11 July 2010

Blueberry Bannock

Blueberry Bannock

Sunday morning.....it has been a lazy one for me so far. In this heat it seems only natural to move slowly in tune with nature and have a leisurely breakfast. Only on Sundays do I have time to truly enjoy the morning, kick back and move to my own drummer. Today I felt like some experimentation, so, turned to a recent episode on Food Network.

When watching a grilling segment on Bobby Flay's show the other day his guest The Rugged Dude made a grilled bannock that reminded me of having bannock cooked by the First Nations people during the salmon run on the Fraser River years ago. It reminded me of "the camping days" and L'il Burnt Toast twisting it on a stick and cooking it over an open fire her sunny little face slathered in butter. It reminded me of a First Nations restaurant on the Westside that serves up bannock as a breakfast treat, warm with a number of toppings. It also reminded me that I need to make my own bannock at home as I have planned to do for sometime. If you live in Canada, especially, northern Canada, there’s a good chance that you’ve at least heard of bannock. And, there’s an even better chance that you’ve eaten it.

Bannock is a simple bread, generally leavened with baking powder rather than yeast. It can be baked, fried in a pan, deep-fried or baked on a stick over an open fire. It is one of those simple dishes that transcends cultures and has become ingrained in Canadian folklore. This common bond of food between people is a good place to start to learn about each other’s culture. Bannock is a favourite food of First Nations people and all Canadians.

I have always believed that bannock is a traditional First Nations food that was adapted by European fur traders. In fact, it's the other way around. In many parts of North America, Native people had no access to flour prior to the arrival of European traders, although some flour substitutes existed, like wild turnips or corn which were dried and ground to a powder.

Bannock actually has its culinary roots in Scotland. The Scots originated this simple bread made with oats, and some fancier variations. Do a search on traditional Scottish cuisine and you'll find bannock mentioned frequently. You'll probably find information on Selkirk Bannock, old and famous enough to have its own name. It was a fancy bannock served only on holidays.

Because bannock could be quickly prepared from readily available ingredients, and because these ingredients lasted a long time without spoiling, bannock became a staple of the European fur traders and subsequently, the native people also. Of course, canoeists and other wilderness travellers have also adopted bannock as a staple of back country travel.

You can make it fancier by cutting it into rounds as you would biscuits. Why not dip it into a sugar/cinnamon mixture or spread it with Nutella. You can add blueberries, cranberries, walnuts, raisins, bits of pre-cooked, crispy bacon… whatever you like. It’s all so good! I just can’t help putting butter on my bannock.

No matter what this Sunday holds for you ENJOY!!!!!

**Blueberry Bannock**

1 cup white flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/3 cup or more cold water
1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

 Mix dry ingredients thoroughly then rub in butter until well incorporated. Add blueberries and stir. Add enough water to make a thick dough. Form into 1-inch thick cakes and place in the bottom of a greased cast iron frying pan. Cook on low heat until done on both sides, or prop the pan in the coals of the campfire. For a variety add dry fruits, raisins, blueberries, etc. As I mentioned above, you can also bake it or grill it over gas heat, wood or charcoal. It’s fun, especially for kids on a camping trip, to wrap it around a stick and cook it over an open fire. Just keep it back a bit from the direct heat and keep an eye on it, as it’ll burn quickly if it’s too hot.

(For native style use half white flour and half corn flour).

To avoid the mess when clean up is a problem, measure out individual portions into a Ziploc and knead until done.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

35 comments:

  1. Timing is perfect for this post, Val. We have a camping trip coming up and I think the little ones would love cooking this over the campfire. And there's a nice story that goes along with it.

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  2. Val, you truly are like the United Nations of food! Your Bannock looks heavenly! This is a perfect Sunday morning treat!

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  3. That looks delicious! a wonderful berry recipe!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. Oh Val what a lovely post! I love your talking over all the bannock history & lore! And blueberry! well that'll get me every time.

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  5. I've heard of bannock but have never tried it. I didn't realize it was so darn easy! And what a great camping recipe. We love to camp and this would be so much fun to make while camping. Thank you!

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  6. I have never made bannock although I have eaten it. I bet I could make roasted rhubarb bannock (I guess I am still on my rhubarb jag).

