A Bannock is the term used to describe a type of quick-baking flat-bread. It is known as ‘fry bread’, skaan/scone or sometimes Indian bread. It also refers to a large roundish food product either baked or cooked using a certain grain. When this large rounded bannock is divided into wedges, these wedges are termed scones. As such the word Bannock is a Scottish word of Celtic origin. In Scotland, bannock and scone are interchangeable.
Ireland, Scotland and Northern England are known for the historical use of Bannock. In fact, The Scottish poet, Robert Burns makes a reference of the bannock in his poetry. Initially the bannock was a dense, flat bread prepared using unleavened oatmeal or barley dough, shaped into a circular form and cooked on a griddle. The early Selkirk settlers referred to their version of a flour water biscuit as bannock. Before the 19th century, a large, rounded and flattened sandstone piece heated to extremely high temperatures by placing into the fire was employed as the cooking surface to make bannocks. These days’ bannocks are prepared with the help of leavening agents such as baking soda or baking powder in order to make them more airy and light. Bannocks may be classified based on several characteristics-
- The special rituals or festive occasions they were prepared for,
- Use of certain special ingredients,
- Whether leavened or not,
- The type of flour used in making them and
- Method of cooking or baking employed.
Bannock is also thought to be an important element in native North American and Canadian cuisine. Among these cultures bannock is usually made using wheat flour, water and baking powder. These ingredients are mixed together and with the addition of dried fruits, certain spices or other flavour-enhancing ingredients, kneaded together. Finally this is shaped and fried in vegetable oil, grilled on an open stick or baked in an oven. A Balep korkun is a bannock typically made in Tibet using barley flour and cooked with oil on a frying pan.
Most often had during lunch, the bannock is high in carbohydrates. One serving equivalent to 75 g, has -
- A total carbohydrate content of about 55.7 g, with sugar contributing 6.5 g and dietary fibre 1.7 g.
- Protein content is 6.5 g.
- Total fat content is 0.6 g with 0.1 g saturated fat.
- Sodium content is 623 mg.
- Approximately 255 calories per serving.
The Selkirk Bannock is a spongier and buttery variant, comparable to a cupcake or fruitcake, prepared using wheat flour and a large quantity of different types of raisins. Robbie Douglas is documented to be the creator of this special bannock. It was further popularised in 1859 when Queen Victoria had it along with her tea during her visit to Sir Walter Scott’s granddaughter at Abbotsford. Today the Selkirk Bannocks are consumed everywhere across Great Britain and it isn’t tough to find some at large supermarkets.