Sunday, February 16, 2014

Oatcakes: Version 2

Yesterday I finally tried out an oatcake recipe that I've been wanting to try for a while. We liked them a lot, but I was surprised at the amount of butter the recipe called for, and went hunting in my pile for another recipe that I thought I remembered asking Heather to copy from a magazine or cookbook that she'd brought home for me from the library. I have no idea where this recipe came from, but here it is:

Preheat oven to 350

1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup rolled oats (not quick), plus more for kneading
1/4 cup flour (recipe calls for all-purpose, but I used whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Mix oats, flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Mix water and butter in a bowl and microwave just until butter is completely melted (or you can do this on a pot on the stove). Add water/butter mixture to dry ingredients and stir together. Scatter a little oatmeal on a clean work surface and put the dough on it, kneading a couple of times. Cut dough into 2 pieces. Pat a piece of the dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle, cut into 4 wedges, and use a spatula to place each wedge onto a lightly greased rimless baking sheet. Repeat with 2nd half of the dough. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until the oatcakes are just turning golden around the edges, but are not browned. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack before serving.

Bill declared these better than the ones we had yesterday--and he liked those a lot. He thought these were more cracker-like while the ones yesterday tended toward cookie-ness (all that butter, maybe).

I will make this version again, perhaps trying them with some nuts--I liked the nuts in yesterday's recipe. I'll also add some herbs/spices. Bill suggested jalapenos. Why not?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oat Cakes

I've been meaning to try oatcakes for a while now. My friend, Karen, gave me an Irish Pub Cookbook for my birthday and there was a nice recipe in there. It calls for rolling the dough in sesame seeds before placing on the baking sheet and flattening. They looked really great, but I kept forgetting to pick up some sesame seeds when I was in the store. Today I finally decided to skip them for this time. I also left out the thyme that was called for in the recipe, because I wanted to see what these were like plain. Once I know what they're like, I can mess around with herbs and spices in subsequent batches. These also have quite a bit more butter than other recipes I've seen. I have another recipe that I will try soon (maybe tomorrow) that calls for only 2 tablespoons of butter and some water. However, I got 16 oatcakes out of this recipe, so it worked out to 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter per cracker.

Oatcakes (slightly adapted from Irish Pub Cookbook)
scant 1/2 cup butter
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 beaten egg

The recipe said to incorporate the butter into the oats, and whole wheat flour using your fingers. I opted to toss it all in my food processor fitted with the steel blade and whiz until it was crumbly. Then I added the salt and nuts and whizzed again. If you don't use a food processor, add the nuts and salt after the butter, oats and flour are blended and mix in well. Pour in the beaten egg and mix until well blended. Roll dough into walnut sized pieces and place on greased baking sheet. Flatten. It said to use a rolling pin, but it was easier to use the palm of my hand, so I did that. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. The recipe said 12-15 minutes, but that wasn't enough time for me. Ovens vary, though, so just start watching them carefully around the 12-minute mark and when they're golden brown, take them out and place on rack to cool.

The flavor of these was really good and I liked the walnuts in it. The next recipe I will try does not call for the nuts or for rolling the dough in any seeds. My plan is to try a few different recipes, taking what's best from each to come up with what Bill and I like best. I'll update my progress as things move along.

We ate ours for lunch today with hummus on a couple and cheese on a couple. Plain like this they would also be great with peanut or almond butter--they could go sweet or savory.  I'll probably start making some version of these on a regular basis. These will be very handy to have around because we liked them a lot and they would be good on their own as a snack or in place of bread with various toppings.