Sunday, August 5, 2012

Scottish Oatcakes - Attempt #1

Part of my ethnic heritage is Scottish, and lately I've been thinking about what folks eat in the countries my ancestors came from.  The oatcake comes to mind, and there are various different versions of them.

The thicker, dense variety are also called bannocks.  I've tried those in the past and just didn't care for them, but there's a version that's similar to a crepe so I went looking for recipes.  I found this charming video on YouTube about them:

Well, after watching THAT and the gentleman talking about eating them with bacon grease dribbling down his chin, I was totally wanting some right away.  I probably shouldn't have watched it without having eaten first, but que sera sera.

I experimented with my own version of a recipe since I didn't have any oat flour on hand and didn't want to try making my own oat flour in the food processor this time.  Here's what I did....

1 cup water and 1 cup milk, warmed in the microwave.

1/2 teaspoon yeast dissolved in the liquid and stir in 1/2 tablespoon sugar.

In a large bowl, mix together 3/4 cup wheat flour, 3/4 cup white flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Pour the liquid and yeast mix into the dry ingredients and whisk together.

Cover, and let sit in a warm place for an hour.

Now mind you, I was looking at 3-4 different recipes at the same time, trying to come up with something that would work.  At this point, you were supposed to stir in a tablespoon of melted butter and start cooking them.  It was supposed to be thin like crepe batter (or a very thin pancake batter) but something went a little wild... it was thick as oatmeal and bubbling.  I added a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and drizzled water in while stirring to get it thin again.  It wound up taking another 1/2 cup of water to get it right.

At this point, I heated up a large nonstick pan, threw a little butter in and used a big soup ladle to pour batter in the pan.   Cook til the bubbles firm and flip, brown lightly on that side and it's done.

I made a stack of about 12 of these babies up.  Fortunately, one of them broke on me so I could nibble at a few fragments while I continued cooking the rest of the batter.  After one bite, I grabbed a little strawberry jam and tried that too.  Then some butter with the jam.  It was awesome.  I was sad that I'd only had 1/3 of an oatcake, and I still had 5 more to cook before I could stop.

I had cooked some breakfast sausage up, so the other 2/3 of the broken one wound up with a bit of maple syrup on it and wrapped around the sausage while I continued to cook.

It was *very* satisfying.   I had a really full day of housework ahead of me, so after they'd cooled I wrapped all but 2 up and put in the freezer.  I figured that if I couldn't freeze and reheat them, they were useless to me for something quick on the go.  To be honest, I can't remember how I ate the 2 I'd held out, but I remember being happy with it.

The next day, I cooked some bacon, 2 eggs (over medium) and sliced a little cheese while 2 oatcakes thawed out in the microwave, with my fingers crossed.   The texture held up to it, and they were slightly warm after about a minute on high.  So I put some bacon and cheese on half of each, egg on top and folded over to pick up and eat sandwich-style.  One would have been sufficient, I wound up skipping lunch that day because I was so full.  And the texture plus flavor made me blissfully happy.  I also tried them with some apples I'd sauteed with a little cinnamon, topped with ricotta cheese and a very thin drizzle of maple syrup over the top.  Again, pure bliss.

The rest - well, my roommate never got to try any.  I was completely selfish and didn't even tell him about them.  I'm calling my first attempt a huge success, but next time I will try with some oat flour and see how they come out.

If you decide to try these gems, do let me know how it works for you, or feel free to ask me any questions.  Bon appetit!


  1. *drool* Can't wait to try this! Thank you for sharing, Alan!

  2. It sounds wonderful! I'd definitely like to know how they turn out with oat flour, and whether or not they'd work with almond or rice milk -- or coconut milk!-- instead of the dairy. I haven't made pancakes since my kids were little, but these sound so versatile I'm going to try them!

  3. DeAnna, I don't think the milk is at all necessary, I think in the video they said they just used water and had no dairy in it at all.