bannock for breakfast

Normally I meet a couple of my buds at Panera for breakfast on Friday. We devour Cinnamon Crunch bagels and solve world problems while swilling copious amounts of coffee. Yesterday we decided to meet at my place for fresh, hot bannock and cowboy coffee. Both of the guys are city boys and didn’t have a clue about either of these things.

When the lads arrived we repaired to the backyard and fired up some charcoal for the grill. While it was burning down to hot coals I mixed up my dough.

Bannock is any variety of round flat breads, but is pretty much recognized as a staple for campers and bushcrafters. I made mine using flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, eggs, water and some shortening. I added cinnamon, raisins and chopped pecans to my mix.

When the sticky dough was ready, I pressed it into a well seasoned 12″ cast iron skillet and dropped it on the grill. I placed the coals at one end of the firebox and the skillet at the other end so it wouldn’t be over the direct heat. I filled my billy pot with cold water and added a heaping handful of coffee. Since these boys are pretty persnickety about their java, I graciously used a Starbuck’s grind.

First question was, “Where’s the coffee filter?” Followed quickly by, “Are you nuts or what?”

While the goods were busy getting good, I introduced the city slickers to the soothing art of making little tiny slivers out of large sticks. They seemed to be making progress with country boy meditation, but they balked at the offer of a chew of Red Man. Seems that their willingness to get back to their roots only goes so far.

When the bannock was toasty and the coffee was boiling it was time for the test. I flicked some cold water into the billy to settle the grounds and poured everyone a cup. The smell of the fresh bread was tantalizing. I went inside to get my camera to get a pic of my masterpiece and disaster struck.

When I came back out, these chow hounds had started breaking off hunks of my bread. I made ‘em put most of it back so I could get my photo, but you can tell that I was too late to get the shot of the fresh baked round.

We served the bread with some black molasses and sat back down and proceeded to make the world a better place. One passing observation from Bob was, “I always thought those were Copenhagen specks on your teeth. Now I know they’re coffee grounds.” What a guy! Tact, diplomacy and wisdom in one rotund package.


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