Lazyman Skillet Bannock – Cooking at the Cabin

This simple skillet bannock is made for the lazy man (or woman). Stir it up like a pancake batter and in no time you can have a slab of warm, tender bannock to slather with butter.

easy skillet bannock

Summer has been busy.

We’ve had company from Germany (dear friends, and the time was too short). We’ve been to a family reunion (great new memories made), and I spent time with mom and sisters at the cabin (lovely relaxing, saunas, and wine).

Why is summer so short? Do you remember those hazy childhood days and that wonderful feeling on the first day of the summer holiday? The thought of two whole months of glorious sun-filled days seemed to stretch ahead of you forever with the promise of playing and projects and just lazy hanging-around. Every day was packed with new adventures that were larger than life and so earth-shatteringly important.

Well, every day is packed with new adventures now too, but somehow the days blend into one another in this ever-accelerating kaleidoscope of whizzing images.

And here we are now – summer is almost over.

We had a lovely day canoeing on the North Saskatchewan river with our German friends, plus some adventures getting stranded in Edmonton in a subway station to wait out a massive, flash-flooding thunder-and-lightening storm (that was the day drivers had to be rescued from their submerged cars with boats).

skillet bannock, and canoeing on the North Saskatchewan River

Our family reunion took place at my uncle’s lakehouse two hours out of Kamloops, BC. It was the first reunion on my mom’s side of the family and celebrated 60 years since the family arrived in Canada as German immigrants. It was absolutely wonderful to spend time with aunts and uncles and cousins I hadn’t seen more than briefly in many years – so heartwarming to reconnect and tell stories and make fantastic new memories. As the original immigrants told their stories of life in Germany and how they made it across the ocean to start their new lives in this new land, I was never prouder to belong to this amazing family.

skillet bannock, and family reunion cake

my cousin’s daughter, Tanis, is an amazing professional baker, and she baked this cake as well as all the fantastic breads and buns for the weekend

And then to the cabin at Francois Lake – one of my favourite places in the world. My dad built the cabin, and every corner of it is wrapped up in memories of him and of times spent there with our children when they were young.

skillet bannock and Francois Lake

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skillet bannock and morning coffee at Francois Lake

nothing better than morning coffee outside, watching the fish jump on the lake

skillet bannock and the fisherwoman's outhouse at Francois Lake

amenities are outdoors

 

. . . but the view while sitting on the 'throne' with the door open is of the lake and the sauna hut - no bathroom walls can top that

. . . but the view while sitting on the ‘throne’ with the door open is of the lake and the sauna hut – no bathroom walls can top that

skillet bannock, a gift of fresh rainbow trout

a gift of fresh rainbow trout from the neighbours

skillet bannock and the old tire swing

our kids put a lot of miles onto this tire when they were little

skillet bannock and shelling beans at Francois Lake

even chores becomes enjoyable here, Mom at Francois Lake shelling broad beans

skillet bannock, and lamb chops over the campfire

is the fire hot enough yet?

Francois Lake cabin, meals outside

one of our delicious campfire meals: minted lamb chop, campfire corn, purple & white potatoes, and sauteed beet greens with bacon

evening bonfire at Francois Lake, skillet bannock

big bonfire with the neighbours on a velvety evening

skillet bannock, and wildflowers at the cabin

the wildflowers welcomed us

We always make bannock when we’re at the cabin. It’s become part of our tradition. My sister, Nancy, teaches in an elementary school in Terrace, B.C. that is comprised largely of aboriginal students, and traditional aboriginal meals are big part of any of their social events, so she’s become our family’s reigning bannock queen. Whether we wrap thick green poplar sticks with bannock dough strips to roast over the fire, or shape it into patties to fry in a cast iron skillet – we love this dense but flaky type of campfire biscuit. In the drawer at the cabin there’s a bannock recipe book pamphlet, filled with all kinds of traditional bannock recipes from British Columbia’s First Nations tribes.

