You’ll even find them at Tim Horton’s next to the donuts.
Oats grew well in the often challenging conditions of the Scottish climate (and on the marginal land which many people were forced onto), and many traditional recipes from Scotland feature the hardy grain.
The traditions continued in Nova Scotia (which translated means ‘New Scotland’) when Scottish immigrants settled on this side of the water.
Everyone has their preferences, but a general feature of all oatcakes is that they are not overly sweet. Many traditional Scottish recipes contain no sugar at all, but around here we seem to prefer a slightly sweeter variety.
Still, I think you should be able to serve good oatcakes for breakfast with jam or cheese, on their own as a snack, or along side soup instead of crackers or bread.
My version uses whole wheat flour along side the oatmeal, slightly less butter than many recipes seem to call for, and considerably less sugar.
They are hearty, healthy, simple and delicious.
If you prefer a finer texture, you can whizz the oatmeal in a blender or food processor for 10-15 seconds to break up the flakes.
I like my oatcakes thinner and somewhat crisp – a bit more like a cracker. For a softer cake, keep the dough thicker when you roll it out.
- 2 cups / 500 ml oatmeal
- 1 cup / 250 ml whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml salt
- 1/2 teaspoon / 2.5 ml baking soda
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml cold butter cut in small cubes
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml warm water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F / 170 degrees C.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In medium bowl, combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda.
Stir until ingredients are evenly mixed.
Toss butter with dry ingredients, then cut into mixture with two knives or pasty cutter.
When butter is thoroughly cut in, and mixture looks crumbly, sprinkle water over then stir in until a ball of dough forms.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and roll about 1/4-inch / .65 cm thick. (If you prefer a softer oatcake, roll the dough out 1/2-inch / 1.25 cm thick.)
Trim edges to make a rectangle, and cut dough into smaller rectangles or triangles.
Reroll scraps and repeat until all dough is used.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Let cool completely on wire rack.
For a change, add 1/3 cup finely chopped dried cranberries to the dough after the butter has been cut in and before the water is added.
This recipe was updated on March 5, 2016. I increased the brown sugar, butter and water. The changes make a dough that is easier to handle with better flavor.