Growing up Métis, bannock was always an occasional treat in our home. Mom would mix up some flour, baking powder, butter, milk, and salt, toss it in the oven, and out would come a sort of egg-shaped slab of baked bannock. We would slice a piece in half and slather it with butter or even better, peanut butter, and go to town!
But then there was fried bannock, an even more elusive and tastier treat! Because my mom didn't like working around grease, especially boiling hot grease, fried bannock happened only once in a blue moon. It was like our very own version of apple pie, just a lot greasier! There's just something about biting into a warm, fluffy piece of golden fried bannock dripping with butter, and its appeal has not waned even well into our adult years.
And although my Mom eventually taught me how to make baked bannock, fried bannock was something I had never attempted. Until now.
A couple of weeks ago (Jan. 14), I finally asked my Mom if she could show me how to make fried bannock, so that I could scratch off #84 on my "Alberta Bucket List." I knew it wouldn't be difficult to learn, but I was worried that my batch wouldn't turn out quite like how Mom makes it. Only one way to find out.
I gathered all of the ingredients and equipment we would need (see below), and then began by pouring around 6 cups of all-purpose flour into a large bowl. I added 2.5 tablespoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt, and then stirred the bowl, before adding 2 tablespoons of butter (or margarine) and mixing it by hand.
Next, I made a "well" in the bowl of white powder and gradually poured in about 3.5 cups of milk (or water), using a spoon to slowly bring in the flour. When it was mostly mixed together, I began using my hands. My Mom smeared the table with some flour and then we placed the sticky dough there and began kneading it with our hands, into a curved rectangle shape. My Mom used a spoon to make indents throughout the dough.
In the meantime, we poured an entire 1.42L bottle of cooking oil into a large pot and put it on High on the stovetop, but turned it down to Medium-High once it got hot enough. While it heated up, we cut the slab of dough into smaller pieces, about 12-15 in total. We carefully placed each piece into the pot and flipped them halfway through, until each side was golden brown.
They looked amazing, but it turns out that most of the pieces were not fully cooked inside. A few were just fine, and they were as good as I had hoped for, just like Mom's! However, because that first batch was largely a bust, my Mom made a second batch. Her own batch had the same problem, and so we assumed it was due to our baking powder, which had expired nearly 2 years ago! Oops.
Oh well, I had learned the process and even got to enjoy some of what I had made. Plus, it was fun spending time with my Mom in the kitchen, even if the bannock didn't quite turn out. The next day, I went out and bought some fresh baking powder.
If you would like to try making fried bannock yourself, I have listed the ingredients below. Or, you can click HERE to try your hand at baked bannock instead. Good luck and enjoy!!
Fried Bannock Ingredients:
- 6 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2.5 tablespoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of butter (or margarine)
- 3.5 cups of milk (or water)
- 1.4 - 2L of cooking oil