JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Last night I made oatcakes. Easy peasy. Delicious. Far cheaper to bake at home (also no plastics or other wrapping). I'm ashamed it's taken me so long, and that the impetus was laziness: it was easier to make them than to go out and buy some.


250g rolled oats
a pinch of bicarb
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp butter
very hot water

Begin by making oatmeal from the rolled oats; blitz them in a food processor until they are coarse or fine crumbs, depending on the texture you are aiming for in the finished biscuits.

Tip them into a big bowl. Add the salt and bicarb, then stir in the melted butter (you could use olive oil). Add the water very slowly - you want as little as possible, just enough to make the oats stick together. I'd be surprised if I used more than 100ml.

Gather the oats up into a ball, then roll them out as thin as you can. Either stamp them into little rounds, or make traditional farls* by cutting a large circle into six.

Put the cakes onto a baking sheet and bake in a hot oven (200c) for 15-20 minutes. Watch them carefully towards the end; you want them just beginning to turn brown at the edges. I baked mine in the wood oven; the temperature was rising from 180 to 210 while they were in, and they took 18 minutes. I suspect they are pretty forgiving.

* I've just discovered that farl comes from Viking for 1/4, but these days farls of oatcake and shortbread are cut into six rather than four.


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

And I'm ashamed to say I've never even thought about making oatcakes...

I must now, though - that recipe is SO straightforward, it'd be a crime not to. And oatcakes are just so good with cheese...

Celia Hart said...

So satisfying to know the origin on 'farl'.

The very best oakcakes I've had were in a museum tea shop on the isle of Lewis, our local walking guide recommended them as he knew the lady who made them. I bought some oatmeal and had a phase of making them when we got home - she used lard. I couldn't replicate baking them in a peat fired oven - I bet yours come close :-)


Becky said...

Aren't oatcakes fab. I made some for British Cheese Week.Same reason as you , the shop down the road didn't have any crackers except Ritz but they did have bags of oats

emilyobyrne said...

I tried making oatcakes recently. They all fell apart when I baked them. I am incapable of making things made of oats and butter, I can't make flapjacks either. I will stick to digestives, its okay so long as there is flour in the mix.

Joanna said...

I've just made some digestives, also easy, also better than packet. I can't make flapjacks, either ... if they don't stick together, they burn, so I've stopped trying