I’mmmmmm back! Just like last year, and I think every year before that, I have great intentions of keeping up with this blog. Then…wham! The holidays run me right over and don’t post one word. You’d think I’d figure it out and just sign off to everyone right around Thanksgiving. I’m always back at it by January 25th, which is tomorrow, so I’m right on time. And what is the significance on January 25th? It is the birthday of Robert Burns. Robert Burns was born in 1759 and is regarded as the National Poet of Scotland. On January 25th folks throughout the world, though especially in Scotland, will be remembering him with a Burns Night Supper. And I’ve got a great traditional Scottish recipe to share with you, just perfect for the day…Cranberrry Bannocks!Bannocks, sometimes called griddle scones, are a quick bread which are cooked on top of the stove rather than baked in the oven. They are very similar to scones otherwise. Indeed in Scotland the words “bannock” and “scone” are often used interchangeably. Before the 19th Century bannocks were cooked on a “bannock stane” which was a slab of sandstone which was placed on top of a fire. Traditionally they were made with an oatmeal or barley flour and they could be either savory or sweet. One of the most famous types of bannocks is the Selkirk Bannock with is very similar to a fruitcake, chock full of raisins. They can be found in most supermarkets in the UK. Last year I shared a delicious recipe for Scottish Pancakes, or Drop Scones:
The year before was Steak Auld Reekie over Crispy Tatties & Neeps:
The one prior to that was Dundee Cake with Hot Whiskey Marmalade:
Then there was that fabulous Scotch Egg Pie:
And I can’t forget that Cock-a-leekie Soup:
Which I always serve up with fresh toasted Struan:
And I don’t want to forget those mouth-wateringly delicious Scotch Eggs:
which I have also done Deviled.
So there you have it! That is quite a few Scottish recipes which would be very welcome at any Burn’s Night festivities. This years darling little Cranberry Bannocks would perhaps be best suited for a Burn’s Breakfast. They are soft and tender and delicious warm off the griddle, especially slathered with butter!
Now I will say, these Bannocks are not sweet on their own and derive all their sweetness from the cranberries or whatever jam you might spread on top. If you prefer a sweeter bread, you might want to add a Tablespoon or two of sugar to the mix. I thought they were just perfect as they were. And I’m sure The Bard himself would approve. He actually mentioned Bannocks in his Epistle to James Tennant of Glenconner.
An’ Lord, remember singing Sannock,
Wi’ hale breeks, saxpence, an’ a bannock!
So tomorrow you should get busy, griddle some bannocks and don’t forget to raise a glass and drink a wee dram or two to Rabbie Burns!
recipe from: Vagabond Baker
- 50 grams dried cranberries, chopped
- 250 grams all-purpose flour, plus a bit more for rolling out
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons oil (vegetable or coconut oil)
- 150 grams buttermilk
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped cranberries.
Add the oil to the buttermilk and stir.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour 2/3 of the buttermilk mixture into it. Gently begin to mix together with your hands, adding more buttermilk as needed until you have a soft dough.
Lightly flour a surface and turn the dough out onto it. Give it a couple more kneads, but take care not to overwork the dough or the bannocks will be tough.
Divide the dough in half and form each half into a ball. Flatten the balls and roll them out into a circle, about 1/2″ tall.
Cut each circle into quarters.
Place an ungreased frying pan over low to medium heat. Once it is hot add one of bannock circles (4 pieces) to the pan. Cook the bannocks for a 5 – 8 minutes on each side. They should rise to double their thickness while cooking.
Cool on a wire rack and serve with lashings of butter, jam and clotted cream if you wish!
Cranberry Bannocks brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)