baking, bannocks, baking bannocks, Castle Leoch, Mrs. Fitz
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The Perfect Oatcakes

from The Guardian
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling Time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Scottish
Keyword: 20th Century Baking, Bannocks, Bread, Oatcakes, Oatmeal, Oats
Servings: 9 bannocks
Calories: 110kcal

Special Equipment

Ingredients

  • 200 g medium oatmeal (about 1 cup) (and by this she means oat flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 50 g pinhead oatmeal (aka steel cut)
  • 25 g porridge (aka rolled oats), see Notes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder, see Notes
  • 75 g butter (about 1/3 cup), cubed, see Notes
  • 75 ml water (¼ cup + 1 Tbsp, 2 1/2 oz), boiling

Procedure

  • Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark six. Mix together the oatmeals and oats and spread out on a half sheet baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, shaking the tray occasionally, until they start to smell toasted. (I liked the idea of toasting the flours before baking to amp up the flavor, but I didn’t realize at the time the effect it would have on the brittleness of the final product.)
  • Tip into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the salt and sugar. Stir the butter into the boiling water until melted, then stir this into the oats to make a sticky mixture. If it seems too wet to hold together, add a little more of the medium oatmeal, but it should be quite damp. (The dough was damp, but was it damp enough? I really didn't know then, but probably not.)
  • Butter the lined baking pan. Dust a work surface with medium oatmeal and put the mixture on there. Pack together well and flatten or roll out with a well-dusted pin until it is about 5mm (about ¼’) thick.
  • Cut out rounds of the size of your choice, then use a palette knife (or spatula) to carefully lift each one on to the tray, still in the cutter as they will be fragile. Space them out well and re-roll any scraps until all the mixture is used up. (I rolled these as indicated and used a 2-1/2 inch biscuit cutter, and boy, were they fragile…I couldn’t even get them to the tray without crumbling! My theory is that toasting the oat flour dries it out, so it’s really going to absorb the water added.)
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then very carefully turn them over and bake for 10 more minutes until they feel hard and dry on both sides. (My baking time wasn’t even close to that 20 minutes...it was more like 10 minutes on the first side and 5 minutes on the second. Turning them also proved to be disastrous. I did like that my kitchen smelled nutty as they were baking, though.)
  • Gently transfer to a wire rack to cool, then store in an airtight tin. (Gently transfer, indeed...only 2 made it without breaking up.)

Recipe Notes

I ran out of rolled oats, but I figured that my makeshift oat flour was coarse enough to get the intended texture.
The baking powder was my addition as many recipes called for it and I wanted to see if it made any difference. It didn’t.
There was way more butter than the previous recipe, but I reasoned it was because we weren’t using milk.
Did you make this recipe? Please share your pictures with the world on your social media…tag @outlandercast (on Instagram and Twitter) and use the hashtag #howtheymadeitoutlander. I can’t wait to see your creations!