Bannock is a type of flat bread that has cultural connections to just about every indigenous nation across northern America and beyond. Its popularity can be attributed to more than just its delicious taste though. Bannock is an ideal survival food because it is easy to prepare, nourishing, and stays fresh for a long time. So if you're wondering what to eat on your next wilderness adventure, don’t panic, just make yourself some bannock!
Bannock is said to have originated in Scotland and was brought to North America by Scottish fur traders before being adopted by indigenous groups across the nation. Scottish bannock was traditionally made with oatmeal, but aboriginal people made it from natural substances that they could gather from the woods, such as corn, nut meal, and flour from ground plant bulbs. There are a variety of cooking methods such as deep-fried or pan-fried, with the traditional method being hearth-baked. Today, bannock remains a staple of native foods and has endured for both its convenience and its great taste.
Make Your Own Bannock
Whether you’re heading out for an extended stay in the great outdoors or just curious about this culturally iconic food, make and enjoy some of your own homemade bannock! Prepare the basic mix ahead of time so once your stomach starts rumbling, all you have to do is combine with roughly a 1/2 cup of water and cook! Bannock can be paired with a variety of different camp foods to create tasty and well-rounded meals.
- 1 C. flour
- 1 tsp. baking power
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 C. dry milk powder
- 1 Tbsp. shortening
The beauty of bannock and a huge reason for its popularity is that it is an extremely versatile food that can be made using a variety of differing ingredients. Work with what you have! Use bacon grease or canola oil for shortening. Make a healthier version by using whole wheat flour. Give it a little more taste by adding in some honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup, or toss in some raisins or other fruits for an even sweeter bread. Get creative and who knows, your own unique bannock recipe might just become your new favorite!
How To Bake
Bannock can be deep-fried, oven-baked, Dutch-oven baked, or cooked over a fire using nothing but a stick or a stone. One of the most simple and accessible methods of cooking bannock in the wilderness, however, is your basic pan-frying method. To do so, warm your pan over the campfire and squeeze your mixture onto the heated pan. Be careful not to overheat your pan and burn your bread. Hissing or sizzling means it’s too hot and you need to give it time to cool before adding the mixture. Once your bannock starts to rise and look loaf-like, flip it over and let it cook on the other side. Stab a toothpick into the bread (or a twig from the woods if you’re a true survivalist), and if no dough sticks to it, your bannock is done. Remove it from the heat and get your taste buds ready!
Eat your freshly baked bannock on its own as a yummy snack, or pair it with some delicious hobo goulash and campfire green beans for a tasty meal. And don’t forget the apple pie for dessert!