International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Scottish Oatcakes

Scottish Oatcakes (Scottish oats quickbread)

(Scottish oats quickbread)

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Oatcakes are an ancient mainstay of the Scottish diet and were for a long time one of the main sources of carbohydrates for the average Scotsman. These days, Scottish oakcakes are commonly served with jam for breakfast or at afternoon tea topped with delicacies like smoked salmon and creme fraiche.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Oatmeal (see variations) -- 2 cups
  • Whole wheat flour -- 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Water -- 1/2 cup
  • Butter -- 6 tablespoons

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°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.
  2. 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 10 minutes.
  3. Roll the oatcakes dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into 3 to 4-inch rounds. Place the rounds onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden-brown and lightly crispy on the edges.
  4. Serve warm with butter and jam or with syrup.

Scottish Oatcake Variations

  • Oats: Scottish or Irish-style steelcut oats work best for oatcakes. You can use American-style old-fashioned rolled oats instead, but pulse the oats briefly in a food processor or blender first to break them up a bit.
  • The wheat flour can be eliminated for a more gluten-free version. But be aware that most oats have trace amounts of gluten.
  • Add a little sweetness to your oatcakes by stirring about 1/2 cup of brown sugar into the flour mixture.
  • Use milk instead of water if you like.
  • Some recipes substitute shortening, lard or even bacon fat for the butter.
  • Instead of cutting the oatcakes into rounds, simply press out the dough to an even thickness on a baking sheet and bake according to directions above. Cut into squares after removing from the oven.
  • Crispy Oatcakes: Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness before cutting into rounds. Bake as directed in the recipe above.

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