Saturday, 15 November 2008


A simple and quick bread ready in no time.


1 lb of flour (see below for what kind)
1 tsp of baking powder (see below for alternative raising agents)
1 tsp salt

  1. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix quickly with milk to make a soft dough.
  3. Divide into two, and form into two balls.
  4. Flatten the ball to make a round about 8 inches across and half an inch thick. If you use a rolling pin this helps to make it flat enough to cook evenly when it's upside down.
  5. Cook it on a hot griddle for about 5 minutes each side.
  6. Do the same for the other one.

This makes a heavy flat bread, more digestible if eaten when no longer piping hot. Serve with butter and cheese, or just butter (better with savoury than sweet).

What flour? Plain white wheat flour, strong white bread flour, or wholemeal flour, or any mixture of these, are all fine. Possibly if you used self-raising flour you could do it without any baking powder. For a genuine Orkney bannock it should include all or at least half barley flour or beremeal.

What raising agent? A single teaspoon of baking powder makes a thin heavy bannock. Most recipes advise 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and 2 tsp of cream of tartar: this makes a more spongy bread, but there's a danger it can taste too much of soda. I believe you can also use yeast.

Milk or water? I haven't tried it with water yet, but I'm sure it's fine. I think that's what the authentic expert Jim Davidson from Papay said ("non o' that milk an' what-ave yae").
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