A short while ago I made a small fireplace made of stone (see “Improvised Stove Fireplace” which includes stone selection precautions) and in the process I saw the opportunity to make bannock using the top stone as a griddle. The term “bannock” is used broadly to describe any type of flatbread and in my case I used a recipe for tortillas that I have posted below.
Many years ago I decided to fry some eggs on a stone and used oil on the stone surface. In this case I tried to keep in mind a simpler approach by dusting the surface with flour instead of using oil. I rolled the dough out in thin sheets beforehand and began to cook them one by one, learning stone cooking techniques with each piece.
To have too low a temperature takes a long time and the bread dries out and becomes brittle. A high temperature with shorter cook time is needed for best results. Once the dough is placed over the hot spot of the stone you can see how it creates air pockets or “bubbles” on the dough’s upper surface. You can check for small brown spots on the dough’s contact surface to see when it’s ready to flip over onto the other side. Whereas I am used to cooking over coals when using a stick or grill, active flames under the stone is what is needed to create the proper temperature on top.
The trick is to cut the shortening into the flour before adding the water, then kneed the dough for about 5 minutes and let it rest for 20 minutes while the baking powder makes them rise. This makes 8 large tortillas if you roll them out as thin as possible.
I want to thank my friend Gregory for sharing his grandmother’s recipe and I hope that you can experience this fun method of cooking some day as well!