Corn and almond oatcakes

With onion and chive Double Gloucester. And a hideous paper towel.

This experiment was a definite make-again. Usually, I just buy Nairn’s rough oatcakes because they’re convenient and not bad at all, but we were out of them and I got an urge to make some. It didn’t occur to me to take pictures for blogging purposes until I’d started rolling the dough out.

All measurements are really approximate here, since I tend to bake using the “dump things into a bowl–yeah, that looks about right” approach.  Especially when I’m down with a cold and start rattling around the kitchen after midnight, because I need a certain food now, dammit. 🙂

Corn and almond oatcakes

  • 1 c. (250mL) medium oatmeal, or “old-fashioned” (not the thinner quick-cooking) rolled oats whizzed in a food processor or blender until it’s a coarse meal texture like this
  • 1/3 c. (125mL) cornmeal
  • 1/3 c. (125mL) ground almonds — check your local Indian/South Asian food source for affordable ones, if possible
  • 1/4 c. finer gluten-free flour of your choice — I did not use this initially, and had to add some later when the dough started falling apart!
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. sodium bicarbonate
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking fat of your choice — usually for plain or herbed oatcakes I like butter or bacon grease, but thought virgin coconut oil would go well with the almond
  • Boiling water to make a stiff dough
  • Extra flour for rolling out the dough

Making these is a lot like a rolled-out hot water cornbread, though the dough is easier to handle. 🙂 Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl, and add the fat. This time, I used some good-quality, very coconutty virgin coconut oil I’ve been buying off eBay.

Bottle of coconut oil on the counter, next to rolled-out oatcakes

Pour about half a cup (125mL) hot water over the fat, and let it melt. (Unnecessary with liquid oil, obviously. 😉 ) Stir it into the dry mixture, adding more water as needed. This will vary a lot, depending on humidity levels, what house Jupiter is in, etc. You want just enough water to make the dough hold together. Let it rest for a few minutes.

Flour a clean counter, and plop about a third of the dough on there. Cover the rest of the dough with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Flip it over to get both sides lightly covered in flour. Then roll it out to, erm, your preferred cracker thickness. I used a tallish narrow glass, to double as a cutter.

You can cut them into triangular pieces with a knife, or any other shape you like. I went for neat little round ones.

Rolled and cut dough on the counter

This is what the last small batch looked like, complete with leftover dough monstrosity.

Lay them out on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 375F / 190C for about 10 minutes, or until they start to brown.

The first batch, laid out on a tea towel to cool

Maybe not quite as brown as some of the first batch here. Though they still tasted good, rather than scorched.

Rolling out the additional batches, be aware that this dough slurps up water and starts falling apart a lot more than plain oatcakes will. Hopefully, adding the finer flour from the get-go will prevent some of this. If it gets too crumbly, just add some flour and a splash of water until it’s workable again.

This made a huge batch, but they were all gone within a day or so. 🙂

The second batch wasn't looking nearly as pretty, even with very careful handling. Time for flour and water.

One good thing about these is that, with the different dough properties from the added cornmeal and ground almond, they probably won’t need a second trip into the oven on the lowest setting to finish drying them out and crisping them up. Some of the less-browned ones I did put back in, but am not sure it was necessary. People apparently used to put them on special harnen stands to dry or toast in front of the open fire.

A beautifully designed 18th century Irish wrought iron harnen stand I couldn't resist here.

Source.

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