Preparation info

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Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

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  • 200 g (7 oz) strong white bread flour
  • 25 g (1 oz) rye flour
  • 175 ml ( fl oz) buttermilk
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz) water
  • 3 g ( oz) dried yeast
  • 5 g ( oz) fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • olive oil, for greasing


Mix the flours, buttermilk and water together and whisk until you no longer have any lumps and your batter has the consistency of plain yoghurt. Add the yeast, mix well, cover and let rest for an hour. You can also make the batter the night before and let it rise, covered, in the fridge, then add the salt and baking powder on the day of cooking.

When you are ready to bake the pikelets, add the salt and baking powder to the batter. Heat a griddle or a cast-iron pan. Grease the pan by spreading over some olive oil with paper towel. Test the heat of the pan with half a teaspoon of batter. If it immediately colours, the heat is too high.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into the hot pan and spread it out using the back of your spoon in a circular motion. Each pikelet should be 10 cm (4 inches) wide. The characteristic holes should now slowly appear on the top. Use a spatula to judge when the pikelet is sufficiently baked and then turn it over for just a few seconds to cook the top, making sure the top remains as pale as possible.

Serve the pikelets immediately or freeze once cooled. Reheat in a hot pan or in the toaster. Golden syrup is a classic accompaniment, but crushed raspberries and cream are a real treat too and will get you one of your ‘five a day’. Two to four pikelets per person is usually sufficient for breakfast, depending on what you serve with them.