Traditional Orkney Bere Bannocks

Orkney Bere Bannock Recipe

The expansive rolling fields and crystal clear waters of Orkney are home to high-quality ingredients that islanders have used for centuries. Such produce is used to create dishes loved across the world, as well as lesser known delights unique to the island.

One of the latter is Orkney Bere Bannocks. Created using beremeal, a type of flour milled at the Barony Mill, Birsay, from an ancient form of barley that is ideally suited to growing in Orkney. The flat bread is baked on a hot griddle and often served as a starter instead of a bread roll.

Here’s an islander’s guide to making Orkney Bere Bannocks from our chums at the Barony Mill – make sure you visit the Mill during your Orkney stay for an excellent guided tour!

Ingredients:Orkney Bere Bannocks

  • Milk or water
  • Two cups of Birsay beremeal (which can be purchased from most Orkney food shops)
  • One cup of plain flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of cream of tartar
  • Salt (if desired)


  1. Thoroughly mix all of the dry ingredients before adding the milk or water to form a stiff but soft and wet dough.
  2. Roll out onto a floured board or surface and knead before forming bannocks – flat circles around one inch thick.
  3. Cook on a hot, ungreased griddle for around five minutes until both sides are browned and the middle is cooked through.

Bere Bannocks are best served warm with butter. We’d also recommend serving them with farmhouse cheese or cheddar with chutney, but we hope that you enjoy experimenting with different combinations of delicious fillings.

Share this page
Print this Page
View more articles about the Orkney Islands

More like this:

The Place Names of Orkney

The Place Names of Orkney

Orkney and Shetland have been populated for over 6000 years, and through the course of these Islands' history the languages spoken there have changed many times. However it is Old Norse that has had the greatest influence on modern place names. Read our guide to find out what the island, area and house names of Orkney mean!

A recipe for perfect Orkney Patties

A recipe for perfect Orkney Patties

For visitors to Orkney, a culinary experience we’d recommend is trying a Pattie supper in a local chip shop. This is mince, tattie and onion mixed together, battered and deep-fried. NorthLink Ferries Sous Chef George o’Neill kindly lends us his foolproof recipe and top tips to make approximately 12 perfect Orkney Patties in your own kitchen! Enjoy a pattie supper tonight!

Five reasons why Orkney is great!

Five reasons why Orkney is great!

To celebrate the Year of Young People 2018 NorthLink Ferries ran a writing competition for P6 and P7 pupils in Orkney. We asked them to tell us five reasons why they think the Orkney Islands are a great place to visit. The winning article, written by Amelia Tomalin from Evie Primary School, features rich descriptions of the folklore and landscape of Orkney which we think you'll love!