Oat Bannocks

Oat Bannocks
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Aye, it’s a bannock!

For lunch, we were busily making up another batch of Caldo Verde, and we wanted some sort of quick and easy bread to have on the side. Well, Pasteur said that “fortune favors the prepared mind,” and, in this case, we’d unexpectedly prepared by downloading an e-book just a few days prior: Home baked bread: Recipes beyond the basic Loaf, by Jason Daly. It contained a whole variety of breads from around the world.

So, it was a simple enough task to look through and find a nice simple quick bread to try. We settled on these Oat Bannocks because they seemed the easiest. Besides, we’ve never had a bannock before, so we thought it was high time we at least tried them.

Oat Bannocks

Yield: Two 5-inch cakes

Oat Bannocks


  • 1 1/2 cups (125 g) old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 3-5 Tbs hot water
  • Shortening (for greasing)

Abbreviated Instructions

Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat. Grease lightly.

Mix dry ingredients. Add butter and work into oats. Add enough water to work the oats into a sticky dough.

Divide the dough in two, and form each piece into a thin patty, about 1/4 of an inch thick. Fry for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve immediately.


Ingredient discussion:

The original recipe called for just a pinch of salt, but that left these bannocks quite bland; we upped the salt to 1/2 tsp, which we think is better. Of course, it might be that the recipe called for salted butter, which we never have, so we specify unsalted.

Procedure in detail:

Preheat skillet. These go together in just a few minutes, so you might as well start preheating the skillet or griddle while you make the dough. Place a heavy skillet over medium heat and coat it with a small amount of shortening.

dry ingredients
Your hands will get a wee bit messy making bannocks; might as well start now by mixing in the salt and baking soda with your fingers.

Mix dry ingredients. Measure the oats, baking soda, and salt into a small mixing bowl, and give it a couple of good swishings with your fingers. You’ll use your hands and fingers for most of this recipe, so you might as well start now.

add butter
Use your fingers to grind in the butter until you no longer feel butter lumps.

Add butter. Use you fingers to work the butter into the oats, breaking apart oat pieces willy-nilly. Keep working the butter in until it’s evenly distributed and you don’t feel any butter lumps.

adding water
Add enough hot water to make a dough. It’ll be sticky, but the only way to tell is to get your hands right into the mix.

Add hot water. While working the oats, pour in enough hot water to form a sticky dough that holds together. (A tip: we heated about 1/2 cup of water in the microwave for 60 seconds.)

Form patties. Divide the dough into two pieces, and, using your hands, shape each piece of dough into a disk about five inches across and 1/4 of an inch thick.

frying a bannock
Fry on a lightly greased surface for about 3 minutes on a side, or long enough to brown the bannock in spots.

Griddle. Place the disks on the hot skillet and fry/cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until browned in spots.

Serve. These are so quick that there’s no point in having them stand around, so serve immediately.

First off, these are somewhat bland, but, really, what do you expect for mainly oats and a bit of salt? A high-rising, crusty, artisan loaf? Of course not. You expected something that would be quick, go well with a soup or stew, and taste good. And these bannocks pretty much do that. We liked them because they were so easy, and they were pretty tasty in a hearty, rustic sort of way. Plus, they went well with soup (we think these would be a great accompaniment to potato soup), so we’ll give them 3 stars.

Worth the trouble?

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