Jim Baird’s Arctic Adventure: How to Make Bush Bread

There is nothing like having some fresh, hot bread in the bush. Have you ever tried to bring a loaf of bread on a camping trip? It doesn't end well. Your bread will be smashed and moldy in no time. Pita works and will save for three weeks if vacuumed sealed, but it's hard to beat a steaming-hot piece of fluffy bush bread coated with margarine, peanut butter, and jam. Honey, maple syrup, or molasses are also great. When I get to frying it up, I like to build a little inventory so I'll have some for the next day or two. It keeps for about five days depending on the temperature.

Bush bread is more commonly known as bannock, but I've also heard it being called trail bread, grease bread, or Indian bread. It has been a popular food throughout the north for hundreds of years. There are many different recipes for it, each one a little different. Here's the recipe I used in the Arctic. For my summer trips I bring margarine instead of butter because it doesn't go bad. Any type of fat will do, the voyagers often used bacon grease.

Ingredients:
- 5 cups flour (white or whole wheat or a combination of any kind of flour)
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup milk powder
- 2 to 3 Tbsp. fat (butter, margarine, shortening, bacon grease)

Directions:
Mix all the dry ingredients together in Ziploc bag before your trip. When you're at camp just add water and fat like butter or shortening. Then, kneed it with your hands until you have a dry doughy ball. Add some blueberries or raisins if it suites you're fancy. Flatten it out and fry in oil on medium to low heat for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

It's also good cooked on a stick over the fire like a marshmallow. If you do it on a stick, it will have a toaster-like texture and will be fluffier than the pan-fried version. Pan-fried, the texture is more like a doughnut.