Hedgie McGee Makes Bannock

posted: 2009-01-16

kneaded bannock dough, add flour until it stops sticking to your paws

knead the dough, adding flour until it stops sticking to your paws

Bannock is as old as the hills and just as dusty. Who first made it? Who knows. What was it originally made from? Some sort of flour made from some sort of grain (or other edible ground substance), water, an optional leavening agent, and just about anything else you care to throw in. Folks seem to agree on one thing, however, that it’s generally fried rather than baked. In short (and hedgehogs are) it’s a quick bread, easy to make, difficult to screw up, and great with a steaming cup-o’-tea.

Hedgie departs from tradition by baking rather than frying, but either way will work. Hedgie McGee’s time honoured recipe:


  • 2 cups of flour (unbleached is nice)
  • ¾ teaspoons baking powder, although hedgehogs are not particularly careful about measuring, so adjust accordingly
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (Hedgie is trying to cut back on salt)
  • some water—not really sure how much ’cause he’s never really measured


Preheat the oven to roughly 400⁰ F (205⁰ C). Hedgie usually uses a wood stove, so he’s still experimenting with temperature, but this is a good place to start.

Mix the salt and baking powder into the flour, then add water and stir it up. Dump the dough onto a floured countertop and knead. Add more flour as you knead (if needed) until the glob stops sticking to your paws. Scratch the itch on your nose to ensure you get a nice smear of flour and/or dough on it. Now you look like a baker.

bannock dough rolled into a rope

roll the dough into a rope

Roll the dough into a rope, just like you did with play dough when you were a kid (except this dough you’re actually supposed to eat, but wait ’til it’s baked).

bannock dough shaped into a big donut

make a really big doughnut

Make a doughnut out of the rope. Use a bit of water to help attach the ends. Why a doughnut? It’s fun, it fits into a small pan, and will bake faster and more evenly than the traditional “flat cake” style of bannock—especially important if you use a frying pan.

bannock dough in round baking pan

ready to bake, easy, huh?

Well, that took all of a few minutes. Better put the kettle on.

hedgie watches bannock baking in the oven

anticipating bannock

This is the hardest part, waiting for it to bake. Bake until lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. As you can see, Hedgie isn’t all that fond of cleaning the oven. Who is?

Hedgie admiring freshly backed bannock

Hedgie admiring bannock masterpiece

Ahhh. That smells sooo good. Take a moment to admire your masterpiece, but not too long. Bannock is great right out of the oven!

slice of bannock with peanut butter and apricot jam

the moment he’s been waiting for

Hedgie McGee enjoys bannock with peanut butter and apricot jam, but it’s also yummy with soup, or all by itself. Enjoy!

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