Monday, June 1, 2009

Oatcakes From Scotland

I find Nairn's oatcakes to be strangely delicious.  Given that they are essentially oats and water I don't fully understand the attraction...after all, it seems like the kind of thing that the poor serfs in Far and Away would be forced to eat.  

But despite, or perhaps due to, their rather ascetic nature, these oatcakes make a wonderful base for some rather indulgent toppings...cheese, butter, various saturated fat-filled dips.  And actually jam is a surprisingly good partner as well.

However, whenever I'm looking for them I can't find them, or I find some odd variety like ginger that I find totally unappealing.  And often if I do find them they cost $5 for one package.  For oats!  

Anyway, I took a gander at the ingredient list, and as it was pretty limited, I figured I could devise a recipe without too much trouble.  And I was right!  

I was a little worried about my steel cut oats being too coarse to form a dough without a bit of flour so I added some barley flour I had laying around and threw in some all purpose flour as well.  But if you have some fine cut oats, adjust as you see fit.

Scottish Oatcakes

1/2 cup barley flour
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose white flour
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 teaspoons vegetable oil (I used safflower, you could also use melted butter or bacon fat)
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, combine flours, oats and sea salt.  Stir in your fat of choice with a fork, blend with your fingers if the fork isn't doing it for you.

Stir in enough water to form a dough.  Knead on a floured surface for 10 seconds or so.  Flatten into a disk and roll out to a thickness of 1/8 - 1/4 inch.  With a cookie cutter (I prefer round but do as you wish) stamp out your crackers and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until edges are brown.


The Townhouselady said...

You rock! I love these and while they're not entirely difficult to find usually involve a special trip and are generally overpriced.

I'm def. going to try that recipe.

Best- THL

wambalus said...

Those look good. Dad went through a period of making oatcakes after they returned from Scotland. Also have you ever seen Stockan's variety? They are wedge shaped and my favourite brand. I'll bring you back some when I'm next over.

Jackie said...

They look so good (not so much with the bacon fat though)

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