Oats have a long honored tradition in the Scottish diet as it was the only grain which could be successfully grown in the northern climate. Traveling clans used to carry oatmeal in their pockets and mix with hot water to make an instant meal of porridge.
Oatcakes appear to have come into the picture around the 14th century as the oat mixture was fried on shields, which explains while some cooks fry oatcakes on a griddle. In North Staffordshire, the oatcake is more of a pancake made with oats and yeast.
Oatcakes are a versatile biscuit which can be used as a sweet or savoury treat. You can pair it with jam, use as a base for your favorite canape, or serve alongside your favorite cheeses.
The Versatile Oatcake
- 1 cup oatmeal preferably steel cut oats
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup milk or water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 tbsp for savoury
- 1/3 cup butter use bacon fat or lard for savoury
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Mix the dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut the butter or margarine into small portions and rub into the mixture with your fingers. Add the sugar and mix well. Slowly add enough milk (you may not need the full half cup) and mix until you have a stiff but workable dough. If the dough is too wet, simply add a little more flour or oatmeal.
- Flour a clean work surface before placing the dough out to roll. Sprinkle a little flour on the top, and roll to 1/2" thickness, 1/4' if you like a more crispy cakes.
- Cut into the size of your choice: Use a 2" biscuit cutter make dainty size for tea or cocktails, a 2½" or 3" cutter for a more substantial size.
- Bake for 20 - 25minutes.
- Remove and cool.