Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Three – Manitoba –Bannock

Welcome to Week Three of the Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday! This week we explore the province of Manitoba, another Prairie Province nestled in the middle of Canada.

But first, I hope you all had a long and happy Thanksgiving weekend and somehow managed to survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday! I cooked a ton of food (I should have stepped sideways and shared some of those, :-/ ). Perhaps a future blog line will be about holiday cooking. I make a mean pie and this year made an oyster cornbread stuffing that was to die for. Yum!

On to Manitoba. This province is located between Ontario and Saskatchewan, with the Nunavut Territory and Hudson Bay to the north and the US states of Minnesota and North Dakota to the south.  Like its US neighbor to the south, Manitoba is graced with thousands of lakes, over 100,000, including Lake Winnipeg, one of the largest inland lakes in the world. The province’s name is from an Indian word meaning “the god who speaks”. Because of its physical location in Canada, Manitoba is both agricultural and urban, creating an interesting mix of Prairie west like Alberta and Saskatchewan and multicultural blend like Ontario.

When I went looking for a recipe, I found it difficult to find something that was uniquely Manitoban. There were many “influenced by” stuff and then there were the game meats (does everyone eat elk in Canada??). Ultimately my journey took me to the aboriginal people; the Assiniboin and Ojibwa Indians (part of the First Nations) and a simple bread called Bannock.

bannock
Bannock

Similar to other really old recipes, there are many stories about its origin and also many versions. Basically, this is a simple non leaven bread that would be cooked in a cast iron pan over a low fire. Because it doesn’t contain milk or yeast, it is easy to make with pantry ingredients. I would imagine that there is a Girl Scout out there somewhere that will find this reminiscent of ‘campfire bread’. I have also read that this may have crossed over from Europe at some point in time and is sort of the basis for a scone.

The recipe that I used was very simple and sort of reminded me of a biscuit. I used unsalted butter, but you could use any shortening or even bacon grease. It comes together very quickly and I cooked it on my stove top in about 25 minutes.

pan-fried-bannock
Bannock cooked on stove top

If you are ever in need of a simple bread side, I would highly recommend giving this a try. It is tasty, easy and a perfect addition to a quick mid week meal. We enjoyed it with some spaghetti and meat sauce. A smear of butter on a broken off piece was just perfect.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next week in New Brunswick!

Bannock

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cups water

Directions

  1. Measure flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir to mix. Pour melted butter and water over flour mixture. Stir with fork to make a ball.
  2. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently about 10 times. Pat into a flat circle 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
  3. Cook in a greased frying pan over medium low heat, allowing about 12-15 minutes for each side. Use two lifters for easy turning.

 

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