Ingredients for North Staffordshire Oatcake:
- 225g fine oatmeal
- 225g wholewheat or plain flour
- 1tsp salt
- 15g yeast
- 450ml warm milk
- 450ml warm water
- 1tsp sugar
Method for North Staffordshire Oatcake:
- Mix the water and milk together.
- Mix the salt to the flour and oatmeal in a large bowl.
- Dissolve the yeast with a little warm liquid and add the sugar. Allow the mixture to become frothy.
- Mix the dry ingredients with the yeast liquid to make a batter adding the remainder of the warm liquid.
- Cover the batter with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for about an hour.
- Pour out enough batter on a well-greased griddle to make an oatcake of about 22cm. The surface will be covered in holes as it cooks.
- Flip the oatcake after 2-3 minutes when the top side has a dry appearance and the underneath is a golden brown colour and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Try to use the heaviest frying pan available as this will keep the heat constant which is best for making oatcakes. Great served with fried bacon, mushrooms and cheese as a savoury snack or with butter and jam as a sweet treat.
Oatcakes can be frozen and a microwave is the ideal method of defrosting and reheating them.
History, Secrets and Health
I heard that soldiers returning from India in days gone by tried to duplicate the chapattis they had enjoyed but using local ingredients and the North Staffordshire Oatcake was born.
The exact recipe varies between oatcake shops and was for many years a closely guarded secret. There would be an oatcake shop on nearly every street corner years ago. Not just selling the oatcakes but also hot filled oatcakes. This was fast food prior to the Golden Arches and supersize me.
Being very much a regional dish – indeed, less than a county – oatcakes were always missed by ex-pats from the Potteries. There used to be a hotel in Leamington Spa that sent someone up to Stoke-on-Trent at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning to get supplies.
Being made with oatmeal, they are actually quite high in fibre but filling with melted cheese and fried bacon may reduce the health benefits somewhat.
My favourite is to place under the grill with thin slices of cheese on. When bubbling, add a generous amount of Branston pickle and roll up.
You can buy North Staffordshire oatcakes from some of the major supermarkets in the UK. For those poor souls in far off lands, this is how to make them,