There is always something so satisfying about making something at home that you’d usually buy. Especially when it comes to cheese (see here, here, here and here for my various ode to cheeses). I am the person who always has about 6 types of cheese in the fridge and zero all crackers. Now this isn’t a problem, I will eat cheese straight up no complaints, but sometimes I want to pretend I’m a bit more of a classy girl. Sometimes I want to pretend my life is all under control and what says that more than a sophisticated cheese platter. Well probably having your housing situation sorted out, understanding tax returns and doing remembering to wash all your clothes on time, but that ain’t how I roll.
Enter the seriously grown-up rosemary, cheese and black pepper oatcakes. These things are addictive. And I mean “move over cheese, I’ll just eat the whole batch of these bad boys on their own” addictive. Now lets stop talking about cheese and getting baking with it…
It always amazes me when you find something you love has hardly any ingredients. These oatcakes are made of oat bran (shocker), oats (even bigger shocker), hot water, a dash of oil and any flavour of your choice. I went with rosemary, black pepper and sharp cheddar because that’s how I roll. Flavour overload here we come.
Everything goes in a bowl and then we trickle in hot water. The trick with these oatcakes is getting the right consistency dough. The hot water binds all our ingredients together in a semi-sticky ball of oaty goodness. Don’t be afraid to add a bit more water as you go, you can always add more oat bran if your mixture gets too sticky.
We roll our oatcakes (I say roll, I pretty much smooshed them with my hands) and place on a well floured surface for baking. After 25 minutes of baking we welcome these oatcakes into the world and into our mouths.
Ingredients inspired by Bill Cowie’s oatcakes championed by HFW
140 grams porridge oats
140 grams oat bran/oatmeal, medium coarseness
75ml extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
80 grams strong sharp cheddar, finely grated (use more if you like them even cheesier)
Plenty of fresh ground black pepper
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves finally chopped
Dash of just boiled water
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F) and lightly dust two baking sheets with flour. Put the kettle on with a small amount of water and boil.
2. Put on ‘What do you know’ by Nostalgia 77. Some unconventional oatcake making music.
3. Place all your ingredients bar the oil and hot water in a bowl and give them a quick mix. Add in the oil and stir till combined.
4. Add the boiling water to the mix, a small splash at a time. It’s impossible to give exact measures as it all depends on the consistency of your oats and oat bran. Just keep adding water and mixing well until the dough sticks together. You want the mixture to stick together in a ball when formed between your hands. If it feels too stick just add more oat bran/oatmeal.
5. Dust your surface and roll out the mixture to about 5mm thick. Cut out using a 6cm cutter and place on the dusted baking trays.
6. Place oatcakes in the oven for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and cook for another 5-10. Check after 5. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
7. Recommended serving with a good strong blue cheese and quince paste on the side. I get my quince paste from Une Normande a Londres at Borough market – worth the extra pennies.