Fennel and Pepper Oaties

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes around


Appears in

Good Food For Bad Days

Good Food For Bad Days

By Jack Monroe

Published 2020

  • About

If you don’t have fennel seeds to hand, any aromatic spice seed will do – try caraway, poppy seeds, cardamom or cumin. They will each impart a completely different flavour, but they will be absolutely delicious regardless. These oaties are easily made gluten-free, simply swap the oats for a guaranteed gluten-free variety and use gluten-free flour. If you don’t have gluten-free flour, simply sift the blended oats over the worktop briefly to lightly dust it, and use the remaining oats in the recipe.


  • 120 g porridge oats
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 2–4 tbsp warm water, as needed
  • a little plain flour, for dusting


Measure the oats, fennel, salt and peppercorns into the small cup of a bullet blender and pulse until finely ground to a breadcrumb consistency.

Pour the oats and spices into a large mixing bowl. Pour the oil and 2 tablespoons of the water into a small jar with a lid and screw the lid on tight. Shake vigorously to mix and emulsify, then pour over the oat mixture. Mix well to form a stiff but not crumbly dough. Add another tablespoon of water if needed, and another if needed after that. The dough should form balls when rolled in your fingers, but not fall apart or stick to your hands too much.

Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, set your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and ensure there is a shelf just below the centre. Line or lightly grease a baking tray or cookie sheet and set to one side. Lightly flour your worktop and get your rolling pin out ready.

When the dough is chilled, gently roll it out to around 4mm thick. Cut into rounds and carefully place on your prepared baking tray. Squish the dough back together and roll out, until it’s all used up.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, turning very carefully halfway through with a wide spatula to cook evenly. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for a further 20 minutes to firm up, before moving them to an airtight container or freezer bag to store. Cool completely before sealing the container or bag. Will keep for 4 days, or 3 months in the freezer. Defrost completely and warm through in a low oven to serve.