Nancy made us her normal bannock (learned from her school) which she mixes up without a recipe. She baked it in a skillet and we slathered big wedges of it with butter to eat to our meal. So flaky and and delicious.

a warm wedge of skillet bannock

a warm wedge of Lazyman’s Bannock – stirred up and cooked in a skillet

Once I got home, I tried one of the bannock recipes I’d copied out from the pamphlet – a lazyman’s version – which turned out beautifully even with gluten-free flour and was so quick and easy to whip up. Its texture is slightly different than regular bannock – this one is moister and softer, a bit more like a firm pancake, but still a fantastic vehicle for melting butter – and that’s the whole point, right? I know it’ll become a new favourite around here when I make a pot of homemade soup and need a quick biscuit to go with it.

greased pan ready for skillet bannock

greased frying pan ready for the skillet bannock batter

I’m all for anything labeled Lazy Man’s!

Skillet Bannock with butter and jam

it’s so good warm from the oven, slathered with butter and jam, too

I’m a bit of a bannock babe. I know I’ve got two other recipes already on this site, here for a traditional bannock and here for pan-fried bannock biscuits, but I just can’t get enough of this Canadian classic. And now that I’ve got this easy skillet recipe in my repertoire, I may become even more bannock bonkers!

um, lazyman skillet bannock

 * * * * *

Kitchen Frau Notes: This version of bannock is so easy to make – just rub the butter or lard into the dry ingredients, then stir it up like pancake batter. Of course, you can’t wrap the batter around a stick, but you can bake it in the oven or over a grate set over the glowing, hot, burned-down coals of your campfire. The baking time will vary depending on the heat of your fire. Skillet bannock is done when it springs back when you press a finger into the center of it, or if a straw inserted into the center comes out with only dry crumbs stuck to it.

As with any bannock, you can rub in the butter or lard and store the mixture in a sealed plastic bag or container to take along camping, then add the water or milk when you’re ready to mix it up.

I’ve only tried the gluten-free version of this recipe with my own gluten free flour mix, and it turns out light and fluffy every time. And of course, the version made with regular wheat flour turns out beautifully, and browns to a golden colour on top (unlike the gluten-free version, which doesn’t brown much).

a wedge of fluffy Lazyman Skillet Bannock

Lazyman Skillet Bannock

adapted from Thelma Blackstock’s recipe in Bannock Awareness  ‘Printed in Celebration of Aboriginal Awareness Day, June 21, 2006’ by British Columbia Forest Service

  • 2 cups (280gms) flour or 2¼ cups (315gms) gluten free flour mix
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter or lard
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk (or plant-based non-dairy milk)
  • 1 cup (240ml) water
  • additional butter or lard for greasing the pan

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

Grease a 10 inch (25cm) cast iron skillet liberally with butter or lard. (Or use an 8 or 9 inch square glass baking dish.)

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub in the butter or lard with your fingers until it is broken down into oatmeal-sized flakes.

Add the milk and water and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is completely moistened. The batter will still look slightly lumpy.

Pour the batter into the greased skillet or pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the center springs back when pressed with a finger.

*If cooking over a campfire, make sure the wood has burned down quite a bit  so there are hot coals, and set the skillet on a grate over the fire. The time it takes to cook will depend on the heat of your fire and the distance the skillet is from the coals.

Let cool slightly and cut into wedges or squares. Serve warm. Split each bannock biscuit horizontally and spread with butter as a side dish, or with butter and jam as a breakfast or snack.

Serves 8 to 9.

*Note: The photos in this post are of the gluten-free version. Goods made with gluten-free flour don’t generally brown as well when baked. They taste just as great, though. I’ve made a batch with regular flour, too, and it does turn more golden when baked.

Guten Appetit!

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You might also like:

Homemade Gluten Free Pancake Mix 

Easy Biscuits

Bannock

Bannock Biscuits

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Other Posts about the Francois Lake Cabin

Naure’s Gifts: Fresh Trout, Morels and a side of Bannock

Rich Creamy Succotash – a Fava Bean and Corn Delight (and a trip to the lake)

End of Summer at the Cabin, and Finally – Bannock Biscuits

Campfire Baked Potatoes and a Glorious Lazy Week at the Cabin

Juniper Berry & Raisin Stuffed Pork Chops over the Campfire

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9 Responses to Lazyman Skillet Bannock – Cooking at the Cabin

  1. Vivian says:

    Oh my, Margaret. To my eye this bannock recipe looks rather anaemic. I much prefer something a bit golden in spots. It looks crumbly and weak. Sorry, but…. feedback is good, no? I will read other comments from folks who have tried it….I could be quite wrong.

