Cree bannock

Woodlore, the school of wilderness bushcraft founded by Ray Mears, share their recipe for a warming, energy-filled snack that's a perennial favourite of the outdoorsman

Bannock is a traditional Scottish bread

Bannock is a traditional Scottish bread

Every region has its own take on the standard method of cooking bannock. In Australia they bake it straight on fire embers; in the far North it is cooked in a frying pan. In North America, the dish was adopted by indigenous peoples after it was introduced by fur traders. To free up cooking equipment for other jobs, the Cree cooked their bannock skewered on a stick, which is the method we’ve used for this recipe: 

Ingredients (serves 3)

4 x handfuls of flour
2 x handfuls of milk powder
4 x teaspoons of baking powder
1 x handful of dried fruit
Sugar (to taste)
Water

Method

1. Put flour, milk powder, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl or pan. Stir with a wooden spoon, getting plenty of air into the mixture. Make a well in the centre and gradually add water, stirring into a stiff consistency.

2. Fold in the fruit, taking care not to force air from the dough.

3. Find a green, non-toxic stick about an inch in diameter (we use willow) and scrape it down to the bare wood and sharpen both ends. Heat the stick over the fire until scorching.

4. Form the dough into balls and skewer them, pushing the balls together. Push one end of the stick into the ground and lean it towards the embers – the bread at a height above the fire at which you can hold your hand no more than five seconds.

5. Turn the stick regularly to ensure even cooking until the bread is golden brown all over. Peel the bread off the stick and serve warm with butter and jam. 

Learn more cooking techniques and bushcraft skills on a Woodlore course; raymears.com.

You can read our guide to wild butchery and foraging for the Norwegian cloudberry in print issue four of Ernest Journal, on sale now.

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