|with daughter in Forres, Scotland|
My great-great-great-great grandfather, James, came to the States from Ireland, with his Scottish wife Catherine, in the 1770s. After some 240 years, of course, the Scotch-Irish blood in my veins is pretty well diluted by infusions of English, German, and who knows what. Nevertheless, I feel some pull (probably purely imaginary) of the old sod on occasion. I have only been able to visit a few times, but I can also connect through food. I've written before about discovering the yumminess of freshly made shortbread during our visit to Holyroodhouse. Another tasty treat with Scottish roots is bannock, an easy quick bread.
My recipe varies from a truly traditional Scottish bannock, or oatcake, in that it contains wheat flour in addition to oats. This recipe is not original to me, but I have had it for many years and have no idea where I got it. I wish I could claim that it had passed down in my family since my ancestor came over in the eighteenth century, but that simply isn't true.
1 1/4 cup flour
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (quick cooking also works)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter. Add buttermilk; mix lightly with fork until dough clings together.
Turn out on lightly floured board and knead gently several times. Pat out to make two 6-inch rounds. Cut each round into 6 or 8 wedges.
Coat griddle or frying pan with vegetable oil or shortening. Cook over low heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn over and cook the other side until golden and the inside no longer appears moist.
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