Traditional & modern bannock

A First Nations flat bread recipe

Bannock is a bread with a biscuit-like texture.
Bannock is a bread with a biscuit-like texture.
Credit: 
Supplied by Skorp

With Aboriginal Awareness Week underway, there’s nothing quite like celebrating Indigenous culture with our famous bannock. 

Bannock, commonly called frybread, is flat bread that’s both sweet and savoury. 

The traditional version is called Kana’tarohkhòn:we, which roughly translates to “original cooked bread” in Mohawk. The bread differs from its modern recipe where it incorporates local ingredients, as opposed to those brought by European settlers like flour, sugar and baking soda. 

Through oral tradition, the recipes are passed down from one generation to the next. 

I learned the traditional bannock recipe from a family member at Mohawk Valley, and the modern version from a local community member. 

First Nations recipes follow a different form of cooking than most. It’s not about exact ingredients, but making the mixture until it feels and tastes right. 

Traditional Bannock

Ingredients

• 2 cups white corn flour
• ½ cups cooked (or non-traditionally canned) kidney beans         
• 1 ¾ cups boiling water (to add to mixture)
• 4 cups boiling water (to cook the bread in)

Recipe

  1. Fill a pot with 4 cups of water and begin to boil it while you make the bread.
  2. Combine corn flour and kidney beans in a bowl, crushing the beans.
  3. Add 1 ¾ cups of boiling water to the flour-bean mixture and mix well.
  4. While the mixture is still hot, pat it down immediately with your hands. Form it into one-inch-thick cookie sized disks. 
  5. Place the disks into the pot and let boil until they float. Take them out and let them cool. Enjoy individually or with a side of soup!

 Modern Bannock

Ingredients 

• 5 cups flour
• 5 tbsp baking powder
• 5 tbsp sugar
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 cup water or milk
• 1 cup vegetable oil

Recipe

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Add water (or milk) until moistened to a doughy consistency.
  3. Fry in hot vegetable oil until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Remove, let cool, serve and enjoy! 

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