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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
richd BS: Oatcakes & pikelets - yum! (54* d) RE: BS: Oatcakes & pikelets - yum! 05 Dec 09

The taste and texture. Yearsted batter also stretches scarce oats at the end of the season. There is an incredible variety of flatbreads made with oats even in the British Isles. Elizabeth David has an entire chapter on them in English (includes Welsh and Scottish) Bread and Yeast Cookery. Oatcakes tend either to be made with a thin yeasted batter- as in the Potteries, or thin well rolled out cakes made with meal, water and a small ammount of fat. These can then either be cooked on a flat bakestone, or in fron of a fire on a small flat stand. They may also (rarely) be oven cooked at a very low heat. Oats have less gluten than wheat so produce very poor quality loaves, flat breads are the best use for them. In fuel poor upland areas ovens were rare, so oatcakes were the 'daily bread'. In Wales, both varieties were cooked, although in South Wales the yeasted variety- often sourdough- were the most common- and cooked on a cast iron bakestone. I was taught to make oatcakes, and crumpets, pikelets and Welshcakes on the Bakestone by my Gran. I inherited her bakestone, which my daughters and I still use for making oatcakes. Best not to be too prescriptive about oatcakes methinks, except to celebrate their role in keeping the materialy poor alive. S. Minwel Tibbott has an interesting chpater on different 'oatcake practices' in Domestic Life in WAles.

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