Bannock makers compete for dough, bragging rights

Nancy Lulua prepares for the bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).Nancy Lulua prepares for the bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Canim Lake Band’s former chief Mike Archie, right, jokes with Nancy Lulua as she prepares for the bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation’s Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).Canim Lake Band’s former chief Mike Archie, right, jokes with Nancy Lulua as she prepares for the bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation’s Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Nancy Lulua serves her bannock during a competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).Nancy Lulua serves her bannock during a competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Keisha Fletcher prepares her dad’s bannock recipe in a bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).Keisha Fletcher prepares her dad’s bannock recipe in a bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Bannock (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Bannock (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Lorraine prepares for the bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).Lorraine prepares for the bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Bannock.Bannock.
Megan Francis prepares for the bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).Megan Francis prepares for the bannock-making competition at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).
Keisha Fletcher draws a crowd for her cinnamon and sugar coated bannock at the High Bar Aboriginal Day on June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Keisha Fletcher draws a crowd for her cinnamon and sugar coated bannock at the High Bar Aboriginal Day on June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Wayne Tenale, Nancy Lulua and Marika Masters at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).Wayne Tenale, Nancy Lulua and Marika Masters at the High Bar First Nation Aboriginal event on Tuesday, June 21. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press).

“May your oil stay hot and your pan not stick!”

With that saying, Yvonne Smith kicked off the annual bannock-making competition Tuesday at the High Bar First Nation’s first annual Aboriginal Day in Clinton.

Four women – including two from Clinton – competed to collect the most votes for their bannock, the traditional frybread staple in First Nations communities.

The bread is made of five staple ingredients: flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. They are mixed with water into a dough and then fried in hot oil.

It may seem simple but there’s a trick, said Clinton resident Megan Francis, a member of the Skeetchestn Indian Band who learned to make bannock from her mother and grandmother.

The first time, she made it, she said, it was hard as a rock. “It was terrible,” she said. “Over the years I just got better. I hope we all win.”

Francis maintains kneading is the trick to making bannock.

Nancy Lulua, originally from the Nemiah Valley, agreed kneading was important so the bannock didn’t get too sticky or doughy in the middle.

Lulua added that while “there’s no secret” to making the traditional bread, she adds pancake syrup as a special ingredient.

It helps the bread brown a lot faster, she said, but she has to be careful it doesn’t get too heavy.

READ MORE: Public invited to Indigenous Day events in Clinton and Canim Lake

“This was one of the things my mom taught me. I learned by watching,” she said, adding she has been making bannock since she was eight. “I think I got really good competition. I’ve always known people like my bannock but there are a lot more people to be the judge now.”

Keisha Fletcher, 24, of the High Bar Nation, said she doesn’t knead her bannock, which she learned to make from her father Zig while growing up in Clinton.

“The main thing I remember from my dad is ‘don’t play with it too much,’” she said.

Fletcher rolled her bannock in sugar and cinnamon Tuesday, which drew a large crowd of children to her table.

“I’ve heard there are a couple people who make really good bannock so we will see how it goes,” she said. “I love making it and keeping the family tradition alive.”

Lorraine Char, of Kamloops, said the key thing to remember is to use warm water in the recipe to help it ferment faster.

“When it rises like this it’s going to turn out good,” she said, pointing to a batch in the oil.

“It’s a nice snack.”

Marlene Mackie-Rozendal, of 70 Mile, was excited to judge the bannock, noting her mother used to make the fried bread when she was young.

“I’ve always loved bannock,” she said. “It’s good to support this.”

Lulua took first place, and $500, in the competition, followed by Fletcher, who won $300 and Francis in third place with $100.



kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Clinton