It’s a cold, rainy, dreary day, just perfect for making Scottish oatcakes! I’d been rearranging my cookbooks the other day (a mindlessly pleasant activity), when I ran across my Scottish recipe file. Scots are not known for their cooking, but they are world famous for their baking. Buttery shortbread, crusty breakfast rolls called baps, and toasty oatcakes are just a few of their specialties.
I say “their,” but both of my parents were born in Scotland, and I feel Scottish to my core. We ate oatmeal for breakfast every morning when I was a kid, and oatmeal is my ultimate comfort food. Nothing better than a big bowl of porridge topped with cream!
So I picked up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal, and, using the recipe on the package, baked some oatcakes. They are delicious! They are crispy, and taste of toasted oats and roasted butter. They are not cookies! They are vehicles for butter, for jam, for cheese and I’ve heard they go well with a wee drap of whisky! Here is the recipe:
1-1/3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup hot water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the oatmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together in a large bowl; stir together. Add the melted butter and stir until evenly distributed. You may want to use the tips of your fingers to help work the butter in. Add the hot water, and stir with a large spoon. Knead a bit to bring the dough together (it’s not sticky), and pat into a ball. Sprinkle your work surface with two tablespoons oats. Roll the dough out 1/4-inch thick. Cut into circles with a 2-3″ round cutter. Scraps can be re-rolled. Place on the prepared baking sheet–they will not spread, so they can be placed close together. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Makes 12 (depending on size of cutter).
Baking notes: Be sure to use Scottish oats. So-called “steel cut” oats are not ground finely enough for making oatcakes, and can be hard as little bullets unless thoroughly cooked. Also, rolled oats are not the right texture. The recipe said to “bake until golden,” but although they will color slightly, they are actually an oatmealy, tweedy light brown, and that’s fine.
I didn’t see any birds for much of last week, and wondered why. Then I saw this guy (a Cooper’s hawk) at the birdbath. Turns out he’d been patrolling the neighborhood for days.
He seems to be gone now, and the bluejays, the cardinals and the robins have returned
Peace to you. Fran