Oatcakes are perfect bite-sized crackers, but why bother slicing cheddar for an oatcake snack when you can bake the cheese straight in?
I always thought crackers would be hard to make at home. Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong.
As long as you can roll out dough rather thin and keep an eye on the batch in the oven, oatcakes are simple to make.
The ingredients are easy enough, even for non-bakers.
There’s no flour in the actual oatcakes and if you don’t have any flour on hand to dust your work surface, you can use some of the oats you’ll need to grind.
The oats are just your standard, run of the mill oats, but not oats labelled ‘instant’ or ‘quick’. I go a step healthier (show-off, I know) and use an oats mix of wheatbran and oatbran for some extra fibre, but any oats will do.
The recipe below is for cheddar oatcakes because they’re super yummy and not too cheesy, but splendidly savoury. Just enough cheesiness to trigger the ‘I can’t quite put my finger on it… oh, of course it’s cheese’ comments. Feel free to keep it as the secret ingredient.
You can easily adapt this recipe to any flavour you want – just leave out the cheese and add an additional 10ml extra virgin olive oil (to replace the fat from the cheese) along with your flavours of choice.
Try with cumin, spices, seeds or nuts, grinding in the food processor with the oats and adding to taste, or just leave them plain. Don’t introduce too much liquid without adjusting the amount of water and oil you put in. A crumbly dough will make a crumbly oatcake and that’s what we’re after.
The way you cut them is up to you. I’ve used a round cookie cutter and I’ve cut them into squares with a knife. The latter is definitely faster and easier.
If you’re using a knife and you want them somewhat uniform, decide what size you want them (I decide based on the container they’ll go in – hello, easy storage) and make a template, either with a bit of dough or with a piece of greaseproof paper. Once you’ve got your template and your rolled out dough, use your template to make horizontal cuts and then vertical cuts.
Don’t worry about clean edges and the end pieces – a little roughness is totally acceptable when it comes to oatcakes.
Lift the pieces off your surface with the edge of the knife and set on your baking sheet.
They won’t spread out, so they don’t need much space between them.
These take about 15-20 minutes in the oven, but keep an eye on them – if you’ve rolled them thinner, they’ll bake quicker. I can tell you from experience: burnt oatcakes taste rubbish.
Keep an eye on them and take them out when they’re perfectly golden.
- 200g oat
- 5g salt
- dash pepper
- 25g grated cheddar
- 40ml extra virgin olive oil
- 125ml boiling water
- flour to dust your work surface, or ground oats
- Preheat. Preheat your oven to 175°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Grind the oats. Using a food processor, pulse half the oats (or up to a third, for finer oatcakes) until they’re nearly the texture of flour.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Mix the oats (ground and whole), salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil. Combine thoroughly.
- Add water as needed. In small amounts, add water until you’ve got a crumbly dough that stays together when pressed with your hands.
- Roll out the dough. Take a handful of dough and roll as thin as you wish. The thinner you roll it, the crispier it will be.
- Cut to size. Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut into slices.
- Bake. In 175°C oven, bake 15-20 minutes. They’re ready to come out when they’re firm to the touch. Bake longer for crispier oatcakes or if your oatcakes are thicker but watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
Recipe by Amy Lee at Knead to Wander at www.kneadtowander.com
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