Scottish Recipes: Bannocks
A cross between a chewy oatmeal cookie and a biscuit. Best served fresh from the oven as is, or split and toasted . Excellent for breakfast or with a cup of tea. Bannocks are best the day they are baked.
4 oz (125g) medium oatmeal
Additional oatmeal to be added when kneading
2 teaspoons melted fat (bacon fat is best, if available)
Pinch of salt
¾ tablespoons hot water
2 pinches of bicarbonate of soda
Mix the oatmeal, salt and bicarbonate and pour in the melted fat into the centre of the mixture. Stir well, using a large wooden spoon adding enough water to make into a stiff paste. Cover a surface in oatmeal and turn the mixture onto this. Work quickly as the paste is difficult to work once it cools.
Divide into two and roll one half into a ball and knead with hands covered in oatmeal to stop it sticking. Roll out to around quarter inch thick (or slightly less). Put a plate which is slightly smaller than the size of your pan over the flattened mixture and cut round to leave a circular oatcake. Cut into quarters (also called farls - you may also hear this term used when talking about shortbread) and place in the heated pan which has been lightly greased. Cook until the edges curl slightly, turn, and cook the other side. Dependent on heat and thickness this should take approximately three minutes for the first side and slightly less for the flip side. Get ready with another oatcake while the first is being cooked.
The quantities above will be enough for two bannocks about the size of a dessert plate. If you want more, do them in small batches rather than making larger quantities of mixture as this should improve flavour and texture.
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