Scottish Bannock (Mediterranean Version)

The Beltane Bannock is a traditional Scottish recipe. It can be described as a flat, round break made entirely of oats which can be baked (on embers, typically on top of a hot stone), or fried (if you're making several smaller loaves). It is usually made with animal fat (pig fat) and not butter which is typically used nowadays. However, you will find many modifications to the recipes such as the bread being baked in your normal oven and using butter instead of fat. The bannock is usually eaten with a blend of eggs and milk, although I can personally attest that it goes nicely with cheese and light salami. According to folklore, eating a piece of bannock on Beltane morning guarantees abundance for crops and livestock...so what are you waiting for?! :D Get baking!

You Will Need:

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour (+ extra to flour your working surface)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp pig fat
  • 1 cup hot water
  • dried chives (to taste)
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling

Notes: the traditional bannock is, of course, not made with chives and is not covered in sesame seeds. But this is why I noted in the recipe that it is adapted to suite Mediterranean cuisine. So, if you don't want to use chives or sesame seeds, you don't have to. Although I recommend you leave the other ingredients and ratios as is. You can substitute butter with pig fat entirely if you wish, and you can substitute the oat flour with any other kind of flour but then the whole point of the bannock kind of gets lost since it's supposed to be made entirely of oats.

How To Prepare:

  1. Mix oats, oat flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and drizzle over the dry mixture. Add water gradually and mix until you get a compact dough. If it's still too wet, feel free to add more oat flour/oats.
  3. Flour your working surface, knead the dough and form it into a ball. You can make one larger loaf, or you can separate the dough into several parts and make several smaller loaves.
  4. Heat your oven to 200°C and cover your baking pan with baking paper.
  5. Roll out the dough into a circle. Make sure that it isn't thicker than 1 cm.
  6. Bake at 200°C for about 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 175°C and bake for another 10 minutes.
Notes: I recommend that you don't check on your bread before the first 20 minutes are up because it is brittle until it cools down. You will know that it's done when it generally takes on a golden-brown color (at least a slightly darker tone compared to the originally pale color of the dough) and when the bottom edges start to turn slightly more brown.

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