My mother tells a story of a friend of hers who offered to a young guest an oatcake topped with a portion of cheese. The cheese was consumed and the oatcake returned with the words
“That was very nice. And here’s yer wee bit of board back.”
I seem to eat a lot of oatcakes. They come wrapped up in little portable packets and they’re good for you. They should be incredibly easy to make too. But my previous attempts have been only partly successful. I think this is because the recipes I chose included flour in the ingredients. The more I thought about it the more I was inclined to discard the flour completely – along with the other alien ingredients I found in some recipes (what on earth is brown sugar doing in an oatcake recipe?).
There’s a good Health Food shop near me, small and insignificant, but it keeps a great range. From them I can buy three grades of oatmeal, fine, medium and coarse. I decided to try a combination of the three. I also decided to include some butter for flavour, along with lard, for shortness.
I’m really pleased with the result, and this is, more or less, what I’m going to be making from now on. They are crisp, with a good, slightly savoury, flavour.
250g oatmeal – a combination of coarse (1/3), medium (1/2), and a little fine (to fill in the gaps!)
Large pinch salt
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tbsp butter, melted with
½ tbsp lard
200ml recently boiled (ie hot) water in a jug
More fine oatmeal for dusting work surface
Preheat oven to 200ºC
Put dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to incorporate
Make a well and add butter/lard
Add enough of the hot water to make a stiff dough
Dust work surface with fine oatmeal
Roll out as thin as possible
Cut into rounds, or triangles
Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for about 15 minutes, until the edges are just turning brown. Do not let them cook until they are browning in the middle – they will taste overdone.
Cool on a wire rack.
If you can’t get the three different grades of oatmeal, use what you can get, or try some porridge oats (not instant). Just don’t use flour!