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Scotland Recipes
Scottish Bannocks Recipes

Colder areas of the world often rely on crops other than wheat and Scotland has had a long tradition of relying on oats as a staple. What oats canít do is "fluff" or rise in the same way that wheat dough will. Traditional bannocks are simple mixtures of oatmeal, a shortening agent like butter or bacon dripping and some water to reach the right consistency.It is much flatter than a wheat based roll would be. They can be eaten any time but often for breakfast or with a cup of tea. Bannocks are best the day they are baked.

4 oz (125g) medium oatmeal
3/4 tablespoons hot water
2 pinches of bicarbonate of soda
Additional oatmeal to be added when kneading
2 teaspoons melted fat (bacon fat is best, if available)
Pinch of salt

Mix the oatmeal, salt and bicarbonate and pour in the melted fat into the centre of the mixture. Stir well, using a large wooden spoon adding enough water to make into a stiff paste. Cover a surface (used for rolling such as a worktop)in oatmeal and turn the mixture onto this. Work quickly as the paste will be difficult to work once it cools.

Divide into two and roll one half into a ball and knead with hands (as you would with a bread product)covered in oatmeal to stop it sticking. Roll out to around quarter inch thick (or slightly less). Put a plate which is slightly smaller than the size of your pan over the flattened mixture and cut round to leave a circular oatcake. Cut into quarters (also called farls-you may also hear this term used when talking about shortbread) then place in the heated pan which has been lightly greased.

Cook until the edges curl slightly, turn, and cook the other side.Dependent on heat and thickness this should take approximately three minutes for the first side and slightly less for the flip side.

The quantities above will be enough for two bannocks about the size of a dessert plate. If you want more, do them in small batches rather than making larger quantities of mixture as this should improve flavour and texture.

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As with all recipes which involve cooking and baking a sensible approach must be taken especially when dealing with warm or hot (temperature) ingredients. All recipes are tried at your own risk.

For US to UK equivalents for food weights and measurements see this rough guide

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