The winter camper keen on survival is keen on gear: sleeping bag, long johns, wool socks, pocketknife, flashlight, fleece, parka, warm gloves, big boots. Also bannock, which is bread mix. Add water, stir with a stick, and the camper is prepared to produce any type of bread — pancake to pate en croute.
Bannock can be pressed into pizza, pita, biscuit, bun, fritter, fruitcake, potpie or boule. Wrapped around a twig and propped over the flames, the sticky dough chars into curly quick bread. Bannock can probably pitch a tent, light a fire and scare off wolves.
If you've never heard of the rustic staple, it likely is because a) you don't camp, or b) you're vague on Canada. Bannock is strictly a north-of-the-border phenom. Bannock traces its roots to scone-toting Scottish explorers, who inspired fry-bread-crisping locals, yielding the low, gritty cake with the can-do attitude.
It's also easy, crisping up over the fire — or, for the armchair camper, the stovetop — making quick work of both scone and winter survival.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
1 cup flour
1 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon fine salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up
¾ cup buttermilk (or substitute 10 tablespoons milk mixed with 2 tablespoons plain yogurt)
Mild oil (such as canola) and unsalted butter, for crisping
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Home on the range