Bannock time!: recipes, including mine!

Bannock time: Recipes!

Hello all!

How is everyone doing? We have been blessed with beautiful weather on the Canadian West Coast for the past week. And it is only the beginning of April! That’s crazy, Grandfather sun in the sky, not a cloud in sight, our relations in nature blooming πŸ™‚ I am fighting an infection but I am feeling fantabulous! And as I am about to make some bannock again, I thought I would share some bannock recipes, including mine. For those who have asked me for it on my Facebook page. So here we go, let’s talk about bannock, how much I love it and what it represents for me.

my bannock

My bannock

What is bannock?

Bannock is a traditional Native bread. However, it is also made in other cultures, including the Scottish culture, where it has its origins. More and more it is part of daily life, at Pow wows and when I make it for friends, family and clients basically every week! So what is bannock? Simply put it is fry bread. But learn more about its origins here. It can however, also be baked (you can find it at Pow wows).

bannockGolden and delicious πŸ™‚ And fluffy (well mine is ;)!! If you attend any big First Nations family meal or any ceremonies, chances are you will find bannock. And everyone will be adamant that their bannock is the best… It has been made for centuries, made by our ancestors, from scratch (even before flour existed, see how here). Some will also know it simply as frybread. It is made to be fluffy and dense at the same time, helping those who eat it survive harsh winters or climate.

It can be eaten with butter (or lard like the ancestors did). Or even sprinkled with sugar or cinnamon (like a “beaver’s tail” or an “elephant ear” depending on where you live) or eaten with jam and peanut butter in the morning or basically any time, lol. But I actually prefer mine just straight up πŸ™‚ As you can see mine was quite puffy but it can also be flatter and denser. In the past, it was also called bread on a stick, as it was cooked on a stick over an outdoor fire. See the technique in this video below. I don’t care much for the recipe but I wanted to show you the technique of cooking it on a stick over fire.

Recipes

Adding yeast or not? Well every Native family you talk to will have their Bannock recipe and as I said, we all think our bannock is the best πŸ™‚ But really, mine really is, just kidding! Well sort of πŸ˜‰Β  Some will be adamant that yeast does not belong in bannock while others will argue that it makes it fluffier. The traditional recipe does not call for any but it’s really up to you what you put in it. I am including two simple recipes here. And mine below. I include yeast in mine and I have never ever had a complaint about my bannock being “too fluffy”….

http://www.manataka.org/page180.html

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/indian-fry-bread-recipe.html

My personal recipe

4 cups flour

2 cups warm water

a pinch each of salt and sugar

1 1/2 tsp of yeast

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

raw bannock dough

plastic directly on dough

Mix warm water and yeast and let yeast emulsify. Mix all dry ingredients and gradually add the mixed water and yeast. Knead in a ball and cover in a bowl (put plastic wrap directly on dough) and let rest for 45 minutes. This will give time for the yeast to activate. Roll out (about 1/3 inch thick) and cut into wedges or squares. Drop in hot oil and fry about 2 minutes max per side. Or until brown and bubbles form. Sponge off on a paper towel. The bannock will be all fluffy and light.

 

 

rolled dough

Rolled dough

bannock

So there you have it

As you can see, bannock can include fat, such as animal fat or shortening. But you can easily make the recipe without it. Make sure the water you use is warm though. Roll the dough (you can also let it rest before), cut it into pieces and fry it in a pan. Pure perfection when it comes out of the pan! Enjoy Β πŸ™‚Β 

So what is bannock to me? Bannock to me is our roots. It brings us together. It is simple food that makes people happy. Because really it does not take much to make bannock. But I know that every single time I make it, it brings a smile to the face of those eating it. Every time. Making bannock is just part of my weekly routine. I either share it with friends or clients (I even made 4 batches for my graduation in January, read about the great Aboriginal program I took here) . I bring it to the potluck dinners with my healing circle. Last time I made it, I made 2 versions: regular bannock and chocolate bannock (just add chocolate chips to the dough). As I came in the room with the bags of bannock, the Elder yelled: “bannock is here!”. Lol!

pure goodness

Pure goodness!

And now I get requests from clients for chocolate bannock. For example, last Christmas, my staff and I baked cookies for our clients. As I told a client I was doing that, he said: ok but what about chocolate bannock? Haha. I get calls from clients asking me when I am going to make bannock. I cannot keep up! But you know what? I am more than happy to make it for anyone who asks. Because why not really? I work with a population that does not have much. If I can bring a smile to their faces with bannock (or anyone else), then I will.

 

fry bread

Bannock with powder sugar

What do you think of bannock? Have you ever had it? Or made it? Do you have your own recipe? Share below and I will answer you πŸ™‚

All my Relations

12 thoughts on “Bannock time!: recipes, including mine!

  1. Jo

    Love bannock! Had it about 20 yrs ago at a music fest camping weekend outside of Ottawa – Ontario. It was awesome. Never found it since, pity. Thank you for posting such an easy recipe. I will be trying it when I know I have enough folks to eat it all. Ty Bless you.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Hi Jo!
      Yay, another bannock lover! Do try it out, it is so easy. And I recently tried to freeze it too and it freezes well. The recipe makes about 20 pieces. Enjoy!

      Reply
  2. Tracy Clement Delorme

    Recently I made mine but I added rosemary and garlic . it was awesome , went well with spaghetti sauce . I’ve also put dill in another time . I experiment using different herbs and spices . the trick is to add more , if you think you’ve added too much , add some more. Depending on your taste buds. Lol . and it’s best if you use fresh spices and herbs as opposed to freeze dried .

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      Ah that sounds so good Tracy! I can totally see rosemary in it or thyme. And using fresh herbs would be totally the way to go. My next batch I am trying it out! With pasta, it would be delicious πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  3. Garen

    Hey Emily,

    I am always looking for recipes and new foods to try. This weekend I decided to make it and it turned out pretty good. I did put yeast in mine, but would like to also try it without yeast. I am guessing it won’t taste any different without yeast since yeast really doesn’t have any flavor?

    Do they have other variations of bannock other than chocolate though? I would like to experiment with it.

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Garen
      oh yay so happy you tried the bannock recipe!! Not putting yeast in it would not affect the flavor but would make it a bit more dense. I have tried numerous variations of it. You can add berries to the batter (blueberries are pretty good) or roll it around when hot in cinnamon and sugar. Or you can also try to make a savory bannock with fresh herbs. Rosemary and thyme would be my top choices πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Shaz

    This looks and sounds yummy! We have similar food but we call it puff pastry – not sure if you have heard of it. It does go with something sweet or savory – so I think it is similar. Is this eaten on a daily/regular basis?

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Shaz
      I am familiar with puff pastry but I want to say that bannock is more dense. It is a staple of most Native cultures and I know, I make it on a weekly basis for sure! It basically replaces bread for me.

      Reply
  5. Yvonne

    Hi Emily

    This is the first time I’ve heard of bannock. How much is the serving for this recipe? It looks delicious and I think I would eat this with jam! Why is the bannock with powdered sugar in that shape? Do you make it into any shape you want? And what is the difference to the taste of the bannock with or without animal fat?

    I love how you’re making them and sharing with your friends, colleagues and clients. Good food should always be shared! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Emily Post author

      hi Yvonne
      The recipe I included makes about 20 pieces of bannock, give and take. And it is soooo delicious with jam! You can basically cut it any way or shape you want. So they made it bigger and sprinkled it with powdered sugar to make it more into a dessert. I would say that bannock with animal fat such as lard, will taste a bit saltier. But otherwise, the texture is similar. And I agree good food is made to be shared. It should always be πŸ™‚

      Reply

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