Chuckwagon Biscuits

Lauren Hitchner – Hitchner Quarter Horses, Longview, Alberta

Lauren’s mother, who was born in eastern Colorado in 1902, swears this recipe was popular on the wagon trains and with many chuckwagon cooks. The biscuits are tender and moist when fresh, yet durable enough to travel in saddle bags.


1 package active dry yeast
2-1/2 tbsp warm water
3-1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk
melted butter

~ Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening. Add buttermilk to yeast mixture. Combine yeast and flour mixtures, kneading slightly.

~ Roll out to ½ inch thickness and cut with a 2-1/4 inch biscuit cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet and brush lightly with melted butter. Let rise 30 minutes. Bake in 350° oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Basic Missouri Mix

by Mel and Marjie Hyland

My dad Campbell Crawford was a big game guide. We lived in the hunting camp the year around, so many of our US hunters became friends and would visit in the off-season. This recipe came from Grace and Ed Lane who raised their family in the Ozark Mountains in the early days. The recipe represents good old home cooking and I think it would be useful for our cowboy families. Makes 13 cups of mix.

  • 9 cups flour, sifted
  • 1?3 cup baking powder
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp dry milk
  • 4 tsp salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1?¾ cups shortening (or ½ cup lard)

Stir baking powder, dry milk, salt and sugar into the flour. Sift all dry ingredients together until well mixed. Cut or mix fat into mixture until all particles of fat are thoroughly coated and mixture resembles course cornmeal. Store in a cool place.


Makes 12 biscuits

2 cups of mix + ½ cup of water

Gradually add water to mix, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10 times. Roll or pat out dough to ½” thickness and cut out with a floured cutter. Bake at 450°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned on a greased cookie sheet.

Bearclaw Bannock

By Joy and Gene Allen

When we were kids, Dad took us to all the rodeos with two horses in the homemade rack on the truck and two in the trailer. He’d built a horse trailer that had cupboards on the side with a table that folded down from them. He always had a campfire and would cook dinner in his old Dutch ovens. Lima beans and ham hocks, fried chicken, fried potatoes and always fried bread. He mostly made them out of sourdough and we loved it with Mom’s homemade jam or honey. He fed a lot of cowboys over the years at his campfire.

2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
3 cups hot water
3 cups cold water
1 tsp salt
½ cup oil
1 cup instant mashed potatoes (or boil and mash potatoes)
½ cup sugar
2 cups flour

Put the yeast in ½ cup very warm water mixed with the 1 tbsp of sugar, to rise.

Mix in a large bowl, hot water, salt, oil, mashed potatoes, sugar and flour. Add in cold water and mix well. Add yeast mixture and mix. Keep adding the flour and mixing until dough is soft and not sticky. Cover and let rise.

Pour enough oil in a cast iron (preferably) or Dutch oven so it’s at least an inch or two deep. Heat oil and put a piece of dough in to test the temperature. Dough should sizzle and float and turn a light golden brown. When you have the heat just right cut off a tennis ball size of dough, stretch it out until fairly thin, and put in hot oil. Cook on one side until sides are golden brown, then turn over. Be sure not to overcook. Serve with butter and jam or honey.

Corn Meal Cakes

1 ½ cups yellow corn meal
3 cups chicken stock
¼ cup butter
½ cup sliced green onions
½ cup diced red bell pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cracked black pepper
½ cup butter

In a five-quart cast iron Dutch oven, place stock and butter over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a rolling boil and reduce heat to simmer.
Slowly add corn meal. Stir constantly with a wire whisk until the corn meal absorbs the liquid and starts to pull away from the sides of the pot. Add green onions and red peppers; season to taste using salt and pepper. Remove the corn meal to a large mixing bowl and allow it to cool slightly.
Form corn meal into 12 three-inch patties. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt ½ cup butter over medium-high heat. Saute corn meal cakes until golden brown on each side.

Margaret’s Buns

4 cups flour
2 tbsp Fermipan yeast
(Mix flour and yeast together in a separate bowl.)
2 eggs, beaten
8 tbsp sugar
(I always use heaping tablespoons, which make a great bun a little sweeter.)
6 tbsp cooking oil
3 cups warm water

Mix eggs, sugar, oil and water in a large bowl (to allow room for the dough to rise). Beat this well, and then add the flour and yeast.
Mix well.
Add four more cups of flour and one tsp salt.
Knead very well, cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Punch down and let rise for 30 more minutes, or a little longer.
Shape into buns and place in the pan. Cover and let rise for one hour.
Then bake at 350º F for 18 minutes.