A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chocolate Bannock

A few weeks ago our neighbours Wendy and Wally were in town, and they had us over for an excellent meal. One of the highlights the bannock they made by putting the dough into a frying pan and settling it into some coals for a while. I've not had bannock before (theirs was delicious), and some Googling found me several recipes, but theirs was the easiest - 2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 2 cups of water, in coals for 19 minutes. (I remember a Sesame Street segment about bannock, where they cooked the dough draped over a stick over the fire - I can't find it on YouTube though.)

It's burning in season in the Cariboo - when it's wet and cold enough to minimize the risk of the fire going out of control. This is why Wendy and Wally had a pile of embers in their yard, and also why we've had two opportunities to make the bannock since.

Our last version mutated into a dessert because the embers weren't ready by dinner time. Here's our recipe for Chocolate Bannock:
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Mix the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips

  2. add the water slowly, mixing it until you can knead it without it sticking (a flour-dusted countertop helps for this)
  3. flatten the dough out - it should be quite a bit larger than your smaller pan
  4. sprinkle the chips out over the centre
  5. fold the edges back toward the middle, hiding the chips - we worked it at this stae so no seams appeared - don't worry if a chip pops it's head through the dough, itll be okay
  6. dust and/or grease the smaller cast iron pan (we dusted) and lay the dough in it

  7. carry the two pans out to the fire, which at should now be a big pile of embers into which you've raked a flat bowl to fit the pan

  8. place the small pan in the embers, then lay the larger pan upside down over top to keep the embers out (note: the camera flash strips the photo of the redness of the embers)

  9. rake the embers over the pans, and start the clock - 19 minutes exactly (now how many recipes have you read that include a step using a rake?)
  10. when the time is up, use a rake to pull the pans out gently (to avoid getting embers in the pan), then carefully get the bannock out onto a dish

  11. cut up the bannock and serve (optionally, with ice cream)!


  1. I can visualize the Sesame Street episode you are talking about.... I will let you know if I find it anywhere on the internet.
    Love your blog. I wish my family had the same opportunity to do what you have done.
    Rebecca :)

  2. I remember that segment too! In fact, that's how I found this blog, by searching for that clip. Boy, how simpler life was back then, I sure miss it!

  3. I was just reminiscing about the very same segment =)

  4. Can anyone find me that episode.
    The kid cooking bannock on the stick is my boss. Would love to show him...

  5. Hi made your chocolate Bannock, just wondering if there might be a mistake. Is it actually 2 tbsp of baking soda or should that be baking powder. The taste was way off, couldn't eat it.

    1. Definitely Baking Powder, not Baking Soda. Just made some Chocolate Bannock, (pan fried, not baked), and it was fantastic! And again, definitely Baking Powder.