This is the fifth recipe I’ve made from the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook, Theresa Carle-Sanders’s fantastic companion to the Outlander book and TV series.
It’s not the recipe’s fault. I think oatcakes in the 18th century probably were exactly like this: crumbly, gritty, and not very tasty. It was a vehicle for other things rather than something to be appreciated on its own. And it’s true: once I spread some cheese on top, the oatcake became much tastier. The grittiness was suppressed by the creaminess of the cheese, and the saltiness of the cheese paired well with the herbs in the oatcake.
For this recipe, you will need:
1 1/2 cups ground oats (I ran out of oats so I used rolled spelt flakes)
1/4 cup ground pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh or dried thyme
1 tsp minced fresh or dried rosemary
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the ground oats, pumpkin seeds, cornstarch, honey, herbs and salt.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter with 1/4 cup hot water over medium heat. Once the butter boils, stir in the dry ingredients to make a stiff dough. If it doesn’t form a ball, add a little more water. It should be a bit crumbly though. Think shortbread dough.
Divide the dough in two and transfer one of your doughs to a piece of parchment paper. Pat or roll out your dough into a circle and slice it into six pieces using a pizza cutter.
Gently move your parchment to a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Repeat with the other half of dough. Make until lightly golden, 15-20 minutes.
Let the dough cool completely, then gently separate the slices. Top them with honey, cheese, or soft butter. You’ll want to carefully spread toppings because these oatcakes crumble easily.
If I were to make these again, I think I’d add more water. Though they were supposed to be crumbly, I think these might’ve been too crumbly. I didn’t take any pictures of the other half of dough because it went into the oven too dry, and fell apart after I took it out of the oven. I ended up just throwing it in the trash.
I might try to make these again when I do have oats, because they might turn out better than with the rolled spelt. This is what spelt looks like, in one of my first attempts at food styling:
I thought this was an interesting recipe, and a reminder that bread was very different 250 years ago. Bread was not tasty, there was not refined wheat flour that easily formed gluten, and oats and barley were more common than wheat for most people. This recipe could accompany an authentic Outlander dinner.