Cast Iron Cooking: Simple Stovetop Bannock

Cat’s paw or bear claw? You decide.

What’s better on a chilly day than hot, fresh biscuits made in a perfectly-seasoned cast iron skillet? Not a whole lot, I’ll tell you. And these are quick and easy to make!

I call these “biscuits” because that’s what they look and taste like to me, but they’re technically a yeast-free bread called bannock. Bannock is considered to be a staple of various Indigenous peoples’ diets, and it can be made either on the stovetop or baked in the oven. The recipe we followed is from the owners of Aahksoyo’p Indigenous Comfort Food in Alberta, Canada, who have also self-published a comfort food cookbook.

The bannock begins with mixing the simple ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt, and water (for the stovetop version) – into a somewhat sticky dough.

Once the dough forms a ball, it’s rolled out on a floured countertop, kneaded, and small balls are pinched off and flattened into discs.

The patties are then cooked in oil in a skillet until they’re browned.

Finished, the bannock has the texture of slightly-chewy biscuits, with a uniquely delightful “fried” flavor to the crust. The ones we made were nearly the size of an English muffin, and would be the ideal size, split, for toast, sandwiches, or a slab of cream cheese.

So the next time you have a hankering for a fresh biscuit and your cast iron skillet is calling to you, try making a batch of bannock…but enjoy it in moderation.

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