Staffordshire oatcakes are a regional delicacy you have to try if you are in the area. But are Staffordshire oatcakes healthy?
If you are from Stoke-on-Trent or nearby, you’ve most likely grown up with oatcakes on the menu. Personally, we love them! They are one of our breakfast staples and so easy to make; plus, you don’t have to be in the area to try them. You can make them at home. But are they healthy? In this article, you can learn more about Staffordshire oatcakes.
What are Staffordshire oatcakes?
If you ever find yourself in the Stoke-on-Trent area of North Staffordshire, try Staffordshire oatcakes. These traditional flatbreads are made from oatmeal and yeast, so they have a much denser structure and more robust flavour than your typical pancakes. Don’t let their appearance fool you – they’re different from your average pancake and worth a try.
History of Staffordshire oatcakes
Oatcakes have been a favourite in the Potteries area since the 18th century. And we know many people who eat them regularly today! With lots of restaurants and cafes, including them on their menus.
Oatcakes became popular in this area because oats were more accessible to grow in this region than wheat, so oatmeal was readily available. In the past, oatcakes were sold directly from the windows of houses to customers on the street. Unfortunately, these “hole-in-the-wall” establishments have phased out over the years.
While they are referred to as North Staffordshire oatcakes by those outside the area, locals simply call them oatcakes. Though they are similar to Derbyshire oatcakes, Staffordshire oatcakes are typically smaller.
Are Staffordshire oatcakes healthy?
A plain oatcake can be part of a balanced meal or snack. It’s a nutritious option with no added sugar and only a small amount of fat. Additionally, oatmeal provides a good amount of fibre. Just keep in mind that the toppings you choose can significantly affect the overall nutritional value of the oatcake!
So, choose healthier fillings to keep your snack or meal balanced and nutritious.
We love the BBC food oatcakes recipe!
Created by TV’s Hairy Bikers, this recipe takes 30 mins to 1 hour to complete and makes 12 oatcakes.
- 225g/8oz fine oatmeal
- 100g/3½oz wholemeal flour
- 100g/3½oz plain flour
- 1 tsp quick-action yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 12 rashers of streaky bacon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 150g/5¼oz chestnut mushrooms, cut in half
- 300g/10½oz grated mature cheddar cheese
How to make Staffordshire oatcakes
- Mix oatmeal, wholemeal flour, plain flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl. Gradually add 825ml/1 pint 10fl oz water in a thin stream while stirring well.
- Cover the batter with a damp, clean tea towel and set aside for 3-4 hours or up to 8 hours in a cool place.
- Whisk in the baking powder until well combined when ready to cook the batter.
- Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add a ladleful of the batter mixture and swirl the pan to coat the bottom with a thin layer of the batter.
- Fry the oatcake for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip the oatcake and fry for a further minute or until golden brown on both sides.
- Set the oatcake aside on a warm plate and cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining batter mixture to make 12 oatcakes.
- Preheat the grill to its highest setting.
- Arrange the streaky bacon onto a grill tray and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden brown on both sides. Set aside and keep warm.
- Heat the olive oil in a separate frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside and keep warm.
- When ready to serve, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Return one of the cooked oatcakes to the hot pan and sprinkle grated cheese over one-half of it. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Place the bacon on the melted cheese and sprinkle over a spoonful of the mushrooms. Fold the other half of the oatcake over and continue to heat for a further minute or until the cheese has fully melted.
Repeat the process with the remaining oatcakes! Delicious!
Don’t fancy making them yourself? You can also buy oatcakes online.
Can I make vegan oatcakes?
Making vegan oatcakes is possible. You need to swap out the cow’s milk for a vegan-friendly alternative. Oat milk is a great option, especially since it complements the oatmeal used in the recipe.
Can I make gluten-free oatcakes?
If you’re looking for a gluten-free version of Staffordshire oatcakes, you’ll need to use appropriate gluten-free flours to replace the traditional strong wholemeal and strong white flours in the recipe. This is because the original recipe contains flour alongside the oatmeal, which provides the oatcakes with the necessary elasticity for flipping and rolling without falling apart.
Staffordshire oatcakes filling and topping ideas we love
Staffordshire oatcakes are incredibly versatile, and their plain oat flavour makes them perfect for savoury fillings. You might want to give the following suggestions a try:
Savoury oatcake fillings
- (Our favourite) Melted cheddar cheese and bacon, a classic!
- Typical cooked breakfast, loading an oatcake with sausages, baked beans, fried eggs, and tomatoes.
- Add an East Midlands twist, mushrooms and Blue Stilton cheese, or use Buxton Blue for a Derbyshire flair.
- Roll up an oatcake with cheddar cheese and chutney or pickle for lunch.
- Get creative with toppings and try an oatcake with tomato sauce, pepperoni, and cheese for a pizza-inspired treat.
- Elevate your oatcake game with buttered leeks, salmon, and soured cream.
Sweet oatcake fillings
- Drizzle with golden syrup generously, and add your choice of berries.
- A small amount of jam can work wonders, especially when combined with whipped or clotted cream.
- Add Greek yoghurt, fruit, nuts, and honey as toppings for a more filling and sweet breakfast.
- Top with stewed fruit and custard to turn them into a full-blown dessert!
Okay, now we’re hungry!
Staffordshire oatcakes can be a healthy addition to your diet as they are rich in fibre. They can help keep you fuller for longer. However, as with any food, moderation is essential, and choosing toppings that are nutritious and low in saturated fats is ideal. We hope you have found this article helpful!