200 oatcakes

oatcakes

Well, this is my 200th blog on WordPress, and I feel pretty pleased with myself for getting that far! That is since January this year, when if you look back I have also tried to include photographs whether taken on that day or from my past. I also have 333 followers which I am also pleased about, so thank you for all the ‘likes’ and follows.

The blog has shown me another way of expressing myself, it has been a broad mix and an opportunity to make my novel Underpainting available. I hope anyone reading it is enjoying it and seeing that I believe the story matters little, it is just a coathanger for ideas.

Today I have decided to include a recipe for oatcakes from my mothers’ handwritten recipe book she bagan in the mid 1930’s. This she copied from The Cheadle and Tean Times in about 1969.

Oatcakes are a speciality of North Staffordshire/Stoke-on-Trent, they also reach south Cheshire and east Derbyshire. It is a  10-12 inch round thin soft wonder (the plate in the above photograph is a dinner plate). We still have oatcake shops, two or three at least in each of the towns that make up Stoke-on-Trent and they are used to wrap warmed around bacon, sausages, mushrooms, melted cheese in almost any combination. Being a ‘bit posh’ in my eating habits I have also had asparagus in them, which is delicious. Total barbarians have sweet things like bananas! I also just like them warmed with butter and rolled. They are of course a working class food, an easy way to wrap other food in then warm up in the pottery kilns. For those who haven’t tried them, think of a gallette or tortilla, but made of oats and more flavoursome. They are NOT the Scottish oatcakes which I also like but are a biscuit.

Oatcakes (makes about 6-7)

½ lb Fine oatmeal
½ lb Plain white flour
1 tsp salt 1 tsp sugar
½ oz fresh yeast
¾ ib Warm milk and water

Seive the oatmeal and flour into a warm basin. Add salt and stir. Dissolve yeast with a little of the warm liquid and add the sugar. Set aside in a warm place for it to rise.

Mix the ingredients with the yeast and the rest of the liquid to make a nice batter. Cover with a cloth and let the batter stand in a warm place for about an hour.

Pour liquid onto a well-greased bakestone or thick frying pan (medium-hot) in about 10-12 inch sized circles, turn when necessary.

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6 thoughts on “200 oatcakes

  1. Lovely post… I always love family recipes. My mother-in-law kindly shared many recipes for baked goods from her mother and it would be nice to share them. You’ve inspired me! Time to get cooking!

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    1. I have found that with my mothers cookbook many of the older ones have lots more sugar than my taste is nowadays, but then in the 40’s-50’s in the UK chocolate, sweets and so on were not as easy to buy, there is also a lot of lard! Try oatcakes, simple but very good especially if you like savoury things, but make sure the oatmeal is very finely ground. I have always enjoyed my visits to the US and eating local food. Family cookbooks where the source is told are invaluable parts of our history.

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      1. We actually cook with lard… I don’t think it’s evil incarnate but I do believe it should be used judiciously. But we also drink full fat milk and eat real butter and cream 🙂

        I have a problem with some of my mother-in-laws recipes because they use Crisco and I don’t use vegetable shortening. So finding a reasonable substitute can be tough – both butter and lard change the consistency of the final product. I need to do some research, I think.

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