Embrace the traditions of our isles and try your hand at baking own made oatcakes – toasted oats, a dollop of butter and not much else – delicious simplicity and a pantry staple.
An Italian friend recently asked for a tried and tested recipe for oatcakes via Instagram. Having been inspired by his recently posted antipasti of marinated aubergine, my formula for oatcakes seemed a little plain by comparison. A sort of dolce vitae meets Mrs. Beeton. Deterred I was not.
I adore oatcakes and could never tire of them. They are the stuff of life, everyday fare and in their own decent way, life-affirming. They sit just as well with a hunk of gorgonzola as they do with a prim scrape of butter.
To bring these beauties to life, you need to put the kettle on. Mix 80g of not-long-boiled water with 280g of toasted oats, 60g of butter and a pinch of sea salt. The hot water helps the oats to swell and bring the dough together. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, dust your work surface liberally with flour and set to work with your pin. Roll the dough to the thickness of a pound coin and stamp out uniform biscuits with a favoured cutter. Reform the scraps and roll again. This is a forgiving mix and will cooperate down to the very last cut. Place the biscuits onto a lined baking tray and cook in a hot oven at 180c for 25 to 30 minutes. Once they begin to brown at the edges, they are done. Transfer the biscuits to cool on a wire grid and store in a sealed container.
Cardamom and cinnamon with dark chocolate chip, a savoury bent with rosemary and chili flakes, pecan, and maple syrup and simply honest-to-goodness grated apple – these are just some of the suggestions for scrumptious additions suggested by my Instagram homies and each are worth a go.
Home baked oatcakes are a cinch to make, delicious to eat and like a pair of well-loved brogues, are elegant, timeless and distinctly of these shores.