Thursday, 23 January 2014

Back to Basics with Traditional Scottish Oatcakes

The theme for our first Pinnies and Petticoats Aberdeen Cake Club of 2014 was Back to Basics. I immediately knew what I wanted to tackle. Oatcakes. I've never made them before but they are about as basic as you get in terms of Scottish Cookery. I asked my Mum to scour her College, WRI and Young Farmers Cookbooks for recipes. She duly obliged and in the end I opted for a combination of methods predominantly based on a recipe from the Aberdeen Cook Book. Foodie Mum studied at the Robert Gordon's Technical College School of Domestic Science in Aberdeen. She did the Demonstrators course and the recipe came from the 8th edition of the book which dates from 1959. 

Traditional Scottish Oatcakes
The Aberdeen Cook Book recipe said to rub in the dripping. I tried this for the first batch but then switched to melting it which was easier. Also went with boiling water rather than tepid after the first batch. It's a bit of trial and error as to how much water to add but I found it easier to start with a sticky mix as when you roll it out it dries up very quickly. All the recipes said to finish them off by toasting in front of the fire. Alas I failed on this. I guess the modern equivalent might be placing them under the grill but I didn't feel they needed any additional cooking.
Scottish Oatcakes
TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH OATCAKES
1 Cup Oatmeal
2 Teaspoons Melted Dripping
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Bicarbonate of Soda
Boiling Water

Mix the oatmeal, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Pour in the melted dripping and stir to mix. Gradually add boiling water and mix to a soft consistency. Turn on to a worksurface or board sprinkled with oatmeal. Form a round and roll as thin as possible without cracking. Cut into eight and bake on a griddle over a low heat until the edges curl up. 
The remit for the Back to Basics theme was "no fancy decorations, sugar flowers or expensive, hard-to-get ingredients. We're looking for bakes that you can make with things you keep in your cupboard - whether it's a traditional family bake, a leftovers recipe, or just a staple that gets baked time and time again."  We had a fantastic range of bakes within the theme with many different interpretations.
Treacle Parkin, Recipe c 1835
Peanut Butter, Banana and Dark Chocolate Cookies with Caramelised Bacon
WWII Carrot Cookies
Cheese Straws
Chocolate Krispie Cakes
WWII Sponge Cake
Be-Ro Book Shortbread
Fifteens
Chocolate & Chilli Brownies & Cranberry Rock Cakes
Tangerine Cake
Cookie Bars
Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Raspberry Blondies
Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies
White Bread
Cherry Tomato Hearts
The next Bake Club meet takes place on Wednesday 5th February 2014 and the theme is Valentines. Last year I made Cheese Oatcake Crackers and Cherry Tomato Hearts. No idea what I'll make this time round. Off to check out my blog post from last year for inspiration. New bakers are always welcome. Like the Pinnies and Petticoats Facebook Page for all the details. Maybe see you there?

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