With the ‘credit crunch’ continuing to bite, newspapers and magazines are full of advice of ways to save money and reduce expenditure. One topic that arose was the Staffordshire oatcake, not to be confused with the pikelet, a stauch, filling and healthy standby, traditionally eaten by workers in the ceramic industry. Unlike its Scottish equivalent, a Staffordshire oatcake is a type of pancake made from oatmeal, flour and yeast. It is cooked on a griddle or ‘baxton’. The oatcake is a local food, normally referred to as Staffordshire oatcakes or possibly Potteries oatcakes by non-locals, because they were made in this area. In and around Staffordshire they are simply known as oatcakes. Each baker or even each household has their own recipe and these are jealously guarded secrets. It was once common throughout the Potteries for oatcakes to be sold directly from the window of a house to customers on the street. Few such producers of this style remain, their role being taken over by more commercial producers; they are, apparently, now available in supermarkets. Recipes are notoriously hard to find but one on the web gives the following mixture for serving two people.
50g wholemeal flour
50g fine oatmeal
½ tsp dried yeast
15g melted butter
Rapeseed oil for shallow frying
Mix together the flour, oatmeal, yeast and season well. Whisk in the butter and 125ml of tepid water. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add 4 large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan to make 4 oatcakes. Fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden.
Maybe others have better alternatives.