It has been a while

It has been a while since I reported back on my kitchen odyssey – exploring various breads and my own Baking Bucket List. That’s mainly because it has been a considerable time since I tackled anything new. Today seemed like a good day, now that I have all my entries for the annual Show packed and ready for submission.

I was looking at the Baking classes for the Show and wondering if I might have time to whip something up.  It is not all that easy – some of the classes have the recipe specified and I don’t care for the recipes; I am not going to be incorporating margarine or semolina into any Bakewell Tart that I make, I can tell you! Some of the classes require ingredients that I do not have to hand. Other classes are for baked goods that I have had no experience of making. That seems like a good place to start.

We are having soup for lunch today; I’m making a broccoli and cheese soup and would normally bake bread rolls to go with it. Today I am going to make Bere Bannocks.

Bere is an ancient form of Barley, still grown in the Northern Isles. It is a six-row barley and is adapted for the shorter growing season up here – sometimes it is known as “90 Day Barley”.

A Bannock is a simple bread dough, baked on a griddle in a round. Formerly it was unleavened but modern bannocks use non-yeasted raising agents.

I have a couple of challenges in this foray into the Orcadian kitchen. The first is that I have yet to meet a Bere Bannock, or any form of Bannock in fact. They are a mystery to me. I have no notion of how they should look or taste. I should have paid more attention to this class at past Shows.

The second problem is that Googling is no help at all. Opinions vary as to the basics of the recipe and the proportion of Beremeal to Wheat flour. The wetting agent also varies but is commonly slightly acidic as the one thing that recipes appear to agree on is the raising agents: Bicarbonate of Soda and Cream of Tartar.  Cooking methods also vary from straight griddle baking to cooking under a grill or browning on the griddle pan first, then baking. One recipe that I found went all out for the oven bake. Lastly, there is the issue of size – some suggest a bannock that looks akin to an oatcake (not the Staffordhire kind) whilst others would have their bannocks resembling soda farls in size and thickness.

Oh, I recalled a third potential problem: I am not sure how old my Beremeal is or if it is still fit for use. I recall buying some with a plan to try bannocks, and it’s at the back of the cupboard somewhere…

OK. If the Beremeal is still in good condition, I am going to try a mix of 2:1 Beremeal to plain flour and I shall bake on my griddle pan. Mr L refuses to relinquish his last bottle of stout, so I am going to use yoghurt (let down with some skimmed milk as my yoghurt is very thick and creamy) for my wetting agent.

More later.

Recently, at the: Crooked House

Bare Naked

Bare Naked

We are home again, after a month-long trip away. A trip during which I completely failed to get my laptop out. It was good to come home. We were driving along, close to Le Dorat at the time, when I felt that “aren’t we fortunate to live in such a lovely part of France” feeling washing over me. I had a sudden urge to invite all my friends to come and stay and to shareContinue readingBare Naked

A Month in France: Nothing is Lost

A Month in France: Nothing is Lost

I am lagging on the Month in the Country prompts, and lagging badly at that. I have a list of prompts t be caught up on and I shall be working my way through them here, or at Scattered Thoughts depending on where the post most naturally sits. I have elected to tackle the prompts not in date order necessarily but to seize upon prompts that offer me space in which to write down the things that I am feeling the need to say. Even if I need to crowbar it in. The thing is, I am going to continue to be short of time and space in which to write and so a two-for-one is useful and I hope to do as many of those as I can. Seems like a plan? … Continue readingA Month in France: Nothing is Lost

Recent movements of the: Deux Escargots

October 18, 2020 at 01:22PM

On our way again. Not far to go and no check in until 2pm so a late and lazy start to our day. I have been watching eagles. Not sure what we are going to be doing for the next few days. We want to take Nell to a vet and the outcome of that… Continue reading October 18, 2020 at 01:22PM

October 16, 2020 at 01:23PM

#livereportingfromtheroad #france #autumn2020


  1. spinninggill
    July 29, 2014

    I decided to chuck out my Bere meal as it was dated 2013. 🙂

I enjoy reading your comments, please pass the time of day

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.