Bringing the Early Iron Age to Life

Bannocks of Barley


Experimented with making bannocks again this morning. This time, using only barley flour. The bannocks were (as Bryian described them), very neutral in flavor, but they brightened (enhanced) the flavors of the food around them. Served with eggs (over easy) and with clover honey. They were crispy but dense, which he liked very much. I may have made them a little on the thin side, since after they were fully cooked, the bannock only averaged 1/4″. But, they were cooked fully (my own personal estimation). My next edible (hopefully) experiment willl be to make the bannocks only from oat flour.

The reason I am experimenting with the bannocks, is due to them being referenced in Plants & People in Ancient Scotland as there was evidence of their making in the Late Iron Age context during the dig at Howe, Orkney. It was stated that there was no evidence of bread making (think, leavened bread made with a bread-type wheat and yeast) during the Late Iron Age. My guess is that the author(s) of the book did not/do not consider bannocks to be a “true” bread.

One Response to Bannocks of Barley

  • Re: “true bread” – I used this term because the authors of _Plants & People of Ancient Scotland_ felt that bread making did not exist until much later periods. I interpreted this to mean that there was no evidence of leavened bread, or bread ovens like we see in later in the Norse period and beyond. (Leavened bread: bread made using wheat flour and yeast.)

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