Word of Mouth: Bannock

Bannock, noun: A flat bread, popular in Canada and the northern United States, often made of oatmeal, barley flour or corn meal.

We're all about cooking and eating outdoors this month, so we perked up when we saw this rustic bread being prepared on an episode of Bobby Flay's Grill It! It was, of course, baked right on the grill.

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According to the British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range, Bannock was a staple in the diets of nearly all of North America's first peoples. The European version was invented by the Scots and is made with oatmeal, while Aboriginal people prepared bannock with corn and nut meal, and flour made from ground plant bulbs.

Originally rolled in sand and cooked in a pit, or wrapped around a stick and toasted over an open flame, Bannock today is more commonly grilled, deep-fried, pan-fried or oven baked.

On Grill It!, Ontario's Rugged Dude Carson, a hunting and fishing enthusiast, said bannock is popular with campers because the dry ingredients (he used just flour, baking powder and salt) can be easily carried and mixed with water to form a quick dough. He added lots of fresh blueberries to his dough, brushed it with canola oil and put it directly on the grill. The finished bread looked crispy on the outside with lots of nice grill marks, but soft on the inside, flecked with juicy blueberries.

Have you ever made bannock?

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Related: Recipe: Grilled Potato, Gorgonzola and Prosciutto Pizza

(Images: Flickr user Dano, licensed under Creative Commons, British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range)