By ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen, Calgary Herald

The Victoria Day long weekend is often a time to spend with friends and family, host backyard barbecues (weather permitting) and light up the night sky with fireworks. Our Barbecued Bannock Biscuits and Brie Alfresco is the perfect yummy treat to enjoy while curled up on a blanket watching a fireworks display.

These sweet and savoury biscuits will also make for a topic of conversation, as they are baked in a cast iron frying pan on a brick on the barbecue. This cooking method is the most effective because it increases the distance of the pan from the heat source, which allows the biscuits to cook to the perfect hue of golden brown.

So where does bannock originate from? The word bannock means flat cake in Celtic and has for centuries been part of Northern English and Scottish culture. Bannock was traditionally a heavier flat cake made of unleavened barley or oatmeal dough. The cooking method hasn’t changed much though, as the Scottish would cook them on bannock stane, a large flat sandstone. The stone was placed directly on an open flame and used afterwards as a cooking surface.

The sweetness of the biscuit, combined with the creamy brie is perfectly balanced by the tartness of the lemon juice and a zing of Dijon mustard. Serve this as an appetizer this long weekend and you’ll be sure to make a bang.

Wondering how to season a cast iron frying pan? Watch our “How to Season a Cast Iron Frying Pan” video tutorial for guidance.


3 cups (700 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (115 mL) whole wheat flour
4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/2 (2.5 mL) tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (115 mL) salted butter, chilled and cubed
1 1/2 (350 mL) cups buttermilk
3 tbsp (45 mL) maple syrup, divided
1 brick
1 tbsp (15 mL) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil

1. Combine flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a bowl.

2. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.

3. Whisk together buttermilk and 2 tbsp (30 mL) maple syrup until blended.

4. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined.

5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead dough gently and shape into a log.  Cut log into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and set aside.

6. Place brick on natural gas barbecue grid.  Set a 10-inch (25-cm) cast iron frying pan directly on top of brick. Heat frying pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup and cream; set aside.

8. Using a heatproof brush, brush oil in frying pan.

9. Carefully place dough balls in frying pan.  Brush tops with cream mixture.  With lid down, bake biscuits, rotating frying pan after 15 minutes, until lightly browned, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12.


1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1/4 cup (50 mL) finely chopped drained canned roasted red peppers
1 round (200 g) brie cheese

1. To prepare marinade, whisk together lemon juice, parsley, mustard, pepper and garlic until combined. Gradually whisk in oil until blended. Stir in roasted peppers; set aside.

2. Place brie on a small rimmed plate. Using a fork, poke top of brie about 15 to 20 times; do not poke holes all the way through brie. Pour marinade over brie. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

3. Place brie in a small cast iron frying pan or in centre of a double piece of heavy-duty foil. Crumple foil around sides of brie to form a baking pan. Spoon any remaining marinade over brie.

4. Bake over medium heat on natural gas barbecue for 10 to 15 minutes or until brie is melted and beginning to bubble. Serve with baguette slices. Serves 4.