This Scottish yule bannock is halfway between a traditional yule bannock and a modern day shortbread. The flavours are perfect around Christmas with cinnamon, allspice, mixed peel and cherries and the beremeal adds a nutritious traditional element.
Traditionally yule bannocks were made with oatmeal and our modern day shortbread originally came from the traditional yule bannock. These yule bannocks are made with beremeal from Orkney. Its been milled there for over 300 years and is an ancient form of barley. Its 100% natural and is perfect for baking. If you would like to get your hands on some beremeal check out Barony Mill they have an online shop and you can purchase it from there – Barony Mill Website.
I made a list of items that I frequently use in the kitchen for my recipes. Most of them are similiar or identical to the ones you see in my photographs. They are listed in my page – Equipment I use in the Kitchen. I’m always adding new items to it so check it out if you are looking for something simliar to what you have seen in my photographs.
If you are enjoying this recipe you may also enjoy some of my other festive desserts like my Traditional Scottish Clootie Dumpling or perhaps my Traditional Scottish Christmas Trifle. The trifle and the dumpling are both classic Scottish dishes served up after Christmas dinner if you have any room left.
Tips for making this recipe:
- This recipe uses beremeal because its an ancient and natural Scottish ingredient that I love to experiment with but if you can’t get your hands on it you could use plain flour instead for both the quantities ie. 450g of plain flour instead of 225g each. It will come out slightly lighter in texture but will still have all the Christmassy flavours. I would personally recommend getting your hands on some bere if you can though.
- You can mix up the flavours a little and experiment with the spices to find your own favourite Christmassy blend with nuts and dried fruits. These are based on the traditional recipes that I looked at and are also my favourite combinations.
- I like to use my round flat cast iron pan as it holds the shape really well for the bannock. You can also melt the butter in it and it gives the pan a good greasing this way too if your using a cast iron for the oven part. If you don’t have a large round cast iron pan then a baking tray will work fine.
- A good dose of caster sugar works well to finished this off sprinkled over the top. You don’t have to include peel and cherries on the top if you don’t want to they are just for decoration and there are already peel and cherries in the shortbread itself.
- I have used roughly 4tbsp of milk, you might need a little more or you might need a little less. Your aiming for a smooth dough so just go with that.
- This recipe makes enough for two medium sized bannocks with eight generous pieces in each.
Yule Bannock Recipe:
- 225g of white flour (I used spelt flour)
- 225g of beremeal
- 25g of chopped glace cherries
- 25g of mixed peel
- 50g of sliced almonds
- 110g of icing sugar
- 1ts of cinnamon
- 1tsp of mixed spice
- 1tsp of vanilla
- pinch of sea salt
- 225g of unsalted butter
- 4tbsp of milk
- caster sugar to sprinkle on the top
- Preheat the oven to 160oc (fan).
- Seive both the flour and the bere into a large mixing bowl and mix to blend together.
- Add in the cherries, mixed peel and sliced almonds and mix through well.
- Sift in the icing sugar and mix through.
- Add in the spices, vanilla and salt and mix through again.
- Melt the butter and pour into the flour mixture.
- Stir together and then knead lightly to start forming a dough.
- Add in about 2tbsp of milk and keep kneading. Add in a further 2tbsp of milk and knead until you have a smooth dough.
- Roll in your hands until you have a well kneaded smooth ball. Split in two.
- Roll out one piece of the dough on a well floured surface until about an inch thick and use your hands to form into a circular shape as per the video.
- Score the top of the bannock cake into quarters and quarters again to create eight segments.
- Pinch around the edges and prick the entire cake lightly with a fork.
- Lift and place the bannock into a cast iron flat pan or a baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30minutes or until golden brown.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of caster sugar over the hot bannock cake.
- Serve by slicing through the prescored segments and place on a wrack to cool.
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