Every so often, especially on rainy days or during times of stress, I daydream about the foods I grew up with. While this list does include packaged mac & cheese and packaged mashed potato flakes (I called it fish food), I also find myself thinking about bannock and homemade jam. This recipe is a modernized version on a comforting classic. A note about bannock: there are many species of this wonderful bread. Some of it is deep-fried and dubbed fry-bread, and some of it has a very soft texture. This particular bannock recipe is quite biscuity and stands up well as a slider bun.
3 cups – flour
2 tbsp – baking powder
1 cup – butter or lard (I used butter)
1/2 tbsp – salt
3 1/2 cups – milk
Olive and Blueberry Reduction:
1/4 cup – chopped Kalamata olives
1 cup – blueberries (I used frozen, but fresh is good, too)
1 tbsp – cooking sherry (or table wine)
1 1/2 tbsp – Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
Pepper to taste
Chicken (I used pre-cooked roasted chicken, but beef or bison patties would be great.)
Mayonnaise to taste
1. Make the bannock. First turn oven to 425°F. Mix flour and butter together. Add salt and baking powder.
2. Add milk and stir into a dough. If dough seems too sticky to be rolled out, add some flour.
3. Dust a surface with flour and knead dough no more than 10 times. (Note: Dough that rises with baking powder, such as this one, requires very little kneading. Dough that rises with yeast requires a lot of kneading in order to be soft.)
4. Roll dough out to be 20 mm thick (3/4 of an inch) and use a round cookie cutter or a glass to cut out circle shapes.
5. Place dough on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
6. While the bannock is in the oven, combine chopped olives and blueberries in a small saucepan. Stir on medium high heat.
7. Add sherry and turn heat up, bringing to a boil and stirring constantly.
8. Add mustard and garlic. Keep stirring until sauce begins to thicken.
9. The reduction is ready when it sticks to the back of a metal spoon. (It also works well as a sauce for wild rice.)
10. The bannock should be ready to come out now. Assemble sliders by halving a piece of bannock and placing the reduction on the bottom half. Pile on the lettuce and chicken and place the Mayonnaise’d top half to complete the slider.