When I was stationed in Shanghai, I needed to work a lot of overtimes. One of the snacks that I like is the oatmeal biscuits and that is how I started to like this biscuit. I like it because of its unique crispy texture , with bits to bite and the oats aroma.
There are many oatmeal biscuits recipe in the internet that uses much more trendier ingredients but I have decided to use this rather traditional oatcakes recipe. However, I did do some modifications to the recipe to suit my taste buds and probably reader’s too. I have added some baby cereal to enhance the flavour as I absolutely love that special aroma in any of my bakes.
“An oatcake is a type of flatbread, similar to a cracker or biscuit, or in some versions takes the form of a pancake. They are prepared with oatmeal as a primary ingredient, and sometimes include the addition of plain or wholemeal flour as well. Oatcakes are cooked on a griddle (or girdle, in Scots) or baked in an oven. Oatcakes have been documented as existing in Scotland since at least the time of the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, and likely before then.” (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatcake)
This is not a biscuit to rave about. It is very humble and the only justification in modern terms is it is a very much healthier choice when compare to other crispier and more flavourful biscuit. It is a very humble biscuit using very simple ingredients. It is not a biscuit that one will like it instantly. If you are trying out this recipe, you will need to psychologically prepared for that it is not a buttery, melt in the mouth biscuit. It is a biscuit that you need to chew slightly, will make you full, full of fibres and health benefits. It is gluten free (if gluten free oats are used) and aids in digestion and in fact it can be qualified as an weight reduction aid.
However, once you are accustomed to the texture and the taste, you may gradually love it just like me. Though very simple in flavour and much harder than other biscuits, I found that it is a nice snack to munch on with the gradual release of the oat aroma after taste.
This is actually one of my reserved recipes that I intended to issue when i do not have any recipes. However, when I pre-posted in Taiwanese and Hong Kong Facebook Groups, I am surprised that there are quite a number of members requesting for the recipe.. Apparently, they knew that this is a healthier alternative to current trendy bakes.
There are two types of texture. If you want the traditional light colour, you will have to bake at 150 degree Celsius for at least 40 minutes. What it yields is a crispy edges and a slight chewy centre. If you want it to be fully crispy , you will need to bake at 180 degree Celsius for 25 minutes. What you get will be much browner just like the above picture. You can always try the first option at lower temperature and if you do not like the chewy texture, you can increase the temperature and bake until the crispiness that you like.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: Prepare about 20 5cm diameter biscuits
- 200 grams of rolled oats (instant can be used)
- 50 grams of baby cereal (optional and can be substituted by rolled oats)
- 50 grams of white sugar or light brown sugar
- 60 grams of melted butter or lard *
- 125 grams of ml of hot boiling water
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
* Traditional recipes uses lard to give it a crispier texture
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius (for light coloured chewy oatcakes) or 180 degree Celsius (for brown colour crispy oatcakes)
- Put rolled oats, baby cereal, sugar and baking powder in a food processor and blend until fine. If you do not have food processor, this step can be omitted and your biscuit will be slightly coarser.
- Pour the melted butter to the oat flour. Use hand or a tablespoon to stir until the oat flours have absorbed with butter or lard.
- Add the hot boiling water GRADUALLY.
- Use a tablespoon to stir until it forms a compact dough. Note that you may not need to use all the water as every batches of oat’s water absorbing properties are different. As long it can become a dough that stick well, it is considered as enough.
- Place the dough in between two sheets of clingy wrap, roll it flat to about 4-5 mm thickness. (If you want very crispy biscuits, you may need to roll it to 3 mm thickness). Use a 5 cm round cutter to cut the dough and transfer to a baking tin lined with baking paper. Gather the sides and cut again.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 25-30 minutes for crispy oatcakes or 150 degree Celsius for 40 minutes for light brown slightly chewy oatcakes. Oatcakes can be eaten as a breakfast item as it is or it can be eaten like a crackers with jam and butter spread on top.
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest food in the world and it is rather conclusive that oatmeal helps to assist in weight reduction and reduce bad cholesterol level. Personally, I have a number of friends who are taking oatmeal as their daily breakfast upon doctor’s advises and if you are one of them, you can try this alternative of consuming oatmeal.
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