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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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bannock a griddle-baked flatbread from the highland zones of Britain, made from barley, oats, or even peasemeal, water or buttermilk. One made from a mixture of flours was called a meslin bannock (see maslin in bread varieties).

The derivation of the word may be from the Gaelic bannach, itself stemming from the Latin panicium. Bannock is hence a generic term for bread in those non-wheat-growing regions, and Wright’s Dialect Dictionary has found it current throughout N. and W. Britain. In Scotland, the bannock was pre-eminently made with barley (or bere meal, bere being a primitive form of barley that does better in acid soils); in England, more often of oats. It is thicker than the oatcake, and larger than a scone, ‘about the size of a meat-plate’. Like scones, the bannock was unleavened until the introduction of bicarbonate of soda.