Bannock bread is a favorite camping side dish with a long tradition. Made from all dry ingredients, it packs nicely, doesn’t require any refrigeration and makes a hearty side dish with dinner. Any left-overs can be added to the following day’s breakfast menu. However, traditional bannock bread’s primary ingredient is wheat. So I wanted to figure out a gluten-free bannock bread variation that my wife could eat, given her gluten intolerance.
I made up my standard bag of bannock mix, but simply substituted spelt flour for wheat flour, one-for-one.
Bannock is easily cooked in the back-country by frying it in a pan or by baking it in a reflector oven. In the video linked above, I fry it in a pan over a twig stove.
The end result was pretty good. Not quite as good as traditional wheat bannock bread, but pretty acceptable … especially with a handful of raisins baked in and a dusting of cinnamon.
Spelt Bannock Bread Recipe
Mix following dry ingredients in 1 quart zip-lock freezer bag. I like to mass produce several of these and store them in the freezer for trips throughout the year.
• 1 cup spelt flour
• 1 Tbsp baking powder
• 3 Tbsp powdered milk
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
• 1 Tbsp butter, oil or ghee (see note on ghee below)
• Dash cinnamon (optional)
• Handful raisins, dried cranberries or fresh blueberries (optional, but very yummy!)
Ghee is a clarified butter that will remain fresh without refrigeration for several weeks when properly sealed. At home, it can be stored for months in the refrigerator. It is tastier and healthier than regular butter. I prefer Organic Valley brand. You can find it on Amazon https://amzn.to/3cH7PXG or in the Indian foods or dairy sections of your local grocery store.
Cooking Gluten-Free Bannock Bread in Camp
- In the field, add water to the bag of dry ingredients, a little at a time. Also add any optional raisins, dried cranberries or fresh blueberries. Mix the water into the dry ingredients by squeezing the sides of the bag with your hands. You are looking for a knead-able dough consistency. Don’t add too much water: it is easy to add water, but pretty difficult to take it back out!
- Melt a tablespoon of butter, oil of ghee in a pan. A heavy cast iron pan would be ideal, but a thinner lightweight pan will work fine in the back-country.
- Add the dough to the pan. Spread it out with a spoon or spatula to around 3/4 inch thick.
- Fry the dough over medium heat, until the first side is browned. This should take around 12-15 minutes. Cooking too fast can result in burned surfaces, but still doughy in the middle.
- Flip the loaf over, sprinkle some cinnamon over the just-cooked side (optional) and cook the second side for a similar amount of time.
- Probe for done-ness by sticking a toothpick, fork or knife into the bread. The probe should come out with no dough on it when the bread is done in the middle.
- Remove from heat and let the bread cool for a few minutes before breaking it into pieces with your hands (some consider it faux-pas to cut bannock bread with a knife). Enjoy.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support!