The Fife bannock is a traditional bread of Scotland. I like to think of it as Scottish soda bread. This is the perfect wee recipe for quick and easy bread that requires no yeast or rising time, contains basic pantry ingredients and kids can make it with you.
Scottish Soda Bread
Bread may well be the staff of life. But it was the humble bannock that fed the Scottish nation for a great many years.
Unlike bread, bannocks can be ‘baked’ on the hob as opposed to the oven. So even armies on the move could rustle up their ‘daily bread’ whilst on the move.
Bannocks are very similar in makeup to oatcakes. But they are much lighter and more like bread in texture. They are in fact a soda bread. Once tasted I’m quite sure bannocks will become part of your baking repertoire.
Easy no yeast bread
There is no yeast involved in making a Fife Bannock (or Scottish Soda Bread). Instead, good old Bicarbonate of Soda is used as your raising agent. You also do not need to leave this dough to rise. This Scottish soda bread packed with healthy oats is therefore a quick way to make bread.
Can you use plain flour to make soda bread?
I always make this simple Scottish soda bread using plain flour. However, if you want to use a mix of wholemeal flour or just use all wholemeal flour then that’s fine too.
I wouldn’t use bread flour for soda bread though.
Can you make soda bread in a pan on the hob?
You have a choice with this wee recipe. Either bake the soda bread in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes on a baking tray or bake on a griddle/girdle (aka a heavy-based frying pan) on the hob until browned on either side.
How long will it keep?
This Scottish soda bread/Fife Bannock will keep for a couple of days wrapped in baking parchment/cling film.
Will it freeze?
Yes. You can freeze your Scottish soda bread/Fife Bannock wrapped in baking parchment and cling film for up to three months.
This is another pantry staple recipe. Check out my 50 Homemade Pantry Staples for more great ideas on things you can easily be making at home.
This recipe is from my book Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes as the Fife Bannock.
Scottish Soda Bread aka Fife Bannock
- 165 g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 115 g medium oatmeal
- 1 tbsp butter
- buttermilk or natural yogurt as required
- preheat oven to 180C if using and grease a baking tray
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar into a large bowl
- Add the oatmeal and mix well and rub in the butter
- Add as much of the buttermilk or plain yogurt as you require to form a dough
- Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead briefly
- Pat it into a round shape and press down till it is about 1cm thick all over and make a deep cross to form quarters
- If baking place on prepared baking tray and into oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean
- If using the hob place your bannock either in a hot girdle/griddle or in a flying pan (or hotplate of Aga) and brown on underside the turn over and do the other side
- cool on a wire rack
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