Friday, January 03, 2014

More Oatmeal Biscuits - This TIme Scottish Oatcakes

After my previous post about ANZAC biscuits it was mentioned that they sounded similar to Scottish Oatcakes....well, yes and no. Oatcakes are not quite as short(less fat) and not normally sweetened or have very little sugar added but they are mostly oats and biscuits and delicious as well. Below we'll talk about Scottish Oatcakes which are a nice treat for breakfast and with the afternoon tea.

Oatcakes are an ancient part of the Scottish diet. For a long time they were the main source of carbohydrates for your average Scotsman. In the old days you could probably find an oatcake or two in pretty much any sporran. Today oatcakes are commonly served with jam for breakfast or at afternoon tea with savory toppings.  You can find them sometimes in the British section of the market but, as always, homemade are best. There are several ways to get a somewhat proper biscuit and we'll cover most.  It's a pretty quick recipe and fast enough to make for breakfast.

    2 cups oatmeal (see options below)
    1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp Kosher salt
    1/2 cup boiling water
   6 tbsp unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the oatmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together in a large
bowl. Bring the water and butter to a light boil in a small saucepan.
Stir the water-butter mixture into the oat mixture until it forms a mass. Add more water
if necessary to bring the ingredients together as a dough. Set aside to rest for at least 15
minutes. This lets the oats hydrate.
Roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into 3 to 4-inch rounds with a biscuit cutter.
Place the rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet(or use a Silpat) and bake for 20 -
30 minutes, or until golden-brown and slightly crisp on the edges.
These are great just out of the oven with some good butter and jam. To serve with tea try
topping with cream cheese or smoked salmon. For a nice treat you might also top the
cream cheese with a bit of Pick-a-Pepper sauce or Major Grey's Mango Chutney.

Oatcakes Options:

The Oats: Scottish or Irish-style steel-cut oats are traditional for oatcakes but you can use
American-style old-fashioned rolled oats instead. Pulse the oats briefly in a food
processor or blender first to break them up a bit. It doesn't hurt to give the steel cut oats
a quick spin either to make them a little more 'meal' like.  Bob's Red Mill used to make a
Scottish Oatmeal that makes a great oatcake though I haven't noticed it on the store
shelves recently.
You can eliminate the wheat flour for a gluten-free version.
If you want you can add a little sweetness to your oatcakes by stirring in 1/4 - 1/2 cup of
brown sugar. A couple of tablespoons of honey or golden syrup
works too.
You don't have to use butter. Shortening, lard or even bacon fat work.
For a crispier biscuit roll the dough out to 1/4-inch.


karmanot said...

Yummm! To add a little sweetness I add toasted 'sweet' coconut and/or fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries----sometimes hunks of ginger.

fallenmonk said...

That works for me. Sweetened coconut will definitely make them very ANZAC biscuit like.