Bannock bread, one staple recipe no self respecting outdoorsman/survivalist/prepper can live without. I hate to call this a recipe post, as the bannock recipes are as numerous as flame wars over the best rifle for TEOTWAWKI. I do want to share How to Make Bannock Bread so here goes.
Basically, bannock is a quick bread.
The term quick bread can be applied to any flat roundish food made out of grain. Scones are wedges cut from bannock. The origin of the term comes from Roman soldiers. Panicium is Latin for “baked dough” soldiers being soldiers shortened it to pannis – over the years panic or panis which got bastardized to bannock over the years.
When the Scots immigrated to America, an began work in the fur trade they introduced bannock to Native Americans who quickly adopted bannock as fry bread. This adoption leads to using acorn flour to replace or stretch the use of wheat flour in bannock recipes.
Our “recipe” uses flour, a little acorn flour, shortening, salt and baking soda. Some use oil instead of shortening, or add eggs, nuts, or berries. Bannock can be wrapped around a stick and roasted over coals, cooked on a hot rock, directly on clean coals, but I prefer a cast iron skillet over my stove.
Backpackers often mix the dry ingredients and shortening and carry it in plastic bags like bisquick (which is basically is) Then they can just add water at their campsite and have homemade food easily, cheaply, and most importantly lightweight.
I like it because it is easy to do, so easy in fact, that you can do it outside of your kitchen – especially if you have an electric skillet.
Basic Bannock Mix
- 1 cup flour (white or a mixture of white and whole wheat)
- 1 tsp. baking powder (don’t add too much baking powder unless you like the taste of aluminum)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Oil a cast iron skillet (a Dutch oven will work, so will a griddle)
- Mix the mix with water. If you have your mix in a plastic bag, you can simply pour water in the bag and mix it by kneading the bag. I do not have a measurement for the water because it depends on a lot, like you taste, the humidity, and the direction of the sun in correlation to the clouds. Basically you don’t want a dough (unless your wrapping around a stick). You don’t want it think like pancakes, unless that’s your thing. It should be like muffin batter or spackle. Just remember, you can add more water easier than you can take water away.
- Dump the mix into your pan (it should be hot, but not scalding – the oil should not be smoking).
- Eventually, you will need to flip your loaf. Wait until it begins to look cooked. It is a subjective thing like cooking pancakes, you will just have to develop a feel for it.
This is a pretty simple food item to make, so easy that it is a staple Boy Scout camp recipe; however, until you get the hang of cooking over a fire, your first couple may be burnt or gooey on the inside.
How to make Bannock Bread with Bisquick
Alternatively, for the more modern bushcrafter, you can replace the flour and baking powder with a similar amount of bisquick and you will get close to the same results.