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Oat & Rosemary Bannock


The Gaelic festival of St Brigid, Imbolc, is observed between February 1st and sunset February 2nd. It is a festival which celebrates energy, light, the stirrings of growth in Springtime and the fertility of the land.


The arrival of Gaelic goddess Brigid, or Bridey, was celebrated by weaving Brigid’s Crosses, and the offerings of food gifts such as milk, cream and honey (to symbolise the sun and warmth). She would return to bless the homes of people and their animals and livestock and to help grow a good abundant harvest.

It is suggested that the name Imbolc is derived from lambing which traditionally begins at this time of the year.

 

Last year I made a ‘Bridey Cake’ rich with butter, Muscovado sugar, honey, eggs and flour. I cut a Bridey’s Cross shape in the middle of the cake once cooked, and poured in some warm honey, (you could use a mix of honey and whisky) and filled the shape with flaked almonds.


This year I stumbled upon a beautiful Highland recipe which shows a Bannock, traditionally eaten during the Imbolc festival. As always, I have tweaked the recipe a bit. So here goes…

 

Oat and Rosemary Bannock

Cooking time: around 25 minutes

Oven temperature: 200 degrees

Makes 8 pieces (2 Bannocks)


Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups of rolled oats *

  • 1 cup of wholewheat spelt flour*

  • 1 egg yolk

  • Around 2/3 cup of double pouring cream

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt*

  • 1/3 cup of Coconut sugar*

  • A generous teaspoon of grated lemon or orange zest

  • Approximately 200g of roughly chopped unsalted butter (chilled in fridge)

  • 2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (including flowers)

 

*Available from us at SO Sustainable!

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a baking tray or a skillet.

  2. Put oats, flour, salt, sugar, Rosemary and zest in a mixing bowl and mix well together so that the rosemary and the zest are well dispersed.

  3. Mix in the butter pieces roughly with your hands. Stir in the cream and bring all the ingredients together.

  4. Knead the dough swiftly on a lightly flowered work surface and bring it into a ball.

  5. Cut the dough into two and form into two balls. Flatten both balls into circle shapes roughly about a centimetre thick.

  6. Cut each circle into four and place into greased skillet or on tray.

  7. Mix a little cream and the egg yolk together (this is called a ‘Caudle’) and brush liberally over the top of the Bannock pieces and sprinkle with a little Coconut sugar.

  8. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, keeping an eye on the surface of the cakes as you do not want them to burn.

  9. At the end of cooking, leave them to cool off a bit.

  10. Best served slightly warm with a little cream or butter on top.

  11. This recipe makes 8 pieces, so if using a skillet, be prepared to use it again once the first batch is cooked.

 

Enjoy!

 

The Cailleach (the Gaelic traditional female goddess of winter) is said to prolong the winter by making the day sunny whilst collecting her firewood. So, if Imbolc 2024 is wet and windy, we know that she didn’t make her visit and Springtime is on its way!

 

Mel x

 

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