Published on April 12, 2014 by Carol
Tribal Affiliation: Chipewyan (Great Slave Lake Area)
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Orgin of Recipe: Offered by Faye Castle … who learned this from From my granny Agnes and my mom Pauline.. it
Type of Dish: Contemporary & Traditional
Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a very large bowl, make a well in the center. Cut the shortening into large squares, put the shortening into a 9×13 inch deep pan (lasagna pan). Put the water (or milk) into the bowl, try to keep it inside the well. When the shortening has melted carefully pour it into the center of the bowl. Begin stirring slowly in a circle from the center to the outside of the bowl until your spoon is too sticky to keep stirring.
Sprinkle the ham and cheese cubes over the dough.
Flour your hands and begin to carefully knead the dough turning it over and pushing it down, then flip it over. Do not handle the dough too much, just enough that it is soft. (You may not use up all the flour)
Your pan should already be greased, if not grease the pan up the sides. Place the bannock into the pan, flip it over and gently nudge it into the corners. Use a fork to poke the bannock through to the bottom of the pan. Take a large kitchen knife and score the bannock by pushing the length of the blade into the bannock then picking it straight up (do not use a sawing motion), this helps you to break it into portions once it is baked (if there are alot of people around cut the squares smaller).
Bake the bannock about 35-45 minutes until it rises up and is golden brown. Once you remove the bannock from the oven turn it out onto a clean tea towel and place the pan upside down on it for 10 minutes to let it rest ( and keep the heat).
It’s wonderful hot out of the oven with a dab of butter melted over it, just be careful while it’s hot!
(If you use the Raisin variation- add the sugar in with the dry ingredients and add the raisins in instead of the ham and cheese.)
Note: In the olden days bannock was cooked on a stick over the fire or at the side in a cast iron pan. Usually you don’t add in any ham, cheese or raisins, the traditional bannock was not too fancy and alot of elders prefer it ‘old style’. Bannock is usually eaten everyday instead of bread. My favourite is crumbled into duck stew or dipped into the pan after my mom fries caribou steaks.
This is the traditional form of bannock we serve in the north, around the Great Slave Lake area and up the Mackenzie River. The elders (grannies and grandpa’s) always make the lightest fluffiest bannock.
My mom says not to poke the bannock too much…it means your jealous!