Saturday, 7 May 2011

selkirk bannock...embracing my new culinary surroundings

Almost a month ago we packed up our little house in Chelmsford and started on our amazing new adventure in Edinburgh.  David's been working hard in his new job, mentally exhausted every night...and I have been exploring my new city and thinking up ways to amuse myself while he is at work.  Until we magically got the internet last week a lot of that consisted of going to the library and using their computers, browsing the book shelves and...reading a heck of a lot of novels....and bringing home two battered (not deep fried) and stained (in a good way) scottish cookbooks, which I have been flipping through like mad.

My grandmother's family is Scottish so I grew up with an eclectic mix of Anglo-Scots-Canadian cuisine (her shortbread are to.die.for...and don't get me started on the cherry pound cake) and coupled with the huge waves of Scottish immigration to Canada (and mostly similar climate) there are lots of foodstuffs I recognise in these books.  A lot of them are hearty....good stick to yer bones kind of food...and with the warm weather upon us here I can't see me making many stews over the next few those recipes will have to wait.

What I did challenge myself to tackle this week was a yeast bread called Bannock.  It is basically a fruit bread enriched with butter (not highly authentic...but a modern version of a classic).  Apparently every region used to have its own version made with whatever grain was milled locally.  This Bannock, originally made in Selkirk (about an hour south of Edinburgh, close to the English border) is still made today and is mass produced and sold in an eye out!

On a class trip in primary school we went to Historic Fort York in downtown Toronto and I remember making Bannock dough and then moulding it around the end of a stick and then "roasting" it over an open my cookbook it says that sometimes this dough was I baked it, in a spring-form baking tin, and once cooled...slathered with butter (from a packet...not churned by hand, like at Fort York).

Looking forward to discovering more Scottish delights!


  1. I love Edinburgh, it has some of the best UK restaurants in it, fab stuff, you're lucky to be in such a great city!!... love the look of this bannock... it's like a giant scone right?

  2. The Bannock looks lovely, I've just found your blog, hope you are settling in Edinburgh. Jude

  3. We have a Chelmsford in Massachusetts, USA!!! I know several people who live there. The bread looks great!

  4. Dom...thanks, yes, like a giant scone...with a POUND of sultanas!!

    A trifle...welcome to my blog! thanks!

    Ocean Breezes...thanks!