Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scottish Oat Cakes

Oatcakes are a mix or cross between crackers(cookies) or pancake and as the name suggests made usually of oats alone or with flour thrown in. There are different types of oatcakes like Scottish oatcakes baked in oven or griddle,yeasted oatcakes from North Staffordshire which are cooked on a griddle,thicker /larger oatcakes from Derbyshire.

In Scotland oats is grown abundantly and is the staple grain and hence the oatcakes are like traditional dish of Scottish.It is a major source of carbohydrate and can be used with sweet or savoury sides and also these days for breakfast instead of bread or toast. It is said that Queen Elizabeth II enjoys Scottish oatcakes for breakfast.

I found an all oats and no flour recipe in the Vegetarian Times and it was quick and easy and turned out to be delicious.The recipe uses oats as well as oatflour. The texture of the oatcake depends on how finely the oats has been powdered.Mine was coarsely ground and I got grainier cakes. But the taste was excellent.

Ingredients:
Old fashioned Oats: 2 cup
Lite Brown Sugar: 4 tbsp (I used regular,heaped)
Baking Soda: 3/4 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp

Oatflour: 1 cup + more for dusting
Margarine: 4 tbsp (cold)

ButterMilk: 3/4 cup

Preparation:
Mix together oats,sugar,soda and salt in a medium bowl.

In another wider bowl,take oatflour,cut in margarine and mix with your hands till it becomes crumbly. You can use store bought fine ground oats flour or simply take 1-2 cups of oats in a blender and few pulses to get flour. You can finely powder it or get a coarse one. I went for a coarser flour.

Once you get a crumbly oat flour-margarine mix,add in the other oats-sugar-soda mix to this and mix well. Stir in buttermilk -1/2 cup first- and knead into a dough. I added all the buttermilk and ended up with a slightly sticky mass which needed ew more tbsp of flour.So add buttermilk carefully. Once a dough is formed,transfer it to a counter which is dusted with oatflour.

Using hands or rolling pin gently roll the dough out into a rectangle which is 1/4 inch thick.For ease of use you can divide the dough into smaller rounds and then work with one round at a time,which is what I did.Rolling pin gives a thinner and finer stuff than the hand method.I tried both since I had divided the dough into 2 pieces.

Using a knife make impressions or cut the rectangle into squares and cut each square into a triangle.

Carefully lift each triangle and place onto a baking sheet which had been lined and/or lightly greased.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325F (162C) for 15-20 minutes until the edges start to brown.My first batch was thick and it took about 15 minutes,while my "rolling pinned" thinner second batch took barely 12 minutes.

The baking collage is....


Serve topped with jam,cream etc. I was sceptical about the taste,but I loved it when I tasted it. It looks grainy and amateurish,but its healthy,tasty and wonderful.I loved it as such. Actually I thought the sugar amount was too low but it was just right.

Update on 14th feb '11: These are hearty when fresh and warm. The above estimate gave more than 2 dozen peices. I had few leftover and those tasted a bit bland as such,but not with toppings.So better halve the recipe and polish off quickly on the same day.It may be the way I did things or the recipe. Need to try more oat cake recipe to know :).


The simple yet healthy oatcakes are on way to AWED:British at Karasaaram,an event by DK.

Along with Oats Muffins, they also visit CWF:Oats at Priyas,an event by Kiran.

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