The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Grandma's biscuit pone bread

raineyrainyone's picture
raineyrainyone

Grandma's biscuit pone bread

Hi, from Charleston, WV!  I do most of the cooking at home, nothing to brag about, and that includes some baking.  I've lately been trying to recreate the breakfast bread my Grandma Owens used to make.  It was moderately heavy with a shiny, thick, leathery crust--basically a sort of biscuit dough made with watered down canned milk and bacon drippings for the fat.  She'd turn it out onto a pan or cast iron skillet and bake it in one large loaf...as I think of it, it didn't rise much, looked kind of like a calzone in appearance but filled with bread.  Anybody out there able to help?

EvaB's picture
EvaB

or bannock as the case may be, it was prounounced with the a sound in my house, its simply flour and water and baking powder and cooked on top the stove in a skillet, no shortening or milk although you could add it if you had it. Its basically biscuit without the rolling or baking in an oven, and with the absolute minimum of ingredients. This can be mixed in the field (IE: out in the big bad outdoors when you are on an army campain in the early years) and cooked on a stick over a campfire, or on a griddle if you had one etc. Its generally a bit faster than making biscuits (hence the prevalence of it in my family, the less fuss the better) no rolling no cutting, and no panning to bake, and if your oven doesn't work it cooks just fine in a skillet or on a griddle on the stove top. The really major problem is getting it turned over to brown on the second side without breaking up. I've eaten it roasted over a fire, cooked on a campfire in a skillet, cooked on the stovetop in a skillet, on a griddle, and cooked over a pressure stove in the camp ground. Tastes like biscuit, the bacon grease and milk might make it taste a bit better.

raineyrainyone's picture
raineyrainyone

THANKS!  Bannak isn't what Grandma used to make but it's wonderful!  Had some for lunch today with a salad--added a bit of cheese and some basil, garlic powder and red pepper relish---awesome.  This--if I'd left out the cheese--would be a wonderful bread for a heart patient.  (I've had quadruple bypass and you can't IMAGINE how cranky doctors get about diet!)  So thanks a million times for the bannak recipie.  I'm sure I'll be sharing it with a lot of folks here in Charleston!

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

Mom used to do the same thing in the oven, just make it a bit thinner, and spread it out in the pan, no cutting no worry no fuss, then she'd just cut off a chunk and split it for whatever you wanted, jam, honey or sandwich. Ate a whole lot of it when I was growing up.

Simple quick and tasty. Its a bit different when you cook it different ways, but its great for a hike, you mix the whole thing up in a bag, then add water when you've got coals in the fire pit, roast it on a stick (had to be quite thick and a bit sticky to hold well on the stick) and you have bread, lot easier than sandwiches which always wind up crushed in my pack, can take bacon and wind around the stick and have bacon sandwiches with little fuss, YUM! Right now we have a foot or better of snow so no bannock outside today!

raineyrainyone's picture
raineyrainyone

You know, I've had a quadruple bypass and can't help thinking this would be GREAT bread for heart patients--being virtually fat free and low in sodium.  And I expect you could dress it up a bit with pepper relish and such...maybe sesame seeds....

We had it tonight with spaghetti for supper.  My wife's quite taken with it.

raineyrainyone's picture
raineyrainyone

My wife--who I first met 12 years ago this evening and who TRULY has been God's greatest blessing in my life--checked Wikipedia for information on bannak last night and tells me that it's Scotch in origin and apparently, when cut into wedges was called scones...so maybe it's an ancestor to what we call scones today?

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

is that my mother whose mother and grandmother were from Missouri, called corn bread (skillet made) pone, they never refered to wheat flour as a pone whether biscuit or bannock mix, only corn bread was pone. So maybe she made the pone mix with some cornmeal like my mother made her corn bread, mostly corn meal with some wheat flour to make it stick without crumbling. And of course bacon grease in the mix for the shortening. Never anything else.

I do know that I didn't like corn bread after about 8 years old, but can remember my mother complaining about the coarseness of the corn meal about that time, I didn't like scratchy things in my mouth, she also scalded the corn meal first with boiling water before mixing the pone, and she stopped doing that and the corn bread was much more scratchy, so I basically quit eating it!