Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Basil infused Bannocks with Broccoli and Pesto Soup

Hooray, I finally have something to blog! My beloved DSLR camera is safely back home this morning and I thought it deserved some long overdue usage! I have just realised how many B's there are in the post title, is a bit of a tongue twister!

A few weeks back I was flicking through my copy of Bread, part of the River Cottage Handbook series and whilst being tempted pretty much by every recipe, Bannocks in particular caught my eye...

I had previously never heard of a Bannock, and a quick googling tells me they seem a Northernly thing… a type of quick bread that’s made from grains.. more handily it was made using oatmeal, and as I’ve been on a mission to use up all the odds and ends gathering dust in the bottom of the draw it meant I could give it a good use, other than throwing into a casserole to thicken!

The book recommends serving with soup. I was intending to use up a (shh!) tin of mushroom soup that’s been lurking in the cupboard but being on a lazy day off from work, and told myself that if I’m gonna make the bread, I might as well do the soup too! I made a small batch of broccoli soup, by frying off a little diced onion, then adding the stalks for 5 minutes and some veggie stock, added the chopped up florets and simmered until soft. Then simply stirred through the last of a jar of pesto, roughly 2 scant teaspoons. Together with the bannocks it made a great combination, as I had also added basil oil to the bannock mixture which was subtle enough not to over power.

The bannocks are super quick to make – less than a minute to make and a couple in the pan to cook. These are fragile beasts and at several points found myself questioning the recipes success but I persisted – and they came up a treat! They are oaty, and wholesome tasting.

In the original recpipe it makes two, but I scaled down as was only me eating and don't think these would re-heat that well..

62g medium oatmeal, and a little extra
Teeny pinch salt
Teeny bit bigger pinch baking powder - say 1/8 tsp
1 tsp basil infused oil, plus oil to grease the pan. The book also recommends using fat or butter.
2 ish tbsp hot water


Place a heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat.

Mix together the oatmeal, salt and baking powder In a bowl, add the basil oil, then enough water to make a stiff paste. This is the fun part!

Sprinkle a little more oatmeal on a suitable board, tip the mixture on to it. Sprinkle a bit more oatmeal over and flatten to a just under a centimetre, working quickly before it cools. Cut it into quarters.

Add a little fat/oil to the hot pan, and cook the bannock for a couple of minutes on each side, until browning lightly. Serve hot with a little butter on if desired.


  1. What a good idea to fry in tthe basil oil. I've loads of flavoured oils to try so will be giving it a go.

  2. The bannocks look lovely, great with soup.
    Glad to hear you got your camera back.


Thanks for stopping by my kitchen! I love to hear your thoughts and comments on my recipes!


01 09 10