Oatcakes

February 5, 2012 § 10 Comments

Peanut butter and jelly; Oreos and milk; pita and hummus: it seems that snacks go well in pairs, and to this list I would add oatcakes and honey — and not just because I never make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I dislike oreos.

Oats and honey are a classic pairing, featured in such famous foods as oatmeal, flapjacks (the British kind), granola, granola bars, and muesli, so naturally when faced with an enticing pan of oatcakes I reached right for the clover honey and, well, drowned my oatcake. I then made a beeline (ha!) to my computer to share the recipe with you.

Oatcakes are, in essence, oats baked with butter, but their simplicity belies their versatility and comforting taste. They’re not quite sweet and not quite savory, filled with firm yet chewy oats that fill the air with the most intoxicating scent of butter and toasting oats and crumble delicately when bitten. Depending on what you pair them with, their oaty taste can be the star or fall back to a supporting role.

For tea I like them drizzled with amber-colored honey, but for a heartier snack they are just as good paired with cheese, in my opinion the stinkier or sharper the better — but then, that is my usual suggestion when faced with the question of what cheese to eat. For this round of oatcakes I’ve got a really nice Stilton (or you could use Stichelton) waiting, to be sliced into wedges and packed with oatcakes to take to work, but a really nice Cheddar or even Wensleydale would be excellent too.

They’d also be great with poached fruit and maybe even a swirl of warm custard, as a sort of deconstructed crumble dessert. So not only are oatcakes really tasty and filled with fibery goodness, they’re great any time of day, warm or at room temperature, served with toppings both sweet or salty, and I hope you enjoy them too.

Oatcakes

Adapted from Jamie

Makes eight wedges

Ingredients

  • Two and a half cups (200 grams) regular oats (not instant)
  • 1/4 cup plus three tablespoons (fifty grams) whole-wheat flour (ideally whole-grain, it may also be called wholemeal flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Three tablespoons and two teaspoons (1.75 ounces or fifty grams) butter, cubed and softened
  • About 1/4 to 1/3 cup warm water, as needed

1. Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Combine oats, whole-wheat flour, sea salt, sugar, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Stir once or twice to mix dry ingredients.

3. Tip in softened, cubed butter. Using your fingertip pads or a fork, mash the dry oaty mix together with the butter until crumbly.

4. Pour in a tablespoon of warm water and stir. Repeat until there is just enough water to make a dough that barely doesn’t fall apart – depending on the humidity levels of your climate this could be up to 1/3 cup of water.

5. Press dough into a ball; divide in half and form into two balls. Gently press each ball of dough until you have a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut these two circles into quarters, so that there are eight wedges.

6. Place oatcake wedges onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until oatcakes are dry to the touch and smell of butter and toasted oats; the surface may be slightly cracked. Enjoy right away drizzled with honey or alongside your favorite butter and jam or cheese, or wrap up for later snacking.

Note: oatcakes may be stored in an airtight tin for a day or two; they can be reheated briefly in a toaster oven or enjoyed at room temperature.

Bibliography

–. “Oatcakes.” Jamie. Jan. 2012: 113. Print.

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