Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Off Grid Making: Staffordshire Oatcakes

I first tried Staffordshire Oatcakes in December when we went to Stone to see the YWBS lot. I'd never heard of them before so when I saw them on the menu in the Fleur Tea Rooms I had to give them a try, and found them really delicious. They don't seem well known outside of a limited area around the heart of canal country in Staffordshire, but were once a common type of quick and easy fast food eaten by the workers, cooked in brick ovens and sold out of front windows!

Today I decided to try and make my own, and was surprised at how easy and tasty they were. Basically they are like a pancake, but using yeast to rise instead of egg and oatmeal in place of most of the flour. They can be eaten sweet or savoury. The recipe, from here, would make enough for about 8-10 oatcakes.

Topped with crispy bacon, tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Mmm
  • 225g fine oatmeal (I used Ready-Brek because it's readily available and pretty cheap)
  • 225g wholewheat or plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 15g yeast
  • 450ml warm milk
  • 450ml warm water
  • 1tsp sugar



I used my heavy Le Creuset pan
  1. Mix the water and milk together.
  2. Mix the salt to the flour and oatmeal in a large bowl.
  3. Dissolve the yeast with a little warm liquid and add the sugar. Allow the mixture to become frothy (I found that with dry active yeast it really only starts frothing a little at the edges but that's fine).
  4. Mix the dry ingredients with the yeast liquid to make a batter adding the remainder of the warm liquid until it's the consistency of double cream - you may not need to add all the liquid.
  5. Cover the batter with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for about an hour. I got impatient and only left it about 40 mins and they still tasted great.
  6. Heat butter or oil in a heavy pan and when it is hot, pour the mixture in and let it spread to make a thin pancake. The surface will be covered in holes as it cooks.
  7. 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

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  1. We went up the Caldon Canal on nbStella three weeks ago and discovered Staffordshire Oatcakes in Leek market. Very good they were too - and only 98p for 6!

    1. I don't know why they're so unknown outside of Staffs, they're delicious!

  2. We always buy Oatcakes when we are that part of the world now we know what they are. The Oatcake makers are missing a trick keeping them 'secret' from the rest of the UK!. We put cheese and onion in them and warm them thru - a great on the move snack.

    1. Mmm. will definitely be adding them to my quick eats while cruising list!

  3. Those sound and look extremely yummy Amy. I've never heard of using yeast in a pancake before--I'll have to try them.

    I have an oatmeal pancake recipe which I used to fix frequently when my daughters were young. I always made them on bitter cold mornings because they stuck with you through thick and thin. We Americans dress ours with butter and maple syrup. Thanks for taking me back to a sweet memory!

  4. Definitely try them! I'm sure they'd be delicious with sweet things too.

  5. Having lived in Staffordshire all my life we often have them with cheese and bacon or scrambled egg or piping hot jam inside. I find that they are always an easy cooked alternative to a full English on a weekend.