The Shortandtweet challenge this week was buttermilk oatcakes or cheesy buttons from Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard.
I made a batch of Dan Lepard’s buttermilk oatcakes, fitting them in between making supper and sorting out my friend’s Macs which had inexplicably locked her out. While I am useless at fixing my own, the God Geek of Tech smiled on me last night and I managed to get her up and running which gave me a big rush of happiness.
I used home made yoghurt as I didn’t have any buttermilk and it is given as an alternative in the recipe.
I split the batch and did half with no added sugar at all. I wasn’t sure how fine to grind the oats so I whizzed away, forgetting to whizz more for the shaping, but I hadn’t washed up the food processor so just did a few more. It makes a sticky moist mixture and it is very quick to put together.
I found it a bit fiddly to shape and messed around for ages. In the end I put a cutter over the mix and patted away at it through the top with the back of a spoon and then I pressed them out some more with my fingertips.
I baked on fan at 150 ºC but they were really not done after 25 minutes and I put them back again for another chunk of time. I really had no idea of how to judge when they were done, so going by golden edges I took them out and left to cool. They were still a bit soft in the middle when they cooled and the following day they are on the soft side, maybe that is the effect of the yoghurt? I think I prefer the oatcake recipe in the Handmade Loaf, but then I am a fan of Nairns Oatcakes, which are very hard and have a distinctive dry mouth feel and a slightly tangy taste which these don’t have, I wonder if more salt would do the trick for me and a longer bake. I will experiment some more when I have a moment.
I tested this little plateful just now ; very nice with some creamy Chavroux for a morning snack. Forgot to have breakfast (well that’s my excuse!) Healthier than chocolate digestives and quite moreish once you get going on them.
Now where’s the Cheddar?
This week’s recipe is one of my all time favourite Dan Lepard recipes, top tea cakes! on Page 88 of the book. if you haven”t made these and love toasted tea cakes this is the one to go for. I love this recipe. Just love it!
Lovely!! Picture perfect. :D
The softness is something I solved by sticking them back in the oven a few days after baking them. They’re still tender but not soft. Peder loved them, by the way,which I found very encouraging because I made them with sweetener rather than sugar.
Did you find the sweetness off-putting with cheese?
I am not keen on sweet oatcakes, so I only put one tiny spoon in the half with and none in the half without. Ours won’t last that long. I think small batches are the way to go and always pop back in oven to crisp up if needs be. I do that with my bought knackebrods too if they get soft. Works wonders :) Glad to hear Peder loved them !
Well they certainly look very tasty and impressive. I have never made my own oatcakes and tend to eat hard ones. I wonder if I should try these ones. C said hers were quite soft too and I am a bit intrigued to see what that is like. Or maybe I should go with the recipe you recommended.
Brian made the ones in the Handmade Loaf and they were very good but I haven’t made them myself yet. It’s a relatively inexpensive recipe both in terms of ingredients and time so definitely worth experimenting with. :)
They look very tasty, especially with the cheese! I haven’t had oatcakes in years, although somewhat serendipitously, they showed up on Pete’s breakfast order last Sunday! :)
You know how it is, when you start eating anything resembling a biscuit… you just want to scoff the lot, especially if there is cheese involved… :)
If you raised your plate to offer me an oatcake Joanna, I’d be very tempted to take your wooden ‘knifey’ thing instead. It looks so interesting to me. Your oatcakes sound like the perfect way to start the day. I agree, cheese is the way to go.
I’m glad you like the butter knife, it was hand turned by my uncle Ron, one of his many passions after he retired, he was a lovely man, full of enthusiasm for life and very resourceful, generous and kind. He is much missed.
Hand turned; how very special Joanna. My Hubby hasn’t turned anything in a very long time. When we first married, wood-turning was one of his hobbies. He made our rosewood table from which we eat, talk, study and work to this very day. That table literally holds our family’s life together. He also turned several bowls, mirror, chair and a rustic coffee table. I recall one day I said I needed to go and buy a good rolling pin. Hubby disappeared and in no time at all came back up the stairs with a hand-turned rolling pin that he whipped up. I still have and use it. It’s 26 years old. You will never find a rolling pin that strong either. Annoyingly I recently used it to hang my latest jaboticaba jelly and stained it with the purple. Oh well. I guess that is part of it’s history. These things can never be purchased, the memories never erased and the person lives on. Your uncle Ron sounded like a truly wonderful man. Hang on to that butter knife!
I often wish I was better at making things Mariana. it must be so satisfying to craft and turn wood, sew and decorate. Your home sounds rich in treasures from your husband’s hands. I so enjoyed hearing about them. :)
Yours look lovely, but I agree they are very soft. I think I probably left mine about 30-35 minutes, but am not really sure, and think mine are possibly much smaller than yours too. I can’t quite get my head around them being soft – I think that the problem is I’m comparing them to bought (crispy) oatcakes, and I actually think that crispy oatcakes go better with the relative softness of cheese than these soft oatcakes. Hmm, I’m interested in your idea of re-crisping them in the oven before eating though.
Also very interested in your ringing endorsement of the top teacakes. I’ve wanted to make them since the Guardian Guide to Baking came out in 2007 and haven’t got round to it yet. Perhaps this’ll be the week :-)
I think we are thinking on the same lines with these oatcakes, very hard to put the other ones out of mind… Interested to see if anyone made crispy ones with this recipe.
Yes, the top tea cakes are the tops! I just love them, try and get hold of some cocoa butter if you haven’t got any as it really makes a difference to the crumb. I have done them with panettone flavours and with all sorts of different fruits in them, most recently with some crystallised pineapple. They freeze well, toast well, in fact I could eat them all the time. So another excuse to make them is fine with me :D
I’m impressed you made your own yoghurt. That is something I have never done.
Yoghurt is relatively easy to do. Give it a try one day, lots of people make their own and it is much cheaper and tastes fresher too !
I don’t think I ever eaten an oatcake (except for some packaged Duchy Originals called Oaten Biscuits for Cheese. I am not a big fan, as they seemed to be dry and crumby and without flavor- a little like cardboard. Perhaps these are not really what oat cakes taste like??)
Anyway these look good, but I’m not really inspired to make them.
Now the homemade yoghurt? That I’m making AND enjoying!
i think they are an ‘acquired’ taste Heidi! We keep various sorts of crackers and hard breads here. All bought as my attempts to make them haven’t been very successful so far. i like the Scandinavian rye crackers and the ones we call ‘water biscuits’ best. What crackers do you like?
I will check the recipe of the toasted tea cakes tonight when I get home – there won’t be much baking by me in the next couple of weeks, but I want to plan ahead and get very active once we come back from Los Angeles beginning of December
you are rocking and rolling with the Sweet and Tweet!
It’s all for fun Sally :) Did I say what a great review you did of Short & Sweet? i hope Dan saw it. Judging from the comments you created a bit of a buzz. I had a go at putting one on Amazon. have you ever tried doing one there?