American Bannocks

Old American Bannock Recipes:

  From: The American Frugal Housewife, 1833 edition:

  Indian cake, or bannock, is sweet and cheap food. One quart of sifted meal, two great spoonfuls of molasses, two teaspoonfuls of salt, a bit of shortening half as big as hen’s egg, stirred together; make it pretty moist with scalding water, put it in a well-greased pan, smooth over the surface with a spoon, and bake it brown on both sides, before a quick fire. A little stewed pumpkin, scalded with the meal, improves the cake. Bannock split and dipped in butter makes a very nice toast.*(1)

  From: The Kentucky Housewife, 1839 edition

  Sift a quart of fine Indian meal, mix it with a salt-spoonful of salt, two large spoonfuls of butter and a gill of molasses; make it into a common dough with scalding water, or hot sweet milk, mixing it well with a spoon; put it in a well-buttered skillet, make it smooth, and bake it rather briskly. When it is done, cut it in thin smooth slices, toast them lightly, butter them, stack them, and eat them warm.*(2)

To make this recipe, you need to know that a salt-spoon was about the size of a modern half-teaspoon, and that a gill is four fluid ounces.*(3)

The “skillet” refers was a deep lidded skillet, made from cast iron and similar to modern-day dutch ovens.*(4)

*1) Mrs. Child, The American Frugal Housewife (Boston: Carter, Hendee & Co., 1833), p. 75.
*2) Kentucky Housewife, (1839) p. 313.
*3) Mary Randolph, The Virginia House-wife (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1984; originally published 1824) p. 298.