Home on the range

Avoid panic: Make bannock

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Mix:
Measure flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt into the food processor. Buzz until oats are reduced to fine powder, about 1 minute. Add butter and pulse several times until mixture looks crumbly.

Drizzle:
Heap flour mixture in a bowl. Drizzle on buttermilk, mixing with a fork just until the dough clumps.

Crisp:
Set a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons oil and 1-2 teaspoons butter, plus a pinch of salt. When butter has melted, add bannock dough, patting evenly into place. Neaten up the edges with a rubber spatula. Let cook, shaking pan now and then, until bottom is golden brown, top is no longer sticky and center has cooked through (test with a toothpick), about 18 minutes. Adjust heat to keep bannock from scorching.

Flip:
Brush the top of the bannock with some of the melted butter. Place a flat lid or plate over the bannock. Wearing oven mitts, flip skillet and plate, landing bannock crisp-side-up on plate. Return skillet to heat. Brush skillet with additional melted butter. Slide bannock back into skillet, crisp side up, and let second side cook to a golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Cut:
Slide bannock onto a cutting board. Let cool a few minutes. Slice into 8 wedges. Enjoy sweet (say, with jam) or savory (say, with stew).

Leah Eskin is a Tribune special contributor e-mail her at leahreskin@aol.com
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