Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Ah'm makkin bannocks

A grim day outside

One of my earliest memories is of being at the playgroup at the community hall and sitting at a table just below the stage playing with playdough (not Play-Doh, just salt dough) with some of my friends. I was about three or four, and my friend Allan was rolling out the playdough when he announced in a deep and serious voice 'Ah'm makkin bannocks'. I don't know why it stuck in my head, but it did. Maybe it was just because he sounded so earnest.  Allan is now an accountant but in my head he's still the little boy who was makkin bannocks.

Anyway, since Up Helly Aa I've been meaning to have another go at bannocks, as my last couple of tries were a bit hit and miss. As it was a grim, wet, windy, wild day today I thought a bit of baking might cheer things up a bit or at least stop me staring out the windows. I googled and found a Youtube video, Makkin Shetland Bannocks, in which Mina Flaws demonstrates how to make bannocks, obviously.  It helps a great deal seeing someone making them and technique seems to make a difference as today's batch turned out a lot better than the last lot!

The ingredients are given in imperial measures in the video and I'm a metric cook. I thought my kitchen scales had a way of switching to imperial but I couldn't find it - I'm sure it's blindingly obvious and I'll figure it out sometime next week but for today I was googling again.

A lot of it is done by experience really. The first four were slightly singed as I had the heat a little high, but you don't want it too low either or it'll be raw in the middle (I'm hearing Paul Hollywood saying that in my head).

But overall they looked pretty good. Actually I was really chuffed with how they turned out and they tasted not bad at all! Going, as ever, for the multicultural experience I had bannocks instead of naan bread with my sweet potato and chana dal curry and it worked brilliantly. Mmmmm..

Food photography's a bit weird isn't it? I very rarely try it because everything turns out yellowy orange. Fortunately this is a yellowy-orange curry so that's okay. Or so I tell myself.

In non-baking news I'm going on with knitting my cowl, having fixed the bit which had inadvertently stopped being moss-stitch for half a (lengthy) round and turned into rib instead. That was a lot of un-knitting. I might even be finished by the time spring kicks in!

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