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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Baking in UK: Part 3 - Staffordshire Oak Cakes

It has been a long month of no new baking. In my defense, my kitchen looked like this for a good part of the time!. Notice no oven, cooktop and no sink so that meant no cooking. I hope you have taken time to read David's posts about the remodel and have seen my beautiful new kitchen. So on to cooking.

Kitchen chaos

 As a reminder, I am taking my recipes from, "Paul Hollywood's British Baking" cookbook. Todays recipe is Staffordshire Oatcakes. Staffordshire is from the Midlands, in the area of Birmingham. Again, one of those areas I would love to explore more when life returns to normal.

This recipe caught my eye from the very beginning and was recommended by one of David's friends as a a local food we should try while we are here. It is a griddle cake using relatively simple ingredients with the addition of yeast as the leavening agent. The only preplanning necessary was the ingredient, "fine oatmeal". I was not sure what this meant. I figured that it was like oat flour but when I looked in the grocery store I couldn't find anything that was called fine oatmeal. I did hear that some of the porridge oats are pretty fine but I decided to take matters into my own hands and make some oat flour. This did require the use of my daughter in law's blender. After a few whirs in the blender I had fine oatmeal. If you are looking at the picture of the ingredients, that is what is in the glass jar and the oats I used are behind the jar.


Also notice that I switched to salted butter but since the recipe called for salt I used a bit less that the amount of salt that was called for in the recipe. The other thing to notice is the fact there is no sugar in this recipe. If you are like me, you think pancake when I say it is a griddle cake but these are more like a crepe than a fluffy pancake, with the exception that this recipe has no eggs.


This was an easy recipe. It did require some planning ahead. After mixing all the ingredients, with the exception of the melted butter, it needs to sit for 1 1/2 hours for the yeast to do its thing. This wait period gave me time to think about what fillings to roll into my griddlecake. Paul recommends crispy bacon and cheese. I am not sure where Paul shops but I have yet to find anything that resembles "crispy" bacon. There is a bacon here called 'streaky bacon" which I suppose is the closest a person can find to American bacon but I would not really call it crispy. I also looked at the photograph in the cookbook and to me it looked like traditional English bacon, more like Canadian bacon, so that is what I used.

In keeping with the tradition of crepes, the first attempt at cooking one was not pretty and was used to tear apart and sample and while none of them came our perfectly round, they were acceptable with the last one being the best of them all. (This picture is of attempt number 3).

Take a minute to listen to the bacon frying in the pan. After years of innkeeping, I can't smell and hear bacon cooking without thinking of one thing.....eggs. So while I did eat my first oatcake with Paul's suggestion of ham and cheese, (as pictured below), I also added eggs to my second and it was also delightful. David, not forgetting they are like crepes, rolled Nutella and jam into one. I am pretty sure he liked it by how fast he ate it. 

All in all, I would definitely make these fun oatcakes again. They were a light, slightly fluffy way to wrap up food and eat. Thanks Paul for another great bake. (Can I call it a bake when no oven was used?)

With bacon and aged English Cheddar Cheese