One of the fun parts of the Daring Kitchen challenges, aside from meeting great, talented people, learning about new foods and processes, and, you know, eating delicious things about which I never would have known is seeing the other members' interpretation of each challenge as I read as many of the posts as possible.
This past month's cracker challenge was no exception. In fact, the huge variety of crackers that were made this month was nothing short of inspiring. But there was one variety of crackers that I first saw here, on Makey-Cakey (a super fun and delicious blog that I highly recommend checking out), that I knew I would be trying. They are called Scottish Oatcakes, and they looked simple, rustic and absolutely delicious.
So guess what.
I made them this morning.
They come together pretty easily - I used old fashioned oats, mixed with a touch of baking soda and salt, and then poured in hot water into which a tablespoon of butter had been melted.
I wanted to try to add a touch of sweetness to these, so I decided to add in a tablespoon of maple syrup as well.
(Oatmeal... maple syrup... it goes, right??)
Then, once the dough comes together, simply roll and shape. We used little cookie cutters. You can use whatever you'd like.
Now, little man tried to help me make these. Of course, being one and a half years old, his idea of help and mine were a little different... he wanted to quality test the cookie cutters... in his mouth. He also wanted to taste the dough. Needless to say, there was a lot of mid-process hand and equipment washing going on.
But after 20 minutes in the oven, we were ready to do the real tasting.
I have to say, these were fun and delicious. Simple, definitely rustic, and very, very easy to eat.
Some sunbutter and jelly made for a tasty mid-morning snack, too.
I will say, next time I make them (and there will be a next time), I will make an effort to consistently roll them a bit thinner, as I really preferred the crispier ones. And I may play with flavorings - sweet, savory - I think these can be easily and deliciously adapted.
Who knew homemade crackers could be so much fun??
(from Makey-Cakey, from Greedy Gourmet)
2½ cups medium oatmeal, plus extra for dusting (I used old fashioned oats, and flour for dusting)
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the oatmeal, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the water and butter until the butter melts.
Make a well in the center of the oatmeal mix, pour in the liquid and use a palette knife to mix everything together. The mixture will initially seem a bit wet, but the oatmeal will gradually absorb all the liquid to give a soft dough.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with oatmeal (or flour). Tip out the dough, then roll out to about 5mm thick. Use a cutter of your choice (cookie cutter, biscuit cutter... whatever you'd like) to shape the oatcakes. Re-roll any trimmings and continue to cut out the biscuits. (Cut biscuits can be frozen uncooked, for up to a month. Freeze flat before packing into bags or boxes.)
Brush off any excess oatmeal (or flour), then space the oatcakes over 2 baking sheets. Bake for about 20 minutes, carefully turning the oatcakes every 5 minutes or so to stop them from steaming and going stodgy. (I didn't turn mine, as the kids were running around, but will definitely do that next time to further crisp them.) When cooked, they should be crisp and lightly golden. Lift onto a wire rack and leave to cool. (Will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.)