Monday, June 27, 2011
If you are looking for a treat to make while camping that can fill you up, warm your body, and make your taste buds thank you, look no further. Bannock. Simple bread that has been eaten by the First Nations, explorers, and adventurers for centuries. This bread originated in Scotland, possibly taught to the Aboriginals by early settlers. It is a favorite now to backpackers and canoeist looking for fresh treat on the trail. When I make it I typically make enough for two in one zip top bag, all ingredients (except water) ready to go. You can cook it on a lightly oiled pan or pot, on a hot rock against the fire, or my favorite is wrapped around a green stick and held about 8" above the fire. The first time I had bannock was a trip up to Moose Factory, at the bottom of James bay. It was cooked by a very old Aboriginal woman in a tipi, and it had raisins in it. I will never forget the setting and the smell of the smoke in the tipi!
Here is my recipe for two bannock loafs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp of baking powder
2 heaped tbsp of fat
1/4 tsp of salt
a handful of raisins
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of brown sugar
Mix together the flour , salt, and baking powder and pour into a large zip top bag.
Cut the fat into the mixture. The fat used can be any fat source and is what gives the bannock its tasty calorie kick. Lard is a popular and traditional source but you could also use unsalted butter, vegetable oil or margarine. Cut the fat in till well blended, press out the extra air and seal the zip top bag.
When ready to make the bannock, pour small amounts of water at a time into the zip top bag and knead well...keep adding water till the flour mixture forms into a dough consistency, its a good idea to practice this at home to get a feel for how much water to add. Then cook any way you like it... Typically wait till its brown on one side till you flip it, usually to cook the whole bannock is 12-15 min. Remember to play aroudn with the recipe, add blueberries, or fruit, make a bannock grilled cheese, or pizza! Try it if you haven't, I can guarantee you will love it.