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Traditional bannock is a centuries old recipe that can be made over the campfire. It’s also easy to make bannock in the oven, making this a versatile recipe to have in your arsenal.
Who can say no to a quick biscuit bread that is easy to make, tastes delicious with a variety of toppings, and makes good use of leftovers?
Bannock is a simple bread, traditionally made in aboriginal cultures. The potato variation is a Canadian heritage recipe, of which there seem to be two main recipes – a richer version incorporating a full cup of potatoes, butter, and milk, and the recipe you will find below, which incorporates a smaller amount of butter, and uses water as the liquid.
This bannock recipe was a staple in my house growing up, usually served as Sunday morning breakfast following a Saturday night meal with mashed potatoes. When sweet potatoes became popular, my mother quickly devised a sweet potato variation. Both are delicious spread with butter or fruit preserves. I have also toasted it with garlic butter and served it alongside stew or topped it with berries and cream as a riff on shortcake.
If you aren’t a fan of white flour, it can be made with other varieties, including a gluten-free blend. Although the texture isn’t as light and fluffy, it’s still good-tasting bread.
Any type of sugar can be used, as well as honey or maple syrup, but brown sugar or maple syrup are especially nice in the sweet potato variation.
Potato Bannock Ingredients
Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in butter and potatoes. Stir in cold water with a fork and knead in the bowl until the dough comes together. If dough is too wet, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little more water.
Spread about 1.5 inches thick on a flour-dusted baking sheet, stone, or in a cast iron skillet.
Bake at 450 degrees for 17 – 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Serve warm with butter or fruit preserves.
The bannock keeps well at room temperature in a sealed container for several days.
Sweet potato bannock variation:
Add 1 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Substitute mashed sweet potato for the potato.
Campfire Bannock Recipe
To cook bannock over a campfire you can use a cast iron Dutch Oven. For this size recipe a 10″ or 12″ inch Dutch oven would work best and you’d use about 20 coals on the lid and 10 coals on the bottom, adjusting for outside temperature and weather.
To prepare bannock over the campfire, place it in a cast iron skillet and bake over a set of good hot coals, flip the bread over when the bottom is beginning to brown to bake the other side.
150+ year old recipe
Andrea is an artisan and teacher trying to live a handmade and homemade lifestyle with her husband in Eastern Canada. She is passionate about growing her own food, cooking healthy meals, using herbs for healing, nurturing creativity, and finding joy and blessings in the every-day moments of life. She writes about all of this, plus her adventures in sewing, crafting, and pattern design at http://www.artisaninthewoods.com/