Oatcakes is something I posted a long time ago, back when my blog was less than six months old, and while I would normally edit the original post I feel that these really deserve a bit of attention. It may sound silly but they are probably one of the things I miss the most from back in England… or at least I did, before the company which makes them changed their recipe and now they’re much too “smooth”. You very rarely see them in France, and for an oatcake-lover such as myself, a solution was needed.
I should point out here that yes – it is indeed spelt “oatcake”, and not “oat cake”, as I once thought; nor does it really resemble a cake, more of a biscuit or crisp flat bread. Traditionally cooked on a griddle, they can alternatively be baked on a tray in the oven and the recipe couldn’t be more simple.
Their history is pretty interesting too:
Scottish soldiers in the 14th century carried a metal plate and a sack of oatmeal. According to contemporary accounts, one would heat the plate over fire, moisten a bit of oatmeal and make a cake to “comfort his stomach. Hence it is no marvel that the Scots should be able to make longer marches than other men.”
Traditionally, these were eaten with almost every meal in Scotland as a major source of carbohydrate, though from the 19th century onwards they were more commonly served as accompaniments to meat, fish and soup dishes. These days, they’re usually eaten for breakfast – and it’s something which wasn’t uncommon at my breakfast table when I was a teen, which is probably where I developed my love of them.
I’m glad I decided to post about them again because truly – more people need to try these wonderful little things. I actually find this version far preferable to the store-bought variety now so do give them a try if you get a chance!
- - 220g Rolled Oats
- - 20g Butter
- - 2tsps Salt
- - 100ml Hot Water
- Start by preheating the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and then place the oats into a food processor and chop on high speed for about 15 seconds to ensure the oats are less coarse.
- Transfer the oats to a large bowl. Melt the butter and add to the bowl with the salt. Stir the butter into the oats, before adding the hot water and blending with the oats to form a stiff dough. Try to push the dough together into a crumbly ball, adding a bit more water if necessary to bind it, and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough out until very thin - around 3mm. Using a round cookie cutter, cut the dough into discs and place on a baking sheet - no grease required.
- Place the trays into the oven and bake for between 15-20 minutes, flipping the oatcakes over half-way through baking to ensure an even colour. The finished oatcakes should not be brown, but rather a slightly darker colour than the original dough.
- When ready, remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
- If you want to ensure the oatcakes are completely gluten-free, please remember to check that the oats you buy are certified GF, as well as using a GF-flour when rolling them out.
- Store in an air-tight tin when cooled completely – enjoy with butter or other toppings of your choice for breakfast, or just as a snack!