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Highland Oatcakes

Highland Oatcakes

Yield: 4 servings
8 oz Medium oatmeal
1 ts Salt
1/2 oz Dripping or lard
3 tb Hot water (or more)

Sift salt and oatmeal in a roomy bowl. Put on the gridle or a heavy frying pan to heat. Bring the water to the boil with the fat. Pour into a well in the oatmeal. Work into a stiff dough and cut in half. Roll out on a floured board to the size of a dinner plate and about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into quarters or farles. Test the gridle's heat by holding your hand over it. Lay on one of the quartered rounds. When the farles are ready, the surface stops steaming and begins to look dry and white. Turn them and do the other side. Dry off the oatcakes and lightly brown the edges in a hot oven or under the grill - they should curl up to the fire to prove that you have made your own.

Highland Oatcakes.

The secret of handling these oatcakes is to complete the process before the mixture cools too much, when it becomes brittle and very difficult to roll out thinly without breaking. Only enough to fill one girdle is made up at a time.

4 oz fine oatmeal (100 g)
Quarter oz dripping or lard or butter (5 g)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
Hot water to mix

Preheat the girdle - it should be nicely warm when you hold your hand about one inch from the surface. Melt the fat in about 3-4 tbsp boiling water. Put the oatmeal into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the hot water and fat and mix to a stiff dough. Turn
out onto a board dusted with oatmeal and quickly roll into a round about one eighth" (3 mm) thick. Keep rubbing with dry oatmeal to prevent sticking.

Cut into quarters (farls) and bake slowly on the girdle till they harden and the corners begin to turn up at the edges. Originally they were then toasted slightly before a peat fire in a rack or toaster. Today they can be put into a cool oven for about half an hour. Store in an airtight tin. They are best heated slightly before use.

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