After a recent trip to the BSA's Northern Tier National High Adventure Canoe Base in Bissett, Manitoba, I was trying to recollect how different the granola-bar-like snack was that summer compared to the extremely delectable bars I recalled from the BSA's Region Seven Canoe Base out of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, some 30 years earlier. Thank goodness for the world wide web. I began the recipe search knowing somebody would have gotten around to posting some recipes.

Below I've listed all the sites with recipes that are anything close to what I recall Hudson Bay Bread should taste like. I've included many variations and sources so that interested cooks can check them all out and use their own personal preferences and unique culinary skills to create a high energy food bar that best pleases the palate in their household.

My wife, Jane, used the recipe from the first URL and I've added the notes that she wrote down after finishing that batch.,1026,1200,00.html

Rollin' the oats

JANE'S NOTES (2004) for the first (above) recipe that she made....

-- We used WHITE sugar, not brown as is suggested in some recipes. (I thought she should definitely have used brown.)
-- Next time we were going to try to use vanilla extract instead of or in addition to the 'mapleine.'
-- We also added raisins (See other recipes for quantity?)
-- We used walnuts instead of almonds.
-- You really have to use judgement as to temps and timing. Look at all the recipes to see the range (of temps, times) and tips for telling when they're done and what to do with them when they ARE done. Jane cooked the bars at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
-- She wrote down "makes one large cookie sheet and 1 small pan."

2006 batch ....

We used the top recipe again when we made it the next time but made the alterations mentioned in "notes" above (no mapleine). Couldn't remember how well we "ground" the oats last time so we only partly ground them this time. Jane made thinner layers this time (to fill up the second pan) and may have overcooked just a bit. (Could have been the brown sugar.) Our family liked the vanilla extract better than the mapleine. After cooling, we cut into 2" x 3" bars and wrapped in plastic food wrap.

A week later, unrefrigerated and hauled around the New Mexico desert in backpacks in July, the bars were still just about the best trail food we had all week!

My personal opinion is that the grinding of oats and rolling the bars at the times prescribed above in the various recipes are critical steps to achieving the right consistency. The end product should be a little chewy, not brittle or crunchy, fairly dense, not crumbly, and should have enough carbs, fats and protein to keep you alive a couple weeks if you can limit yourself to 4 or 5 a day!

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Last updated on 16 July 2006 at 12:13 a.m.