    Happy that you have had an eventful summer reconnecting with family and that your blog absence wasn’t due to anything bad. I look forward to many more exciting posts.

    • Peggy says:

      Margaret, looks like you people have had another great summer at the lake. We always enjoyed our visits with your parents and families there too.
      Great times and memories. We really miss your Dad – every day. Keep those recipes coming. I need all the help I can get. Thank you for the lovely pictures.

      • Margaret says:

        Hello Peggy! So great to hear from you, and yes we did have a lovely time at the lake! (Remembering back also to some great nights of cards and visiting with you guys.) Hope we can do it again, soon. Hope you’re having a wonderful summer and are well. Hugs to you. XO

    • Margaret says:

      Hi Vivian, I think this is a case of the book’s cover not being as good as its contents. I’m sure you’ve experienced, too, that gluten free baking never seems to brown as nicely as regular, especially when there’s no sugar in the dough. I’m really pleased with the texture and taste of this bannock. It’s not crumbly at all, but quite moist and fluffy – different from regular bannock, but same great flavour and still a wonderful vehicle for melting butter.

  2. Deborah Ross says:

    Your delightful post brought back so many of my own fond memories of summers at our family “camp” in New Brunswick , including outhouse…although the pocupines kept eating the seats and you haven’t lived until you’ve tried to balance your rump on the thin edge of plywood. The bannock we cooked on sticks over the fire and as biscuits in the ancient cast iron pan for me, was ALWAYS about the butter, the bannock was just a vehicle to hold it and the molasses, so good! Love butter, and so do my hips, alas, I will never be skinny again and frankly I don’t care; I mean BUTTER, ’nuff said, lol.
    Your photos were beautiful and it looked liked you had a wonderful relaxing summer, spent with family and friends and that really is the best of life isn’t it? I can’t wait to try your “laid back bannock.” I can almost taste it now, yum!

    • Margaret says:

      We are so lucky, aren’t we, to have those cabin/camp memories and adventures? Though luckily, the porcupines haven’t found our outhouse amenities yet – just the spiders and mice 🙂 .

      And you’re right – it IS always about the butter . . . and the toppings. Have never eaten our bannock with molasses – gotta try that, sounds wonderful. I’ve given up on my hips getting skinny again, too. Butter wins out!

      Hope you have a wonderful summer, and make some great memories with the last little bit of it, too!

  3. Vivian says:

    Okay Margaret, as others have pointed out…”BUTTER RULES”! I’ll give it a go. Thanks for your time and effort in experimenting and reporting back to us. I still have not been able to come up with a GF bannock dough that will “behave” on a stick over the fire!

  4. Rosalinda says:

    Dearest big sis….I was eagerly awaiting this post to cement in my mind the memories of our time together. I honestly didn’t think the bannock was going to happen since this is the first time we’ve been there without any kids – all grown up and entering a new phase in our lives!! Let’s face it, I figured a lot of what we made happen there was for them. I was pleasantly surprised that after the first bit of getting used to the quiet, we managed to find our own groove of pure pleasure and relaxation, not to mention great uninterrupted conversation and as usual, amazing food. And the bannock was perfect with your delightful leftover soup to send us on our way home with warm, full bellies. Thanks again for taking over the kitchen and letting me revert back to being the little sister who often managed to get out of kitchen duty! Can’t wait until next year!!

    • Margaret says:

      Thanks so much, Ros. I just loved our time at the cabin together. It was a wonderful rejuvenation of the soul. That place is so filled with special memories, and it’s so great that we can keep on making more. Yes, I did miss the kids, too (kind of) but it was so much fun to play big kids there by ourselves (we’re still really all kids at heart anyways, aren’t we?) Thank YOU for being the one to get up early and get the sauna fire stoked every morning and keeping it going all the time so we could sauna whenever we wanted to. You are the Keeper of the Flame! And thanks for leading us in those amazing hot yoga sessions – that was one of the best things (and definitely helped balance out those extra glasses of wine 🙂 ) Hugs to you.

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