes, I usually carry instant mashed potatoes. I like them with chunks of cheese mixed in. But usually make it as an appetizer to my pasta at night. 

I have been eating a lot more fatty breakfasts here in town this summer with bacon,ham,sausage,eggs,chunk potato hashbrowns. I bought a small 5 inch frypan so on the road I can buy potatoes,and the three meats above and roasted with onions and garlic.

I am looking forward to this ride this fall, I have never been down the east side of California or even across Idaho and southeastern Oregon. And now am thinking instead of crossing southwestern arizona if I get to southern California in time I may cycle across route 66 to Williams AZ and go up to the south rim of the Grand Canyon where I have not been since 2003, then return to southern Arizona down through Sedona and the Verde River and highway 89.

I have 3 more weeks before I leave Sept 1st!

good luck on your bike trip, gary! sounds like you're gonna have fun and pig out!

December 1, 2020
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