Oatcake

THE OATCAKE  

The Potteries delicacy. A potters' favourite food. A 'toe rag'. A Potteries poppadom, but floppy, not crispy. A savoury pancake.

Staffordshire Oatcakes are totally different from Derbyshire Oatcakes, which are about the same diameter but are much thicker, or Scottish Oatcakes which are small, hard and like a biscuit.

The Oatcake Smile


Staffordshire Oatcakes are more like savoury pancakes, being floppy, flat and about eight inches across, and made from oatmeal, whole wheat flour, yeast, milk and water.  Best served with melted cheese either grilled then rolled or oven baked and folded.



Four oatcakes - straight out of the oven. Oven baked and folded -  not grilled and rolled.
With cheese and sliced fresh tomato, HP sauce added later.
Seen here cooked in an oven to tableware roasting dish by Wedgwood, manufactured around 1972


THE RECIPE

The Staffordshire Oatcake is made from oatmeal, flour and yeast. It is cooked on a griddle or 'baxton'

Firm favourite
A recipe from 'The Potters' Cook Book'  compiled by Hannah Staton in 1977 with drawings by Bill Morris.


The Potters' Cook Book
Compiled by Hannah Staton in 1977  Drawings by Bill Morris
Printed by Keates Ltd., Hanley, Stoke on Trent 


Other recipes
  • BBC Food Recipes: By The Hairy Bikers from their Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain  here>
  • All Recipes:  By Allrecipes  - the leading recipe site in the UK   here
  • Elizabeth David - ' English Bread and Yeast Cookery'  1977.  Page 412.   Abebooks here


Can you freeze oatcakes?
They freeze well and are probably the best microwave food in the world. Simply roll up some grated cheese, cooked bacon, tomato, cooked mushrooms - or in fact anything you like - in an oatcake and microwave it on full for about a minute. You can also grill them, or eat them cold.

History of the Oatcake

An excellent reference work - all about the history of the Staffordshire Oatcake - is this volume by Pamela Sambrook. Great read and excellent recipes!  ISBN 978-1-874181-63-7   Amazon link>

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Staffordshire Oatcakes on Film
























Ode to the Oatcake - Arthur Berry 1980

"Let us pay homage to the Oatcake
Or Oatcake or woodcake as the old men called them.
The oatcake is not a cake at all really
Not like the fairy cake or the Eccles cake
Not a cake in that way
More of a Potteries Papadum
A sort of Tunstall Tortilla
A Clay Suzette."

NOTE: The Pikelet - "It's a sort of female Oatcake, Smaller, thicker, sweeter, More immediately seductive..." (Arthur Berry)


Staffordshire Oatcake Links

Here are various links to oatcake sites, suppliers and further information:

Radio Stoke's Oatcake Page - "Local Heroes" - here>

The Guardian - How to make the perfect Staffordshire Oatcakes. These traditional savoury pancakes are criminally neglected, yet their coarse texture and oaty flavour make them ideal for a high tea, topped with melted cheese - here>

Staffordshire Oatcakes - shipping world wide! here>  http://www.staffordshireoatcakes.com/