August 15, 2009


We just got back from camping - the highlight (food-wise) was definitely the bannock. I got the idea from another blog called Under the High Chair - I had never actually heard of bannock before, but liked the description (as a sort-of scone cooked over the fire), and so I started to search on the web for a good recipe. I found one that looked good (there are many, all variations on flour, baking powder, fat, liquid...) and I would give you a link, except that I didn't save it, and it didn't print out with the recipe. Sooo, I'll just copy the recipe here:


Cinnamon Bannock Delight

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 round tsp fresh baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp lard (I actually used "butter" - I mean the fake whipped butter)
  • 2 rounded tbsp powdered milk
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 handful raisins (I used a mix of raisins, cranberry raisins, and currants - and I'm sure I used more than one handful...


Mix all of the dry ingredients before hand and put them in a plastic bag for storage.
Make sure you bring a good cast iron pan to cook this over the fire.
At the campsite, warm about a cup of water.
The recipe said to mix the lard with the brown sugar, and add it to the rest of the ingredients (except the raisins), but I didn't do this - I had the sugar already in the dry stuff - the only problem with this is that the brown sugar started to clump up, and I had to hit the bag with a mallet to break up the clumps before I went on with the recipe - perhaps if I had added the brown sugar and "butter" together as the recipe suggested, this wouldn't have happened.... After you cut the butter (and sugar) into the dry ingredients (just use your fingers to mix it until it looks like oatmeal and seems to be thoroughly mixed), add the raisins. Then add a bit of the warm water and mix. Add a little more water, mixing thoroughly after each addition, trying not to add too much. As soon as the dough forms a ball, stop adding water - you don't want it to be too sticky. Form the stiff dough into a ball, and set the pot near the fire, where the dough will stay warm and rise. Allow 10 minutes for rising.
The recipe said that you should be cooking on embers, so you should add a few small logs at the start of the rising, and they would be ready for the pan after 10 minutes of rising - I think they must have meant if you were putting the pan directly on the embers - I put the pan on a grill over the fire, and found that embers weren't hot enough, and that a bit of a fire was needed for the right texture, and to cook it all the way through.
Remove dough from pot and place into a greased pan (I just used spray oil in my cast iron pan). Press dough into frying pan to a maximum depth of 1 inch and cook flat over moderate heat for 8 to 10 minutes a side. (I found it a bit tricky to flip it - make sure you have a good spatula, not one of those dinky plastic camping ones...) The bannock should be cooked in 16 minutes. Don't let flames touch the pan, or the bannock will burn. To check if done, tap the bannock on each side - it is done when it sounds hollow.

If you have problems:
  1. You added too much water and dough will be wet/spongy inside. Try again adding less water.
  2. You did not let the dough rise for at least 10 minutes in a warm place, and bannock was wet and spongy
  3. You cooked it too fast (burned on outside and moist on inside) or over too low a heat (very light brown on outside and moist inside
Everything I read made this sound trickier than it was - I made the bannock twice, and the first time it wasn't quite done on the inside (but still delicious), and the second time it was perfect! I think I didn't have enough heat the first time.
Picky loved it (especially smothered with Nutella) - I can see a new camp tradition starting!

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