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  7. This sounds like something I'd really like, Val...I think I will try it with half corn flour. Delicious! Have a wonderful Sunday =)

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  8. What an interesting post! I like the idea of a simple dish that can be adapted to ingredients and cooking method at hand.

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  9. This sounds delicious and we love breakfast and there are blueberries on the countertop!! Thanks a bunch.

    I have just made your asparagus pesto to mix with some pasta for our dinner. It looks scrumptious and I think I'll post about it soon and, of course, link the recipe back to you. We have enjoyed this recipe immensely!!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  10. I'm really intrigued by this! It looks almost like a blueberry infused flatbread. Definitely perfect for a lazy Sunday :P

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  11. I am ashamed to say that I have never heard of bannock before reading your post (sigh, my head is hanging).
    This looks like a wonderful bread to enjoy with a good hot cup of coffee on a Sunday morning, or any morning.
    This was a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing the history of this wonderful bread.

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  12. I've never heard of this before and it looks so delicious. I hope that you had a wonderful, lazy Sunday . . . we deserve those kind of slow-down days! Ciao, Roz Oh P.S. I love the layout of your blog that is so clean and fresh!!!!

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  13. I've never heard of this before and it looks so delicious. I hope that you had a wonderful, lazy Sunday . . . we deserve those kind of slow-down days! Ciao, Roz Oh P.S. I love the layout of your blog that is so clean and fresh!!!!

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  14. One of my favourite things about food blogs is that I'm always learning something new about food. I can't say I've ever heard of Bannock before, but this looks pretty good, and it's so simple. Sounds like the perfect camping recipe.

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  15. I had never heard of bannock before: it looks absolutely delicious and easy to prepare, yummy!!

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  16. mmm, looks fantastic!

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  17. I absolutely loved reading about the history of Bannock. Fascinating! I would love to take my kids camping before the end of summer and make this on the campfire. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

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  18. This looks great. I can't wait to try it!

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  19. Great camping food...all done in the cast iron pan. If you're luck, the blueberries can be found during a hike.p

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  20. That was interesting, learned a new culinary word today. Guess you can tell I'm not from the North!
    LL

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  21. some times i wonder to myself if there's a bread on this planet that i wouldn't love. i doubt it. this one's new to me, but i'm very interested in it, with or without those plump berries. :)

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  22. Bannock...never heard of it, but you describe it very well and it sure looks a nice treat for weekend breakfast...

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  23. Val...I admit to being just slightly embaressed. Yes, I'm Canadian and yes lots was learnt in history class...however, Bannock totally slipped by. Thanks for all the background info.

    I really like this recipe because I can appreciate its versatility with savoury ingredients as well.

    Is this though what you call a lazy Sunday? I thought it meant putting melted chocolate on an Italian cookie with a cappucino on the side ;o)

    Have a great week,
    Claudia

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  24. Blueberry bannock topped with melting butter would really hit the spot for a lazy weekend breakfast!

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  25. What a fantastic post. I love the history you've shared with us. The recipe is so easy I plan to make it for breakfast tomorrow morning. I hope the day has been kind to you. Blessings...Mary

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  26. I've always wanted to try baking bannock. I can't think of a better bannock than blueberry!

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  27. I've never had bannock before, but I can tell I'd love it!!

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  28. First time I am hearing of bannock. With blue berries, they must be quite a treat.

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  29. I've never had bannock, but I have heard of it. It's funny, I think my first mention of it was something in reference to something Celtic. I think some mediaeval fantasy novels I have read mention bannock. Then later I learned that it was a bread consumed by Native Canadians. No matter what the origins, it looks great and simple and the blueberries seem like a perfect pairing.

    Best of all I love the memories you shared in this post!

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  30. I froze loads of blueberries this year so as always I'm in need of new recipes to use them. This is new to me! But I like anything that can be "slathered in butter."

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  31. I have never tasted bannock before but It surely looks very appetizing!!


    MMMMMMM,...lovely food!

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  32. I had no idea what bannock was until this post, but it looks delicious. I swear, Val, I have learned more food types from your blog than any other. :)

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  33. hey your blog design is very nice, clean and fresh and with updated content, make people feel peace and I always like browsing your site.

    - Thomas

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  34. I love your blog and all of your recipes! What a great job you've done - keep it up :)

    - strawberrymint.org -

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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