Delicious light pancakes made with oats and yeast - traditionally from the Midlands region in England, in particular the county of Staffordshire. The Potteries, an area that is the birthplace of many famous people including Arnold Bennett, Sir Stanley Matthews, Reginald Mitchell, Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic, Josiah Wedgwood, and more recently Robbie Williams…….but just as important to the Potteries as Royal Doulton, Wedgwood etc., are Staffordshire Oatcakes. Once only eaten locally, the Staffordshire Oatcake has grown steadily in popularity over recent years. The traditional filling would be practically any combination of ingredients from an ‘all-day breakfast’ but anything goes these days. Chicken curry, chilli con carne, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and coronation chicken are now quite the norm amongst the oatcake avant-garde, as well as golden syrup, honey, jam and cream.
- Pour the milk and water in a saucepan and warm gently on the hob. This is just to create good conditions for the yeast when the batter is mixed so, as always, keep it below 30°C.
- Add all of the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix together before starting to whisk in all of the warm milk and water. I was looking to get a reasonably thin batter and 600ml did the trick on this occasion. Of course, add less or more milk and water as the situation dictates. Once the batter is mixed, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm room for about an hour, allowing the yeast to make the batter nice and bubbly.
- When it’s ready, give the batter a gentle stir, smear a little butter or oil on a hot, non-stick skillet and add enough of the batter to thinly coat the bottom. Cook on one side until golden (about 3 minutes) and gently flip over and cook the other side for another couple of minutes.
- Note: As oatcakes contain less flour, and wholemeal flour at that, they contain less gluten and will be more prone to tear. I’m guessing this is why people bulk them up with plain flour, but it’s by no means a problem, it just means a gentler hand is required. No vigorous skillet-shaking.
- This batter will yield about 6 large oatcakes. Don’t just stick to savoury fillings, either. Fruit, berries, crème fraîche, syrup, ice cream are all brilliant with these pancakes.