By Carol Ferguson and Margaret Fraser

One of the earliest quick breads, bannock (a simple type of scone) was as simple as flour, salt, a bit of fat (often bacon grease) and water. [First Nations people] wrapped a similar dough around sticks driven into the ground beside their campfire, baking it along with freshly caught fish. In gold rush days, dough was mixed right in the prospector's flour bag and cooked in a frypan over an open fire. Variations in flours and additions of dried or fresh fruit make this bread the simple choice of Canadian campers even today. Oven-baking has become an acceptable alternative to the cast-iron frypan. For plain bannock, omit the rolled oats and increase the all-purpose flour to 1 cup. Makes 6 servings. 1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 cup (approximately) water In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the melted butter, raisins (if using) and water, adding more water if needed to make a sticky dough. With floured hands, pat the dough into a greased pie plate. Bake in a 400º F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned and tester comes out clean. Cut into wedges. Recipe and partial text of introduction and sidebar from A Century of Canadian Home Cooking: 1900 through the '90s, by Carol Ferguson and Margaret Fraser. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc., 1992. Reprinted with the permission of co-author Carol Ferguson.

 

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