Anyone that has spent time in the north has likely tried bannock. Remote communities still make dough without yeast, using baking powder to create fluffy, tender bannock. Many different recipes for bannock can be baked, fried or even cooked on a stick over the fire.
Bannock has been around for centuries and is a Scottish term referring to unleavened barley and oat dough cakes baked on a large flat rock. Different cultures have perfected bannock recipes. Modern versions use melted butter, but lard used to be the staple, creating a fluffy, airy texture similar to a pastry. Some cultures used cod liver oil as the fat in bannock.
The recipes are similar to baking powder biscuits, but some variations create a firmer dough to make meat-filled pops. Any ground venison will work, and the recipe is easy to customize by adding different spices or ingredients. Try chili powder and cheese for a Mexican twist on the ingredients.
Bannock is the perfect recipe for a hunting camp. When time is limited, bannock can be made when there are no biscuits or bread readily available.
Bannock tips: Remember not to overwork the dough, or it will be tough. Always mix with warm liquids to keep the dough from baking to a harder texture.
Venison Filling Ingredients • 1 lb. ground venison • 1 medium onion, diced • 2 cloves garlic, crushed • 1 cup frozen peas • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce • salt and pepper to taste • 1 cup beef broth • 1 Tbsp potato or cornstarch • 2 Tbsp oil
Directions 1. Heat oil in a frying pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry for 2 minutes until onions start to turn translucent, then add the ground venison.
2. When the meat starts to brown, add the peas, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook until peas thaw.
3. Whisk the beef broth into the cornstarch and slowly stir it into the meat mixture. A thick gravy will form. Cook until the gravy is thick.
Bannock Ingredients • 4 cups flour • 2 Tbsp baking powder • 1 tsp sugar • ½ tsp salt • ¼ cup melted butter, or lard • 2 cups warm water (cold water makes tough dough) • 1 egg, beaten
Directions 1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly pour the wet ingredients into it. Gradually mix by scraping the sides with a fork to pull the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. When the dough becomes firm, place it onto a floured surface. Gently knead the dough until it is no longer sticky.
4. Use a rolling pin to create a thin sheet of bannock, dust with flour, and flip if it becomes sticky. Try to get the dough thinner than ¼-inch.
5. Cut 6-inch circles out of the dough (a soup bowl with a straight edge works well).
6. Place ¼ to ⅓ cup of the meat filling in the dough's center before folding and sealing the edge by pressing with a fork.
7. Place on a baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake at 400°F for approximately 30 minutes or until bannock is lightly brown on the top.