Appears in
Scottish Baking

By Sue Lawrence

Published 2016

  • About
‘In Scotland, amongst the rural population generally, the girdle takes the place of the oven, the bannock of the loaf.’

F. Marian McNeill wrote this in her 1929 book The Scots Kitchen, and although it no longer rings true, since most kitchens nowadays have ovens, it perhaps explains the origin of some of our baking traditions. We have never had grand cakes or indeed many yeastbased breads or loaves, since the only way to bake bread with yeast (or brewer’s barm as was often used) was to get a piece of bread-dough from the village baker, add some fruit and spices and ask the baker to bake it for you. Hey presto, the Selkirk bannock was born.