I have to confess that, after learning about Bannock Bread from the winner of my campervan recipe competition, I am now a little bit obsessed with it and finding out all the ways you can make this simple but tasty, frying pan bread.
Andrew Field, a Comms Officer with Penrith Mountain Rescue, has given us an update to his winning camping recipe just to make the cooking method a bit clearer. Here is the original recipe and his update:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped nuts, and raisins
Water (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
ANDREW’S COOKING METHOD UPDATE:
“I use plain white flour, but haven’t experimented with other types. When I cook this on the hob I tend to flip it 3 or 4 times. It can also be cooked in an oven or if you are using an open fire, put it in a small pan with another pan inverted over the top making a Dutch oven and placing next to the fire with some embers on top. This then needs to be rotated every few mins. I normally check with a small knife or metal skewer to see if it’s cooked.”
Note: I used self-raising flour and left out the baking powder but you can experiment with different flours
How I Cooked It (In a pan/skillet)
Mix all the ingredients together until you have a thick batter. Heat a frying-pan/skillet with a little light oil to just cover the bottom (I use one of those oil sprays). Pour in the batter, it can either be all at once or you can cook it in smaller, individual amounts. Let it cook over a low to medium heat and turn a couple of times as it cooks as you don’t want it to burn although a little bit of browning is nice. If you have a lid you may want to use that too. When a knife comes out clean, remove and enjoy!
Experimenting with the Bannock
I used Andrew’s basic recipe and adding a few different bits as an experiment and I find it a really satisfying food and make it at home when I feel the need for something ‘bready’. As I try and minimise gluten in my diet I use gluten-free flour which seems to work well too.
I decided that I would cook mine in small rounds, a bit like a larger, flatter scone, as this would cook quicker in a pan and I quite liked the idea of just cooking it and eating it straight away. Personally, I think it is best eaten warm, or at least on the same day.
Blueberries Go Jammy
I tried Andrew’s version with some sultanas and cinnamon and it was delicious with a bit of butter spread on it. I also tried it with some fresh blueberries and chopped apple in the batter, which was also gorgeous as the blueberries burst and go jammy. I wanted to try a savoury one so I grated some cheddar cheese into the batter and also dropped a few bits of blue cheese into the batter too. The cheddar worked well but I think the blue cheese was too much and didn’t taste right although next time I think I will try a few small pieces of Brie in the mix and see how that goes. I also found that putting a lid on the pan made the bread rise a little more.
Bannock Has an Interesting History
I have also been researching Bannock Bread and its history which is quite interesting too.
The original Bannock Bread was made in Scotland but it became very popular with the Indigenous peoples and pioneers in the USA and Canada who learned it from the Scottish traders and trappers.
Bannock on Steroids
Some Bannock recipes have melted butter or olive added and some use milk powder or milk for the liquid part which sounds nice. I think I may experiment with some whey powder to add a bit of protein to the bread making it a good breakfast bread to set you up for the day.
Here is a Canadian recipe I like which uses olive oil and treats the mix as a dough which you kneed slightly before putting it in the pan:
Bannock bread is such a versatile bit of camping food and I really like the idea that you can make it up in a plastic bag before you go and just add water.
If you have any Bannock bread recipes that you would like to share please let me know and I’ll share them too.