Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The Perfect Oatcake

Its been a long time coming, my writing regularly in these pages. I've been an intermittant passer-by to the blog these past two years but I have now built up a huge list of recipes and ideas I want to explore and I finally have the time to devote to the cooking, growing, gathering and scrounging required - so here goes!

Have you ever eaten the perfect oatcake? Was it crumbly or firm? Coarse or fine textured? Fife cut (i.e. chunky triangles) or dainty and round? Was it rich and buttery or flaky with lard? Oatcakes are full of soluble fibre and provide a prolonged energy releaes so they are good for you in every possible way. As I try to reduce my bread intake (I love love love bread) oatcakes have become my new love.

I've baked a heap of oatcakes, used every possible kind of oatmeal, I've tried adding bran, fruit and blends of spices. I like my oatcakes with a bit of texture so have sworn off the fine oatmeal that is almost the texture of flour, but can't quite get my teeth round the coarser grainy texture of pinhead oatmeal (although it makes a good chunky textured biscuit to serve with soft cheese and chutney.)

In the interests of research, I've tried oatcakes dipped in chunky soup, served them with fresh cheeses and popped them in my pocket as an energy snack before a run and I think I can finally lay down my tastebuds and settle on one final recipe - for now anyway.

The Perfect Oatcake
50g (2oz) medium oatmeal
50g (2oz) wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
25g (1oz) lard (melted)
5tbsp boiling water
1tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1tbsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 180C. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Pour in the lard and boiling water then stir till the mixture forms a ball. Roll out till 5mm thick and cut circles with a 4cm cutter. Lay on a baking sheet. Mix together the rosemary and sea salt.
Sprinkle the tops with the rosemary and salt mixture.
Bake for 8-10 mins until the biscuits are just starting to turn golden brown.

Eat with homemade soup, pate or strong cheese.

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