Sep 122012
Cooking Bannock

Bannock did not originate with the indigenous people of North America, but it was embraced by them. It’s a simple and hearty flat bread of Scottish origins, that is super easy to make and travels well. And it’s surprisingly tasty.

There are many ways to prepare it, but in this case we’ll follow a local First Nations recipe that uses berries. We’ll use traditional Saskatoons which grow wild in our area. They add a nice subtle sweet note to the otherwise savoy dough. But in the end nearly any berry will do.

First the ingredients:

3 cups flour.
1½ tsp baking powder.
½ tsp salt.
¼ cup of fat (shortening, lard or butter).
1¼ cups of warm water.
A handful of berries (optional).

Yup, that’s all you need. This will make enough Bannock for four.

Now on to cooking it (it’s a real tough one so pay attention):

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Mix all dry ingredients together.
Make a well in the centre of the flour and add fat.
Pour water on top of the fat.
Blend mixture together with your hands until well mixed.
Divide the dough and roll into long strands.
Coil around a green stick (from a leaf tree and not an evergreen).
Cook over hot fire until golden brown.

This recipe can be changed as you see fit and instead of berries you can add other things like chocolate chips, shredded meat, cheese and so on. Nearly anything works well. Or you can omit the berries altogether and make it plain.

Bannock, also called Fry Bread or Indian Bread, is a good accompaniment to a Cowboy Dinner and we enjoy serving it that way. A thick steak, beans and Bannock, all cooked over a fire – yummy!

We like our Bannock formed into a coil wrapped around a stick. However, you can shape it into thin cakes too. Just don’t make them too thick or they will be doughy inside. You can also cook them in a greased frying pan or in an oven, but we prefer over a fire.

This report was shot in Edworthy Park in Calgary. Click the link below to see a trail we hiked in the park…
Edworthy Park west trail – Brickburn and beyond.

Check out this post…
Genealogists don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.

If you wish more information, by all means contact us!

Date: August 2012
Location: Calgary Alberta.

Bannock ingredients

The simple ingredients needed to make Bannock, all laid out.

Making Bannock

Melting the butter.

Bannock with Saskatoons

Flour and Saskatoons. The sticks seen will come into play shortly.

Bannock batter

The butter goes in a well.

Mixing Bannock

Add water.

Kneeding Bannock

Mix and then kneed for a couple minutes.

Bannock with berries

Add the Saskatoon berries.

Bannock Dough

The dough should be firm.

Bannock being made

Roll as shown.

Cooking Bannock

Wrap in a spiral pattern around green sticks (from a leaf tree) and cook.


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9 Comments on "Traditional First Nations Bannock"

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Yum! We made a batch, using raspberries instead and was it good. Thank you so much for explaining how it’s done. My wife and I love your blog!

Micheal Byrd
Micheal Byrd

We’ve always made them like a pancake and then pan fried them in oil. This looks much better!

robin yates
robin yates

I learnt about Bannock when I was in the Boy Scouts in the UK, late 1950’s. I wonder if they teach that now?

Thomas River
Thomas River

We add a touch of honey.


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