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Traditional Bannock Bread

Bannock is a traditional Native American food, and one that I grew up with.  It has gotten us through some very cold winters and is great with a small meal of soup and salad, or as an afternoon or late evening snack.  I eat mainly gluten free, but Bannock is one of those things I let myself cheat with.  It’s just too good!

There is a unique history to bannock Bread, and I have found a great write up on Food Bloggers of Canada to share with you:

Who doesn’t love fried bread? It would be hard to find a culture around the world that doesn’t have an archetype that’s devoured right out of the pan, but bannock is iconically Canadian. Beloved by the First Nations peoples, a staple on every Girl Guide camping trip, and a new fixture at restaurants across the country, bannock has become synonymous with Canadian gastronomic institutions.

Like most bread-y fare, there are dozens (nay, probably hundreds) of recipes for bannock, but it’s very simple to prepare. Bannock is an unleavened bread that’s shaped into oval patties and then fried or baked, typically in a cast-iron pan. But it’s bannock’s ability to accommodate any type of edible accoutrement that makes it so delicious. A base made for dessert or breakfast or dinner makes it work with whatever you’re in the mood for.


There are so many names for bannock, it’s hard to keep track. The term bannock itself comes from the Gaelic word bannach, which literally translates to “morsel.” In Old English, the word bannuc was used. There are also several Indigenous terms across the country: in Inuit it’s palauga, the Mi’kmak call it luskinikn, and the Ojibwa say pass the ba’wezhiganag when they want more. Across the United States it’s colloquially known as fry bread.


There’s no definitive date for when bannock landed in Canada. One thing is for certain: the need for sustenance was paramount to the rise of bannock’s popularity. Its high-fat content and the long shelf life of its components were essential to the survival of the early fur traders.

Historians say Scottish fur traders brought the recipe with them in the 18th or 19th centuries to fuel their expeditions. The Scots initially made bannock with oatmeal or peameal and it was almost scone-like. In fact, back in Scotland the term bannock and scone are used interchangeably. The bread was made on a bannock stone placed before a fiery hearth.

Although First Nations peoples adopted bannock, there’s historical evidence indicating that they made a pre-colonial version of it. Known as sapli’l, it was made from ground bulbs of a plant called camas cooked on an open flame, which resulted in a much denser and flatter version than we know today.

The later wheat flour-based version was adopted by the indigenous populations, especially the Métis in Western Canada, and bannock is now an integral part of the culinary culture.

This first recipe is my favorite, and my go to for whipping up a quick batch for an afternoon snack or to have with dinner.  Bannock is a super quick and very satisfying and filling bread to serve with a light meal, a salad, or on its own as a snack.  I’ve heard it once said that “Rich Natives will sometimes add nuts, dried fruit or raisins”.

Traditional Metis Bannock Recipe:

  • 2 cups flour (I tend to use half spelt, half white flour)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 pinches salt
  • Enough water to make a thick dough

Mix all ingredients and form into large, thick patties.

Fry on lightly oiled pan, turning when bottom is golden.

If desired, spread with honey or jam, butter or peanut butter.  The kids LOVE this!

Cheesy Bannock Recipe:

This recipe comes from Yummly, and I have made it a few times.  The kids are not big fans of cheesy bread, but I love it.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar (grated)


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Brush an ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) with 1 tbsp of melted butter.
  • Stir flour with baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir butter with water in a small bowl, then stir into flour mixture until it comes together. Once the dough is a bit sticky, transfer into the prepared skillet. Spread dough to the edges and pat down. Sprinkle with cheddar and pat gently so the cheese sticks to the dough.
  • Bake in center of oven until golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 min. Keep bannock in skillet. Cut into wedges. Serve and enjoy!

Homestyle Herbed Bannock:

This delicious bannock recipe comes from the fine folks at House and Home.  It goes wonderfully with a nice big bowl of slow cooked soup or stew.

  • 4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 cup scallion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup butter (grated chilled)
  • 1/2 cups plain yogurt (drained)
  • 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper


Step 1: Preheat oven to 450°F.

Step 2: Sift flour into a large stainless steel bowl or bowl of stand mixer fitted with Dough hook attachment.

Step 3: Add dry ingredients, combine gently or on low speed.

Step 4: Add chilled butter and work it until it’s the size of small sweet peas.

Step 5: Add yogurt and slowly work until it forms a mass.

Step 6: Lightly dust dough with flour until it pulls away cleanly. Knead dough approximately 20 minutes, until ingredients come together.

Step 7: Cover entirely and rest in fridge for 2 hours. Dough may feel hard when it comes out of the fridge; that is due to the fat solidifying. Turn dough out into balls, roll according to preference and bake in preheated oven. Alternatively, cook in a skillet as pancakes, 2 to 3 minutes each side. For best results, prepare and cook dough the same day.

Bannock That Is “Elder Approved” – Oven or Stove Top Bannock:

I found this one originally in the Calgary Herald, and was naturally drawn in by the title!

The most common way to cook bannock is in a skillet on the stovetop or over an open fire. But Tallow’s grandfather, Louis, baked his, flipping the whole thing halfway through so that it was evenly golden and crisp.

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½-2 cups warm water
  • ¼ cup lard or butter (for baked bannock)
  • oil for cooking (for stovetop bannock)

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

For baked bannock: Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the water, then stir just until combined.

Spread the dough into a greased or parchment-lined 9×13-inch pan and drop three dollops of lard (or butter) onto the top of the batter. Bake in a preheated 400˚F oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once to brown the other side.

For stovetop bannock: Gradually add enough water to moisten the ingredients and bring the mixture together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead about 10 times.

Shape the dough into round patties about ½-inch thick. Cook on an oiled skillet for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Serves 12.

The post Traditional Bannock Bread appeared first on Mindful Mystic Mama.

This post first appeared on Mindful Mystic Mama - Organic Living, Community, A, please read the originial post: here

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Traditional Bannock Bread


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