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Seeded oatcakes with poppy and sesame, my copy of Nairn’s rough oatcakes. Warning: try them with butter and jam at the risk of addiction!
These were tricky to get right. I simply wanted to replicate the excellent Nairn’s rough oatcakes. Yes, I know – just BUY them, woman! But it’s the compulsive ‘I wonder if I can do one as good’ cook’s mindset that eggs me on. And I fancied playing with adding seeds to the oatcakes.
Basically oats and water, it turns out the recipe needed some tweaking and fine tuning. If indeed made from just oats and water, they’ll dissolve into a million of crumbs or basically oats, once the water has evaporated. The dough needs a cohesive element – butter. Goodbye, vegan-friendly snack as plant oil simply doesn’t work in these: the fat must solidify to make the biscuits set.
I have added sesame seeds and poppy seeds: both are delightful. But if you prefer fancy stuff like chia, go for it. The recipe below makes a small batch of up to twenty cakes, depending on the size.
And now what? What do you do with oatcakes then? Aren't they just what’s miserably left on the cheese board?
They may well be but that’s because by the time we order the cheese board as afters, we’re stuffed, and in truth don’t really even fancy the cheese any more, let alone dry, sweetless biscuits. It’s an entirely different story at home: grab a few with a couple of pieces of cheese for your supper, stack a pile of them for lunch with a massive mixed salad or do what I do. My latest discovery, the best and absolutely, dangerously addictive use of oatcakes is to spread them with butter and a lick of jam.
I went through a phase recently of going through a box of Nairn’s over a couple of days. They are conveniently packed in portions of seven which I quickly understood as a single serve for me, even though perhaps the intention is to serve four with that amount. I managed to infect The Weather Man with the passion for butter-and-jam oatcakes and we would happily chomp through half a box on a telly-watching evening. Which is all the reason why I undertook to make my own: if I have to bake them myself, it’ll make the intake a bit more sensible as – wholesome and gut-friendly as they are – they aren’t calorie free especially with the butter and the jam.
seeded oatcakesServings: makes 16-20 oatcakesTime: 45 minutes
- 150g medium oatmeal
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp fine salt
- 10g butter, softened
- 100ml boiling water
- For the poppy oatcakes:
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- For the sesame oatcakes:
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp honey
- fine oatmeal, for dusting surface
1. Preheat the oven to 160C (fan if available)/325F/gas 3. Line a large oven tray with parchment.
2. Stir the bicarbonate of soda and salt into the oatmeal. Stir in the poppy seeds and sugar, or the sesame and honey. Add the butter and pour in boiling water, aiming at the butter so it melts. Mix to a soft dough.
3. Let it stand for 10 minutes or so while the oats absorb the water and thicken up to rolling consistency.
4. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment lightly dusted with fine oatmeal, to about 5mm thickness. Cut oatcakes with a pastry cutter, 7cm/3in, and place on the baking tray. Re-roll the offcuts to use up the dough.
5. Bake the oatcakes for 20 minutes. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.