Wild Cooking | Bannock Bread Recipe
Coming from the Gaelic bannach, bonnach or bhannag (meaning ‘morsel’), Bannock Bread is a simple flatbread that originated in Scotland. There are many opinions on where the word bannock came from however the actual translation means “to panic”.
Bannock is not to be confused with Australian Damper though. Bannock refers to any large round article baked or cooked from grain. Damper on the other hand is traditionally baked or cooked from wheat flour and water.
Bannock was taken to North America by the Scottish explorers and traders. This inevitably lead to the indigenous people of the Northern Great Plains adopting bannock into their own cuisine.
There are now an infinite number of variations available on this simple recipe of what is essentially flour and water. Bannock is a great source of carbohydrates, and can compliment stews, meats and many other dishes.
Bannock can be made entirely from foraged natural resources in the wilderness, but only if you are lucky enough to be in a suitable location with the right seeds and roots avaialble.
Seasonal fruits, nuts and maple, birch and also sycamore sap can be used instead of water (or as well as) for binding the ingredients.
Bannock is easy to prepare and so many ingredients can work with it, making it a fun, simple and nourishing food source.
Below is a basic recipe that we have used for years. From this basic recipe you can add whatever you like. Great additions are seasonal fruits or nuts and if you want to pack some tasty additions; dried fruits, chocolate and honey are always a great start!
- 3 mugs of flour (any type)
- 2 mugs of milk powder
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- Enough water to make a nice thick dough
- Anything else you want to add
Once you have a thick dough, you can either break it into patties or fill the bottom of your pot. Put the pot on some good embers and make sure you keep turning the bannock whilst cooking.
Times will vary enormously depending on how hot your fire is and how close your pot is to it. Keep checking for a golden brown colours and a hollow sound when you tap them.
A variation of this recipe (although some would argue is damper), is to twist the dough around a green stick (maybe an inch thick) and cook above the embers or near a fire until golden brown. When it’s cooked, allow it to cool. Then remove the stick and you can fill the whole with jam, or a sausage like a hot dog!
There are plenty of variations on basic bannock bread. We would love for you to share your own personal variations on this bushcraft classic!