A while back I decided to cut wheat from my diet for a whole year. One of the first things I did was stock up on oatcakes.
They do make life a little bit easier and you can still enjoy your favourite toppings like Smoked Salmon Pâté or cheese on them. When Gabriel started eating solids I got a sudden rush of motivation to make them myself. Surely, it can’t be that difficult, I thought. It wasn’t. The addition of dried fruit makes it just that more special and fresher as and crumblier than the shop bought ones.
Crunchy Rough Scottish Oatcakes
Preparation: 15 mins – Cooking: 20 minutes
Can freeze raw dough
- 225g (2½ cups/8 oz) medium oatmeal, plus extra for dusting
- 1.25ml (¼ tsp) bicarbonate of soda
- 1.25ml (¼ tsp) salt
- 15ml (1 tbsp) unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Put the oatmeal, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and mix well. Heat the butter and 150ml (3/4 cup/5 oz) water in a small pan until the butter melts.
- Make a well in the centre of the oatmeal mix, pour in the liquid and use a palette knife to mix everything together. The mixture will initially seem a bit wet, but the oatmeal will gradually absorb all the liquid to give a soft dough.
- Lightly dust a clean work surface with oatmeal. Tip out the dough, then roll out to about 5mm thick. Use a small round cutter to stamp out the oatcakes or use your favourite shapes. Re-roll any trimmings and continue to cut out the biscuits. (Cut biscuits can be frozen uncooked, for up to a month. Freeze flat before packing into bags or boxes.)
- Brush off any excess oatmeal, then space the oatcakes over 2 baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes, carefully turning the oatcakes every 5 minutes or so to stop them from steaming and going stodgy. When cooked they should be crisp and lightly golden. Lift onto a wire rack and leave to cool. (Will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.)
- Serve with your favourite after-dinner cheese or any preferred topping, for example Smoked Salmon Pâté.
- Alternatively, bake the oatcakes on a rack – no flipping required!
- Don’t be afraid to experiment by adding 25g (1 oz) of roughly chopped dried fruit like cranberries or apricots to the dough. A downside to using the fruit though is at times it can make the dough sticky. Add small amount of oatmeal to the dough until the stickiness goes away and proceed with the recipe.
- For a more savoury oatcake, coarsely grind 10ml (2 tsp) black peppercorns and tip into a sieve. Shake and discard any fine dust, then add the remaining coarse grinds to the oatmeal mix.
- You could also try adding poppy seeds or finely chopped herbs like rosemary and thyme.