Whenever I hear anyone mention bannock, memories of 13 year old mini muggins and days spent at summer camp flood into my brain. On a nice evening me and about 30 other preteens used to head down to the beach and get some fires going. The counsellors had all the fixins for bannock in tow, so we would head out and find the best roasting stick we could muster, mix up the bannock, slap it (or wrap it) on our sticks and roast it over the fire. What we ended up with was a roasty piece of cooked dough that tasted somewhere between a pancake and a piece of bread (we fancied ours up by adding cinnamon).
It’s been many, many (many) years since I’ve tasted bannock and although I’m not about to light a fire in my yard, my oven makes a pretty darn good substitute.
For those of you not familiar, bannock is a simple quick bread of sorts, that is made from basic ingredients such as water, flour and baking powder. A staple food of the First Nations of Canada, some say bannock was originally derived from the Scottish scone. It was first brought to Canada by the fur traders, and adapted to campfire cooking by the Aboriginal people. There are a plethora of various recipes for bannock and I’ve seen cooking methods where it’s fried in a pan, baked in an oven or the traditional way of roasting it over a fire.
Instead of making a traditional bannock, I decided to take the basic recipe and jazz it up a bit, I’ll be doing a more traditional version later on in the month. I wanted to make myself something for breakfast, so to make it a little healthier I replaced some of the white flour with whole wheat, added some sweetness with a little sugar, cranberries and apples, then threw in some cinnamon for good measure. I skipped out on the frying this go around and baked it instead. What I ended up with was a lightly sweetened, crumbly, quick bread, which kind of reminds me of a scone in appearance. The bread dough itself isn’t super sweet, so it was nice getting little burst of tartness and sweetness in every bite due to the apples and cranberries. I ate a slice with some coconut yogurt but it would also be really yummy eaten warm with some jam or margarine.
Cranberry Apple Bannock
Makes 8 wedges
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup warm unsweetened non-dairy milk or water
- 1/2 cup apple, peeled and finely diced
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 425°F.
In large bowl, mix together whole wheat and all-purpose flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a small bowl, mix together oil, water, milk and brown sugar. Make a well in the dry ingredients then pour in the wet, blend with hands then mix in the apples and cranberries. Try not to overwork the dough.
Press into 1-inch high 7-inch diameter circle. Place on rimmed baking sheet; score into 8 wedges. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with margarine and jam.