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Friday, January 24, 2014

Scottish OatCakes

For centuries, oatcakes have been considered as Scotland's national bread. For the uninitiated, these oatcakes are not really cakes but kind of flat biscuits that originated in Scotland. Oats were one of the few grains that grew well in Scotland and was the staple grain there until the 20th century. And so obviously, oats formed the mainstay of many traditional Scottish dishes and these yummy oatcakes are one of them. In fact, Scottish soldiers in the 14th century used to carry a metal plate and a sack of oatmeal. They would heat the plate over fire, moisten a bit of oatmeal and make a cake.
As the name suggests, they are made from oatmeal and sometimes with the addition of flour as well. They make a delicious snack or breakfast and are quite easy to make. Usually they are cooked either on a griddle or baked in an oven. The recipe varies regionally and also the texture of these oatcakes depends upon how the oats are ground and how long they are cooked. Oatcakes were traditionally eaten with every meal but from the 19th century onwards they were commonly served to accompany soups, meat and fish dishes. They can be eaten plain or with jam or serve them with cheese and fruit. (Source:wiki)
This fuss free recipe caught my attention because of the authenticity of the recipe since the blogger happens to have a Scottish background. I must admit that I had zero expectations about these oatcakes as I was trying them for blogging purpose. After trying these, I am however completely sold because of the texture and taste of these oatcakes. I am really glad that I stumbled upon this recipe since I got to enjoy these traditional Scottish oatcakes.  Finely ground oats give these oatcakes, a thinner and crispier texture and I devoured them, slathered with some sugar-free strawberry jam.   

Ingredients: (Yield 9 - 10 cookies of 3 inch diameter)
1 cup medium oatmeal (the original recipe used old fashioned oats but I had only quick cooking oats and I processed it to a fine meal.)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp. / 3 oz melted butter or fat of your choice (Traditionally bacon drippings are used.)
Hot water as needed (I had to add 3 tbsp. water)
Method:
* Combine oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the melted butter and mix well. The mixture now resembles bread crumbs.
* Then slowly add enough water to make a stiff dough. Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead thoroughly. The dough would be non sticky and 'easy to roll' kind. 
 * Preheat the oven to 300 degree F / 150 degree C.
* Sprinkle some oat meal / flour on the work surface and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
* Using a cookie cutter, cut into circles or triangles to get uniform cakes.  
 * Gather the bits left after shaping the rolled out dough into circles, roll again and repeat the steps. If you get cracks, while rolling just pinch it with fingers.
* Transfer them onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. 
 * They can be eaten warm or can be stored in an airtight container to enjoy later.  

9 comments:

Manjula Bharath said...

wow that really a fuss free oats cake and equaly delicious one :) they look fantastic !!

Sapana Behl said...

Oatcakes looks wonderful and must be tasty too!

Ramya Krishnamurthy said...

Yummy and delicious one.perfectly baked

Srivalli said...

Suma, thanks for all that research, will surely try these out after seeing such success..:)

Pavani N said...

Totally new to me and good to know the history of these oatcakes. They look yummy.

Jayanthi Padmanabhan said...

Looks fabulous.

Padmajha PJ said...

Looks so good. I may be trying this soon :)

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Fabulous looking oats cake,sounds new to me...

Chef Mireille said...

this is in my drafts to post soon. Your version came out so good!