Scottish Oatcakes with a Selection of Scottish Cheeses

I have to admit to being an oatcake addict, I enjoy them even more than shortbread. Oatcakes are traditional prepared on a gridle but they can be easily cooked in the oven. While bacon, lamb or beef fat are usually used I like to use butter but you can always use one of these or oil. They are delicious served with conserves for breakfast or with cheese, herrings or soup.

Oatcake comes from the original meaning for cake as a flat hard round bread. The texture of the oatcake vary dependent on the mixture eg. The coarseness of the oats used (pinhead, medium or ground). They are traditionally prepared as one whole round bannock and indented into four by a cross and cooked on a griddle.

Portions: 16 oatcakes

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Oatcakes

  • 200g medium oatmeal
  • 50g pinhead oatmeal
  • 30g butter melted
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100ml boiling water

To Serve

  • Selection of Scottish cheeses or your choice of cheeses
  • small bunch of grapes

Method

  1. Oatcakes: Preheat an oven to 180°C. Place the medium and pinhead oatmeal in a bowl with the sugar and salt. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until well combined. Pour in the melted butter and mix it until well distributed. Make a well in the centre and pour in the boiling water, stir it until it comes together into a firm ball (it may seem wet at first but keep stirring it as the oats will absorb the water). Turn the dough out onto a work top dusted with wholemeal flour or ground oats. Knead the dough for a few minutes then roll it out until it is around .5mm thick. Using a biscuit cutter cut out individual biscuits and place them on a baking tray. Place the oatcakes on the centre shelf in the preheated oven. Leave them to cook slowly for 20 minutes. They should be firm and not coloured. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Store them in a airtight container.
  2. To Serve: Serve the oatcakes with a selection of Scottish cheeses or a similar selection of cheeses and a small bunch of grapes.
Scottish Cheese Selection (as seen in photograph)
  • Isle of Mull: This is a hard unpasteurized cows milk cheese, it is one of the best and most common high standard cheddar type cheeses you can purchase. It has a strong flavour with a slightly crumbly texture and as its flavour develops it has a blue veining near the rind, which adds to its flavour.
  • Criffel: This cheese is prepared from organic unpasteurized cows milk and vegetarian rennet. It is a semi soft cheese which is creamy and rich flavour, it is similar to some of the firmer varieties of brie.
  • Bonnet: This is cheese is made from unpasteurized goats milk and vegetarian rennet. It is an excellent hard cheese which has a very mild flavour of goats milk than is usually expected, instead it has a herby, sweet flavour and a little smoke undertone. The name originates from the local craft of making bonnets for the Scottish regiment.
  • Cairnsmore (natural rind): This is a hard sheep's cheese using vegetarian rennet and unpasteurized milk. This cheese has received many awards over the years and has a sweet and creamy taste with an earthy mild flavour.