Homemade oatcakes are a revelation. The crumbly dough may seem a bit of a struggle, but they are completely worth the effort. Fresh from the oven, the background flavour of the Parmesan and thyme tastes great without a topping, but they are particularly delicious with a sharp Cheddar, some creamy Brie or a fragrant blue cheese. I also eat them with soup or even hummus.
Toss the oats, flour, thyme, Parmesan, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and then pick up bits of the mixture with the tips of your fingers, rubbing it between your fingers and your thumb until all of the butter has been ‘rubbed in’ and you have a uniform crumb mixture.
Gradually add the cold water, continuing to stir the mixture with a small round-bladed knife until you get a thick and quite solid dough. Tip the dough out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead it into a ball.
Roll the dough out until it is just under the thickness of a £1 coin (about 3mm). Stamp out the oatcakes with the cookie cutter, placing them onto the lined baking sheets as you go – you should get about thirty in total. The oatcake mixture is quite crumbly, but just keep squishing it back together with your hands if it starts to break up.
Once the oatcakes are cooked, remove them from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. They are totally delicious with your favourite cheese and chutney, and will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.