Oatcakes (and Jam. Yum.)

 

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A good friend of ours always brings oatcakes to our home when they visit.  He brings a double batch and we (well mostly me) savor them until they are gone.  Simple, hearty and natural – oatcakes are great with sweet and savory accompaniments alike.  I particularly love them with a simple homemade strawberry jam in the fall. I can't tell you how many times I've requested the recipe, it's dutifully sent and I've promptly lost it.  Too embarrassed to ask for the coveted recipe once again I started experimenting to make my own version…

Basic Oatcakes

2½ cups medium organic oatmeal, plus extra for dusting

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp butter or Earth Balance Buttery Organic Spread

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt the butter in 3/4 cup of warm water.
  3. Add the baking soda and salt to the oats.
  4. Mix the liquids with dry ingredients and it will form a tacky dough.
  5. Put some extra oats on your rolling surface and roll the dough out to 1/4"
  6. Cut into rounds and put the cakes on 2 cookie sheets.
  7. Place in a 350 degree oven to bake for 20 or so minutes.  You must flip the cakes every 4 – 5 minutes to prevent them from getting soggy.  When they are done they should be a lite colour – not a dark brown.
  8. Cool on a cookie rack.
  9. Place in an air-tight container and they can keep for 5 days. 
  10. Makes 15  2 " cakes

 A Bit About Oatcakes

Oatcakes are a traditional Scottish food.  Oats were one of the few grains which grew well in the north of Scotland and was, until the 20th century, and was the staple grain used in households and in the battle field.  Scottish soldiers in the 14th century always carried a metal plate and a sack of oatmeal. According to contemporary accounts, one would heat the plate over fire, moisten a bit of oatmeal and make a cake to "comfort his stomach. Hence it is no marvel that the Scots should be able to make longer marches than other men."

The texture of oatcakes may vary from rough to fine depending on how the oats are ground. Oatcakes may be slightly chewy or hard depending the water content and how long they are cooked. Oatcakes were traditionally eaten with every meal as a major source of carbohydrates. From the 19th century onwards they were commonly served to accompany soups, meat and fish dishes. Today they are sometimes eaten as an alternative to bread or toast at breakfast.  They have the added pleasure of having a low glycemic load and being gluten free.

Oh, there is also a National Oatcake Day; August 8th.

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