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Jocasta’s “Auld Country” Scottish Bannocks

from Outlander Kitchen
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Cooling Time5 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Scottish
Keyword: 18th Century Baking, Bannocks, Bread, Castle Leoch, Oatcakes, Oatmeal, Oats
Servings: 1 9-10" bannock
Calories: 110kcal

Special Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats (180ml)
  • 3/4 cup barley, see Notes
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 ml)
  • 2 Tbsp butter (30ml), room temperature, cubed
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature

Procedure

  • Grind the oats to meal by pulsing them 4 or 5 times in a blender, food processor, or clean coffee grinder. Repeat with the barley. (The meals will have some coarser bits to them but should be relatively fine). Set aside ¼ cup of the ground oats for working the dough. (I used my food processor to make my flour, and it worked pretty well)
  • Mix the remainder of the 2 freshly ground flours together with the salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or 2 forks until the mixture resembles coarse sand. A few pea-sized lumps of butter are okay. (I found this method interesting because this implies that a bannock is basically an unleavened oat flour biscuit, just using room-temperature rather than chilled butter)
  • Stir in the milk — you should have a very wet dough, but not soupy (add a little more milk if the dough is too dry). Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the grains to absorb the milk.(Here is where I think I went wrong…my dough was wet but probably not wet enough. A picture of what the dough should look like would have been helpful)
  • Preheat a cast-iron pan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto the counter dusted heavily with the remaining ground oats. Dust the dough with more oat flour and knead it gently 5 or 6 times. Then, being careful not to overwork the dough, gently pat into a round disc about ½” thick. (My dough was already crumbly & hard to hold together…I should have added more milk)
  • Dust each side lightly with oat flour, mark a cross into one side of the bannock with the handle of a wooden spoon, then carefully transfer it to the dry cast iron pan. Cook until golden, about 15 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the second side, about 10-15 minutes. (I think my stove was too hot at first as I burnt the first side after about 8 minutes. Flipping it over also proved to be a challenge as the bannock started to break. Overall, I cooked the bannock for about 12 minutes total.)
  • Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before cutting into 8 wedges. (Uhm…how do you cut a blob-shape into 8 wedges?)

Recipe Notes

I didn’t have any barley, so I omitted it and doubled the amount of rolled oats.
I struggled with whether I should use milk or not because many of the modern recipes I saw used water instead. I finally decided to use it, reasoning that Mrs. Fitz would have milk on hand (i.e. not saved it for drinking), and she also wouldn’t necessarily have had clean water available.
Did you make this recipe? Please share your pictures with the world on your social media…tag @outlandercast (on Instagram and Twitter) and use the hashtag #howtheymadeitoutlander. I can’t wait to see your creations!