How to Make Traditional Shetland Bannocks

Shetland's bannocks are light, fluffy and flavoursome. Try making your own with this traditional recipe.

There's a lot of debate in Shetland about what makes the perfect bannock. Should it be cooked inside the oven or on top? Should it be well worked or hardly kneaded? Many Shetlanders have their own secret technique or ingredient. This recipe from 1925 is taken from Cookery For Northern Wives - a classic Shetland cookery book - and is as straightforward as can be! If you would like to buy your own copy of Cookery For Northern Wives, it's available here .

The pictures above show Mina Flaws demonstrating her own recipe for bannocks at last year's Taste of Shetland Festival . Whichever way you make your bannocks, we hope they are really tasty!


One pound of flour

One large teaspoon of Baking Powder

One teaspoon of Cream of Tartar

One teaspoon of salt

Buttermilk or sour milk

  • Mix the dry ingredients together and make into a soft dough with the buttermilk, just as soft as can be easily handled.

  • Turn onto a floured board, turn in the rough edges and roll out gently until a quarter to half an inch thick. (Roll out slightly thinner if you are using a girdle.)

  • Cut in squares or rounds, bake on a moderately hot girdle or in a fairly hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

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