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The North Staffordshire Oatcake

Updated on September 25, 2014
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Have you heard of the North Staffordshire oatcake?

Unless you originate from, or have visited north Staffordshire in the English Midlands you have probably never heard of a British regional food called the North Staffordshire oatcake

Traditionally, there would have been shops all over the Potteries and North Staffordshire, where people would queue to buy their freshly cooked oatcakes, before taking them home to eat with breakfast, or to work for their snappin (Potteries dialect for the food you take to work with you).

It is a testament of the enduring popularity, that even in these days of the increased popularity of national supermarket chains and fast food outlets there are still somewhere in the region of forty oatcake shops in the North Staffordshire area.

The Staffordshire oatcake is not in fact a cake, in case you were wondering. Unlike its Scottish namesake, which is actually an oat biscuit, the Staffordshire oatcake is closer in resemblance to a pancake or its close neighbour, the Derbyshire oatcake.

As a Potteries expat living in Central America, I miss oatcakes with all my heart. I have embraced the Salvadoran pupusa, which comes close if I close my eyes while I'm eating and sing Robbie William songs at the same time, but it's not an oatcake!

Come with me as I take you on a culinary discovery of my all time favourite British regional food , the North Staffordshire oatcake.

Look at Ay Up Stoke on Trent! for more interesting Potteries information!

— on Pinterest

History Of The Oatcake

The Staffordshire oatcake has iconic status in Stoke on Trent and across the north Staffordshire area.

Even today you will find around forty traditional oatcake shops still in production, as its popularity seems never waning.

Pamela Sambrook, is a Potter through and through, with an undying passion for oatcakes.

This book tells the story and social history of the Staffordshire oatcake, and is full of anecdotes and ideas for the perfect oatcake filling.

A must read book for anyone with a love of oatcakes and Staffordshire.

Source

What Is A North Staffordshire Oatcake?

Originally a poor man's food, designed to make people feel full cheaply, the oatcake was a favourite amongst the pottery workers and miners in North Staffordshire, who used to take the local delicacy to work with them.

Made from a mix of oatmeal and water and cooked on a griddle, they are best eaten fresh, and some say they taste their best when they are still warm, fresh off the rack in the local oatcake shop.

Traditionally, people would queue up on a Sunday morning to buy a 1/2 dozen or a dozen of them to take home to eat with their full English breakfast.

Nowadays it is common to buy them ready filled, and as such they make the perfect fast food. Who needs a "Maccy D's" when such a delicious alternative is available?

There popularity is spreading, and you can even order them online and have them delivered to your house.

Oatcake Recipe

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 12 oatcakes (3-4 people)

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Have you ever tried them?

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Ingredients

  • 240 g (8.5 ounces) fine oatmeal
  • 240 g (8.5 ounces) flour (wholewheat or plain)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 x 7g (1/4 ounce) sachet dried yeast
  • 500 ml (1 pint) warm milk
  • 500 ml (1 pint) warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk for the final mix

Instructions

  1. Mix the milk, water, yeast and sugar together
  2. Put this mix to one side in a warm place for a few minutes (it needs to froth)
  3. Mix together the flour, oatmeal and saltin a bowl.
  4. Add the frothed milk mixture to the dry mix
  5. Add the oil and whisk well
  6. Leave the mix to rise in warm place for about an hour
  7. After the mixture has risen, whisk again and add the 50 ml of warm milk.
  8. To cook, wipe a frying pan with oil and add a ladle of oatcake mix, and spread out in the pan (just like with pancakes)
  9. Cook on a high heat until the top bubbles and appears dry, then turn the oatcake over and cook the other side
  10. Cool on a cake rack
5 stars from 1 rating of Aunty Kath's Recipe

Recipe Video Guide

When will you eat yours?

photo credit: dumbledad via photo pin cc

Do you like them filled or as an accompaniment to your breakfast?

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Have I tempted you to try the North Staffordshire oatcake?

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    • profile image

      Justin 3 years ago

      Many of my friends here in Devon give me stngrae looks when I tell them we eat haggis, Jeannette! I'm sure you'd be pleasantly surprised if you tried it it's peppery and warming. My new cooker is wonderful It's lovely to have the extra space (5 zones', 2 ovens and a grill) + a responsiveness comparable to that of gas + the child-safety elements of induction. My husband finds the buzzing noise a bit irritating, but apparently that's caused by our stainless steel pans rather than by induction per se. Our cast iron pans are silent (and I have to say that I don't mind the buzzing at all!).

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 4 years ago from Perth UK

      Yes you have! I shall be making these very soon! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hoping to go back by myself to Wolverhampton our kid and if they are selling any I will try them. Thanks mate.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      To be very honest no and I am from Wolverhampton but I worked really long hours and did not travel too far or wide then.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I think this will be my trial recipe for Saturday! They sound very yummy. I make a Swedish oat and buttermilk pancake that sounds like it might taste a little bit similar. Angel blessings to you and your lovely oatcakes!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      I think I would surely like these Staffordshire oatcakes!

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 5 years ago

      I am very tempted to share this with my husband who loves oatmeal, congrats on the front page, great page and recipe, *blessed*

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 5 years ago from Ohio

      Only a Purple Star oatcake will do! SquidAngel Blessings.

    • profile image

      niralal 5 years ago

      really good, thenk you!

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 5 years ago

      Yes, they sound very good. I like to try one with my morning tea.

    • profile image

      Thamisgith 5 years ago

      Speaking as a Scot who lives and works in Stafford, I am somewhat conflicted here. I like both the Scottish and Stafford versions - but, apart from the name, they really are very different - so I don't feel obliged to choose between them.

      Stafford oatcakes for a treat with a full breakfast one morning a week, Scottish oatcakes at night with some nice cheese.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Really sounds good - thank you for a new recipe! ~~~Blessed~~~

    • nicks44 profile image

      nicks44 5 years ago

      Not yet, but now I really want to ...

    • blancaverome profile image

      blancaverome 5 years ago

      Sounds delicious! I love to cook, so I will have to try the recipe!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I'd certainly like to try them - I'll put them on my eating bucket list! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 5 years ago

      I'd be tempted to make these soon! I'm pretty sure I have oats here in the house... oh YUMMMMY!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      Oh yes, you have most definitely tempted me to try one, or more than one. They sound delicious!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just saw bacon and cheese as a choice....consider me tempted. I think the increased popularity will continue because oatmeal is considered to be our heart healthy friend as well as having a nice flavor that goes so well with many foods. Congratulations on your purple star!

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 5 years ago

      Yes. Yes. Yes! Yummy. :)

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image

      sweetstickyrainbo 5 years ago

      just cookies for me! with rasins

    • fathomblueEG profile image

      fathomblueEG 5 years ago

      They look yummy. Would love to try them:-)

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      They look tasty - would love to try one!x

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I grew up in the Midlands not far from Staffordshire but I've never heard of Staffordshire Oatcakes. They sound great.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      It sounds delicious and really healthy. Great lens.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I've never heard of these but they look absolutely fabulous!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes, I will certainly try it. Maybe, better in England.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @Expat Mamasita: Thanks. One of these days I should learn 'metric'... LOL.

    • Expat Mamasita profile image
      Author

      Expat Mamasita 5 years ago from Slovakia

      @Wednesday-Elf: Thank you. I have converted them for you!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Certainly sounds interesting. I'd try making my own if I can translate your recipe into non-metric terms like ounces.... LOL. Some of us over here in the 'States' never learned the metric system. :-). Congrats on your Purple Star.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Yes you have!

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