Rustic oatcakes…just add cheese, chutney, wine & friends

The other day I was perusing the shelves of Arjuna, Cambridge’s oldest vegetarian wholefood shop, when I came across a bag of fine oatmeal. Now, maybe I just need to get out more or maybe I just haven’t been looking very well, but fine oatmeal doesn’t seem to be widely available in the supermarket. I wasn’t even sure what I could make with aforementioned oatmeal but I was stupidly excited and bought it anyway.

It wasn’t long before the perfect recipe presented itself to me as did the perfect occasion. On Friday night I rushed home from work and set about making buttermilk oatcakes to take to a friends as an after dinner treat along with some Brie, St Agur and a pot of last years plum chutney given to me by another foodie friend…

The oatcakes were super easy to make and I loved their rustic look…better than the shop-bought, cardboard-like variety any day!

To make them you need…

200g fine oatmeal (if you’re lucky enough to find some or alternatively rolled oats, blitzed into a fine powder in a blender)

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2-3 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

50g unsalted butter

175ml buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Put the oats, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it has the texture of coarse sand and there are no big lumps left. It’s a lot easier if the butter is at room temperature. Stir in the buttermilk to form a gloopy paste.

Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball, then place onto the prepared baking tray. Make sure the balls are about an inch apart before sprinkling them liberally with some more of the oatmeal. Now flatten each ball out into a disc about half a centimetre thick and don’t worry if they don’t look perfect…

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until they are firm in the middle and starting to go golden in colour around the edges. Leave them to cool on a wire rack. Now all that’s left to do is savour them with your fave cheese and a nice glass of red :)…

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