Meet Yanik. He is quickly becoming the Cannery’s resident bannock maker. You may have been fortunate to taste his frybread at the opening of the Salmon People exhibit. But if you missed him, he will be serving up bannock for the members’ potluck this June 25th. So if you are not a member, please consider joining, because the bannock is worth it!
In honour of National Aboriginal Day, bannock is the feature recipe for the day. Bannock, also known as frybread, is a type of flat bead that is made by First Nations groups across North America. The way it is made differs from region to region, and group to group depending upon supplies, resources, and traditions. Some prepare it on a stick and roast it over a fire, others fry it in oil, and many heat it in a pan. It is commonly served at gatherings, but can also be a good food resource while travelling.
Yanik learned how to make bannock from his father, who is Cree from Waskaganish. They would often make it on their portage trips as a good source for long-lasting sustenance. The James Bay Cree would most commonly prepare their bannock in a pan, but Yanik has recently learned how to make frybread using oil – which is more commonly West Coast.
Here is the recipe he uses: Fried Bread (I Call It Bannock)
- 1 cup organic flour
- 1 tbsp organic sugar
- 1 tsp organic baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold water
- oil, for deep-frying
- Mix all ingredients together and cover and let sit AT LEAST 1 hour if not longer, the longer is sits the fluffier it will be. When you mix it together there might be a little flour left and slightly sticky that is okay. This is the type of fried bread you will be picking up to shape.
- After it sits, heat up some oil for deep-fat frying, I use a deep-fryer at home too. You can use a skillet filled with about 1 inch of oil. Heat until 375 F, or a small piece bubbles and browns in a couple of minutes. When ready to fry, oil your hands and counter top. Divide dough into 3-4 pieces, When you cup your hands together like you are holding something you don’t want to get away that is the amount of dough you want. Then pat it out to just a little bigger then your whole hand and put into the oil. Fry on one side until nice and golden brown, it can be a couple of minutes to 5 minutes depending on what you are using, a frying pan will take less time and a deep fryer will take longer but is more safe way of frying. When golden using tongs flip over and fry on the other side until nice and golden.
- Take out and drain on paper towel, and eat with butter and jam, serve as a side bread, or top with chili, cheese, lettuce and tomato for Indian Tacos.
- I use oil to shape because it helps the dough not to stick to your hands and it keeps your oil cleaner because you won’t have flour coming off the fried bread and falling to the bottom. At home I usually make it to serve with chili or soup, and the rare occasions we eat it for breakfast.