After we published my oatcake-inspired cardigan, Land o’ Cakes the other day, Tom reminded me of his favourite oatcake recipe that he’d included in our Buachaille book some years ago. This is a great recipe for whipping up a quick bread-replacing staple (and as long as the mill producing your oatmeal doesn’t also make wheat flour, it’s also gluten free). No need for fresh herbs: just use any dried herbs or seeds already in your store cupboard. That said, I think plain oatcakes, with no additional ornament at all, are also just as good. Enjoy!
(makes 30 small oatcakes)
3 level tablespoons mixed seeds (sunflower, pumpkin and sesame)
1 level teaspoon finely-chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 level teaspoon finely-chopped fresh rosemary leaves
240g / 9oz oatmeal (fine or medium)
¼ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 level teaspoon sea salt
25g / 1oz unsalted butter
3 to 5 tablespoons warm water
1. Lightly grease two baking trays and pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F / gas mark 4.
2. Toast the mixed seeds in a hot, dry, heavy-based pan for 2-3mins until lightly browned and the sesame seeds start to pop. Remove the seeds from the pan and leave to cool, then roughly chop.
3. Finely chop the herbs.
4. Put the seeds, herbs, oatmeal, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl and mix, making a well in the middle.
5. Melt the butter, pour into the well and thoroughly mix.
6. Add sufficient warm water, one tablespoon at a time, to form a rough dough. Bring the dough together with your hands and turn out onto a work surface. The surface can be floured if it helps you work the sticky dough, but isn’t necessary (and should be omitted for a wheat-free recipe).
7. Gently knead the dough and roll out to thickness of ½cm / ¼in.
8. Cut into rounds using a 5cm / 2in ring cutter and transfer the rounds to the prepared baking trays. Do this very gently as the oatcakes are fragile.
9. Bake for 15-20mins until golden brown and fragrant.
10. Cool on the baking trays for 5-10mins before transferring to a cooling rack using a palette knife or fish slice. Leave to cool completely before serving.