Cask & Barrel

Bannock Bread

Nov
20

Bannock is a traditional Canadian bread that I was introduced to camping in Algonquin Park as a child. It requires no egg or dairy, so the dry mix can easily be carried in your pack with a small portion of oil to make fresh bread at the campsite. It may have originated from a Scottish recipe introduced by early settlers, but it was quickly adopted by many First Nation communities and has become a part of true Canadiana. I’ve used rendered duck fat and added fresh thyme, but any oil or fat can be substituted. Olive oil and fresh rosemary, or butter and sage would make a delicious alternative. The easiest method is to bake the bannock in an oven, but the dough can also be pan fried in oil or baked in a skillet to create a pull-apart bread. For Wassail at Trail Estate Winery, the raw dough was wrapped around sticks and roasted over an open fire – the ultimate bannock experience!

Bannock with Duck Fat and Fresh Thyme

Yields 15 pieces

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ cup duck fat
  • 1 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add thyme, duck fat, and water. Stir until a dough forms. 
  4. Remove dough and knead until smooth. Add a small amount of water if too dry.
  5. Portion dough into about 15 balls, 2″ in size. Pat dough flat in the palms of your hands to form a disc. Use your thumb to create a hole in the centre of the disc.
  6. Place on baking sheet and baking for about 20 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown and the bannock is cooked through.

Doughnuts

May
26

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 4 1/2 cups
Baking powder, 4 1/2 teaspoons
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon
Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon
Shortening, 2 tablespoons
Sugar, 1 cup
Eggs, 2 or egg yolks, 4
Milk, 1 cup

Sift the flour; measure; add the baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon; sift again.

Cream shortening; add sugar gradually; continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs or egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add milk and flour mixture alternately, stirring until blended. Chill 1/2 hour.

Roll out on lightly floured board about 1/4 inch thick; cut with floured doughnut cutter and let stand uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.

Drop into deep fat (365 to 375 F.) and fry 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning the doughnuts as they rise to the surface; drain on absorbent paper. Fry only a few doughnuts at a time.

Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if desired, or shake in a paper bag containing confectioners’ or powdered sugar. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen doughnuts.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Waffles

May
19

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 2 cups
Baking powder, 3 teaspoons
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Sugar, 2 tablespoons
Eggs, 2
Milk, 1 1/2 cups
Shortening, melted, or salad oil, 6 tablespoons

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, salt and sugar; sift again.

Beat egg yolks; add milk and melted shortening; pour into flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites which have been beaten until stiff but not dry.

Bake 4 to 5 minutes in a moderately hot waffle baker.

Serve hot with melted butter and sirup, honey or any other desired accompaniment.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Pancakes

May
12

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder, 2 1/2 teaspoons
Salt, 3/4 teaspoon
Sugar, 3 tablespoons
Egg, well beaten, 1
Milk, about 1 1/4 cups
Shortening, melted, 3 tablespoons

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, salt and sugar; sift again.

Combine egg, milk and melted shortening (slightly cooled); the amount of milk to use will depend upon thickness of pancakes desired; 3/4 cup milk will give thick cakes, 1 1/4 cups milk will make them quite thin. Pour into flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Do not beat.

Bake on a hot griddle. Serve hot with butter and sirup, honey or sweet preserves. Makes 1 to 1 1/2 dozen cakes.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Yorkshire Pudding

May
05

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Yorkshire pudding is used as an accompaniment for roast beef. The meat should be removed from the oven before the pudding is baked since the latter requires a much higher baking temperature; or use another oven.

All-purpose flour, 1 cup
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Eggs, 2
Milk, 1 cup
Drippings from the roast beef, 4 tablespoons

Sift flour; measure; add salt and sift again.

Beat eggs with a rotary beater until light and thick. Add flour and 1/3 cup of the milk; continue to beat slowly until all the flour is moistened — about 30 seconds.

Gradually add remaining milk, beating until the mixture is free from lumps — 1 to 2 minutes.

