Oatcakes?

4:45 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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I know it isn't January 25th but have any of you tried Scottish Oatcakes on the trail? I found a recipe that I like and I'm thinking of making some for an impending trip. 

Are they durable/filling/tasty in trail conditions?

I'd even like to hear accompaniment ideas, even if they include that single malt stuff God invented to prevent the Scotts from ruling the world.

7:39 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Are they durable/filling/tasty in trail conditions?

Yes, yes and yes! Breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert. They're very warming and satisfying and they stick with you a long time. Even if they dry up they're still good. You can also make an oatmeal-y breakfast by crumbling and soaking them in hot milk.

I like adding things like chopped dried cranberries and orange zest, fine chopped nuts, and/or chocolate. Experiment to make sure they still hold together, some recipes are more crumbly than others, just as some are sweeter than others.

Another idea, make them thin and turn them into sandwich biscuits with nut butter or fruit puree (or both!) between the layers. If you dip them in melted chocolate (dark or white) or one of those solid yogurt coatings, they'll stay fresh and tender even longer, and you've got extra calories for the trail, along with extra yum.

If you prefer savory to sweet, try them with good sharp cheddar. And a nice dark ale! :)

8:54 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Yes, yes and yes!

It looks like I've stumbled on something you are passionate about ;) You convinced me....sharp cheese, chocolate, yogurt, dark ale...

I think we share the same tastes

I'll post pictures and let you know how they turn out.

11:32 p.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Wow! Sounds like this could be a staple for many future outings... thanks.

10:23 a.m. on March 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Are you referring the oat cakes recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill - Scottish Oatmeal? I eat the Scottish Oatmeal all the time, can't stand the instant stuff anymore, but haven't tried the oat cakes yet. Been eying the recipe for a while but never have the time.

11:22 a.m. on March 29, 2013 (EDT)
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I am a huge fan of the humble oat and I eat oatmeal in some form every day of the week. Walker's Highland Oatcakes are a particular favorite of mine. Especially with ginger marmalade from Dundee. Unfortunately, neither one can be purchased up here, so my in-laws send some up from down south. I regularly eat old fashioned oats, which are large flake rolled oats, as well as steel cut oats, which are whole groats cut with a bladed instrument. As for home made oatcakes, I make my own from a recipe I found in an old cookbook called "Recipes of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland". They are very nutritious as well as filling and probably far better for us than any energy bar.

8:44 p.m. on March 29, 2013 (EDT)
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sounds yummy. got a recipe?

4:14 p.m. on March 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Whats the reference to January 25th?

4:36 p.m. on March 30, 2013 (EDT)
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It's Robbie Burns Day! I'd rather backpack with oatcakes than haggis, myself. :)

(Hmm, freeze-dried haggis...I wonder is anybody supplying this market?)

6:09 p.m. on March 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Okay who is Robbie Burns?

6:54 p.m. on March 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Robbie Burns was a Scottish poet who wrote mainly with a light Scottish brogue. He composed the poem, and lyrics to, Auld Lang Syne.

People of Scottish heritage celebrate his birth day on January 25.

12:25 p.m. on March 31, 2013 (EDT)
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Oh, Okay!

1:39 p.m. on March 31, 2013 (EDT)
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trailjester:

Here's an old recipe from the Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia. (How Scottish is New Scotland? Gaelic roadsigns, clan tartan kilts for special occasions, and professional bagpipers. Also, great breweries and beautiful hills and coastlines.)

These are softer, more cake-like oatcakes. Other recipes, available by request :) make crunchy, crumbly oatcakes. Makes two dozen at least, depending on how big and/or thick you roll them out.

-- 3 c flour. Half wholewheat, half unbleached white turns out fine, but a bit more breakable, you could experiment with the flour.

-- 3 c rolled oats. Any kind of oats except 'instant' will work.

-- 1 c sugar (a bit less will do). White sugar, but sub in some raw or yellow sugar, more experimenting. Dry ingredients work best; honey would change everything, better to save it for a crispy oatcake recipe.

-- 2 teaspoons salt

-- 1 teaspoon baking soda

-- Plus 1 and 1/2 cups of lard, says the original. Real lard, which is naturally pure snow-white visceral fat, is the healthiest form of animal fat, and no doubt good fuel for the outdoors. But you could always use vegetable shortening. Some variations use butter or hard margarine, slightly different result. Just make sure it's a bit chilly, not too soft and warm.

Then you just need enough cold water to hold the dough together, usually 1/4 cup or so. Depends on how dry the rest of your ingredients are.

It's like making pastry after that. Mix the dry ingredients, then cut the lard in with a pastry blender or two knives, until the pieces of lard are all fairly small, under pea-sized. Slowly sprinkle in cold water while mixing lightly with a fork, just until the whole mix holds together. (This is when extra bits like chopped dried berries would go in.) Spread more oats on your rolling surface (never flour), and roll the dough out 1/4 - 1/2" thick. Cut out the cakes, round or square, and bake them on an ungreased sheet at 325F for 15 or 20 minutes, adjusting time for thickness. Until they're golden. "Don't let the bottoms brown, just porridge colour," says the recipe.

Copyright: my friend's granny, of the Clan MacLeod. Hope you like them!

5:49 p.m. on March 31, 2013 (EDT)
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yummy! thanks!

1:54 p.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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As promised:


20130329_201843.jpg

Going into the oven

This recipe used buttermilk.  I'm not completely sold on it yet.  I used real butter since I was out of Lard (we make it at home) and I hate shortening.  They came out softer, a lot like a cookie, I was looking for something more firm.


20130329_203804.jpg

They DO go well with Guinness though.  I am on a ginger kick lately so I added some of that and LOVED it, even though Burns might not have approved.  We ate many that night then more on our Easter picnic/hike.  I will continue to try more recipes, including the one from Islandess.

3:57 p.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Wow, I bet you could make some smashing shortbread biscuits, Sage. Or some buttermilk scones. My stomach is grumbling just looking at those.

All we have in the house is some lousy savoury oatcakes with mixed seeds; I am waiting to get some smoked salmon from the supermarket. I don't like oatcakes as much as other stuff but perhaps that is because I have never had homemade ones.

Haggis: there's a good vegetarian one made by Tesco's in the UK (the popular veggie one is full of crap). Real Haggis: couldn't finish it after reading the ingredients. Besides, they have nearly hunted the poor creatures to extinction here and it's getting hard to find wild Haggis in the shops.

Here's my favourite Burns (song), by Dick Gaughan:

Now Westlin Winds

If anyone wants a particular type of oatcakes to try, send me a PM and I will despatch a sample if and when I can find it in the shops.

4:57 p.m. on April 1, 2013 (EDT)
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Ya, I hear I'll make someone a good wife someday. ;)

July 26, 2014
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