Put drippings into a pan (7 1/2 by 12 by 2 inches). Pour in the batter and bake in a hot oven (425 F.) 40 to 45 minutes. Serves at once. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Popovers: Add 1 tablespoon of melted shortening with the final addition of milk. Fill greased custard cups or iron muffin pans a little less than half full. Bake in a hot oven (425 F.) about 40 minutes. Serve at once. Makes 6 to 8 large popovers.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Quick Coffee Cake

Apr
28

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder, 2 teaspoons
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Shortening, 3 tablespoons
Sugar, 1/3 cup
Egg, 1
Milk, 2/3 cup

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder and salt; sift again.

Cream shortening; add sugar gradually; continue beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well; add milk. Add sifted flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Do not beat.

Turn into a greased square pan (8 by 8 by 2 inches) and bake in a hot oven ( 425 F.) 25 minutes. (If Streusel or crunchy topping is going to be used on this, first read directions given below.)

Cut into squares; serve as a hot bread, with butter, or as a simple cake.

Streusel Topping: Cream together 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy; add 3/4 cup dry bread or cake crumbs and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; mix to consistency of coarse crumbs and sprinkle over batter before baking.

Crunchy Topping: Combine 1/4 cup melted butter with 2/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring; fold in 1 1/2 cups corn flakes. Spread over cake batter before baking.

Nut Topping: Spread the baked cake while still warm with confectioners’ frosting; sprinkle with 1/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Hush Puppies

Apr
21

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Cornmeal, regular or stone ground, 1 cup
Flour, enriched all-purpose, 1/2 cup
Baking powder, 1 teaspoon
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Salad oil, bacon fat or melted shortening, 2 tablespoons
Egg, beaten, 1
Water, 1/2 cup
Salad oil or fat for frying, 2 tablespoons

Measure cornmeal and flour; add baking powder and salt and sift into mixing bowl. Add salad oil, bacon fat or melted shortening, egg and water.

Meanwhile heat fat for frying in skillet over moderate heat. Drop in the thick batter by spoonfuls from side of spoon to make an oblong patty. Cook to a crisp golden brown, turn; press down with spatula to flatten slightly and brown.

Drain on absorbent paper. Makes 12 hush puppies about 3 1/2 inches long.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Corn Bread

Apr
14

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 1 cup
Baking powder, 3 1/2 teaspoons
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Sugar, 3 tablespoons
Corn meal, yellow, 1 cup
Egg, slightly beaten, 1
Milk, 1 cup
Shortening, melted, 1/4 cup

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, salt and sugar; sift again and add corn meal; mix thoroughly.

Combine egg, milk and melted shortening (slightly cooled); pour into flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Do not beat.

Turn into a greased square pan (8 by 8 by 2 inches) and bake in a hot oven (425 F.) about 40 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve hot.

Bacon Breakfast Bread: Add 1/2 cup crisp coarsely chopped cooked bacon to sifted flour mixture.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Banana Bread

Apr
07

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 1 3/4 cups
Baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons
Baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, 3/4 teaspoon
Shortening, 1/3 cup
Sugar, 2/3 cup
Eggs, slightly beaten, 2
Bananas, mashed, 1 cup (2 to 3 bananas)

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, soda and salt; sift again.

Cream shortening; add sugar gradually; continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix until smooth.

Add dry ingredients alternately with the mashed banana, stirring just enough to combine thoroughly. Do not beat.

Turn into a greased loaf pan (about 9 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches) and bake in a moderate oven (350 F.) about 1 hour.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Plain Muffins

Mar
31

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 2 cups
Baking powder, 3 teaspoons
Salt, 3/4 teaspoon
Sugar, 2 tablespoons
Egg, slightly beaten, 1
Milk, 1 cup
Shortening, melted, 2 to 4 tablespoons

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, salt and sugar; sift again.

Combine egg, milk and melted shortening (slightly cooled); pour into flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Do not beat.

Fill greased muffin pans 2/3 full and bake in a hot oven (400 F.) 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 to 15 medium-sized muffins.

Cake Method (One-Bowl Method): For a finer-grained cakelike texture in muffins use unmelted shortening; cream the shortening, add sugar gradually; continue beating until light and fluffy. Add unbeaten egg and beat well; stir in milk. Add flour which has been sifted with baking powder and salt; proceed as directed above.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.