12 August 2011

Staffordshire Oatcakes

I wanted to share these wonderful savoury oatcakes (pancakes) with you. I learned how to make them at the breadmaking course I was on recently with tutor Colin Lindsay at Bread in Fife.

We were all blown away with these oatcakes. Colin told us that years ago in Staffordshire, women would have bakeries set up in their own homes and mill workers would buy these oatcakes from them to eat on the way home in the evening. Unfortunately, the last shop recently shut down. So lets pass this recipe on and make sure these wonderful oatcakes are not forgotten.

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Staffordshire Oatcakes
A yeasted pancake that tastes good with honey, but even better with a savoury filling.
  • 225g fine oatmeal
  • 225g strong wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10g dried yeast
  • 1 to 1½ pints warm milk and water
  • 1 tsp sugar
1. Add the salt to the flour and oatmeal.

2. Mix the yeast with a little of the warm liquid and add the sugar. Allow the mixture to become frothy.

3. Mix the dry ingredients with the yeast liquid to make a batter.

4. Cover the batter with a clean cloth and leave in a dry place for an hour.

5. Bake the oatcake on a well-greased griddle or large frying pan.

6. Add enough batter to make an oatcake about 8-9 inches across. It will gradually become covered in holes as it cooks and the surface will change from wet and shiny to dull when it is ready to turn, after about 3 minutes. Turn the oatcake and cook for another 2-3 minutes.


These freeze well. Defrost them enough to unfold them then pop them under the grill.
Prep time: Cook time:
Yield: 8 large pancakes

We enjoyed a taste of these oatcakes with honey, which was rather nice against the savoury flavour of the oatcake, but well all loved it filled with cheese and tomato.

If you would like to attend a breadmaking course at Bread in Fife, here are the details and don't worry if it is too far away, the courses are held in a gorgeous B&B, so you can stay over. Why not make a weekend of it, or tag it onto your holiday to the UK?

Colin Lindsay
Bread in Fife
Ochil Villa
High Street,
KY15 7EZ

Telephone: 01337 858 031 or 07840 258550
Email: baking@breadinfife.co.uk
Website: Bread In Fife

Twitter: @BreadinFife
Facebook: BreadinFife

Bed & Breakfast: Ochil Villa
Trip Advisor: Ochil Villa

The breadmaking day cost £40 per person, but as we booked as a full group of four, it only cost us £32 each. Very reasonable.


  1. oh! i didn't realise that there was yeast in them! i think i would prefer savoury...can't go wrong with cheese and tomato! yum yum

  2. Oooh yum. I've made oatcakes before and was brought up on proper oatmeal porridge, but I've never used them in pancakes before. I've just been reading Chele's account of your day which sounds great and am just off to read yours now.

  3. HOW weird! I VERY nearly posted my Staffordshire Oatcakes recipe today but decided to use my baked red peppers with fennel and goat's cheese instead! I LOVE these, and they are so much better home-made, yours look just amazing! I also love mine with honey!
    Loved this!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

  4. Oh, interesting!! This is really unexpected, completely different than what I thought the oatcakes you'd made would be!

    They look like yummy ... pancakes. Occasionally we make them yeasted, but usually they're just quick grill breads. I'll have to check this out! And if the rain EVER lets up, it'd be lovely to do a course up there in Fife. As soon as this ($#)($&(% move is behind us...

  5. I am so glad you posted this recipe - straight to my bookmarks - shame I have already had my dinner - they looked so good in your baking day - will have to have my own little mini day

  6. A really nice take on pancakes and nice to be reminded of a savoury take on them. I often do a savoury oat porridge for breakfast so I'll definitely be trying this in the very near future.

  7. Savoury pancakes remind me of a recipe I have boomarked for buckwheat. All I need is buckwheat and I can get started!

  8. Great idea stuffing them with savory items. The picture looks really good.

  9. Oooooooooooh, I can taste them from here!! They were rather good and yours have worked out perfectly!

  10. Since i made some crumpets at home, I've been meaning to make these - then I forgot - you've reminded me and given us all a recipe too. Exceelent. Question is when will I make these, or will the waffle weekend continue?!

  11. They look lovely, and I like the idea of them with savoury fillings rolled up for dinner. I wonder whether they'd be good rolled with cheese melted on top of them...

  12. Now you know I would never disagree for the sake of it, but when I read this recipe I was struck by the fact that it is exactly the same as a VERY SCOTTISH recipe called 'Sauty Bannocks' Bugger Staffordshire, reclaim these for 'oor ain folk!' tee hee!

  13. I love them Victoria, but my hubby prefers a sweet pancake. He has a sweet tooth :)

    We had a great day Choclette :)

    We are obviously on the same wavelength Karen :)

    Yes, once the move is over Tanita, you have enough on your plate at the moment. Let me know when you are thinking of going and I may come along :)

    I think you will really like them Johanna :)

    Let me know what you think when you do Adam & Theresa :)

    Do you know I have never used buckwheat Val, I wonder why I haven't.

    Thanks TB :)

    They were great with the parmesan on them, weren't they Chele?

    Hi Shaheen, You have just reminded me that I really need to get my waffle iron out and have another go.

    Yes, Colin actually suggested that they would be good used as savoury pancakes with filling and sauce. I am interested to see what you would do with them C :)

    Really Janice? I wonder where they came from first. I haven't heard of 'Sauty Bannocks' before, but love the sound of them. What a great name. Must google them!

  14. These sound great. I love the change from a traditional pancake. I think I'll try them making them. Thanks!

  15. That's ok Mary, hope you enjoy them :)

  16. my favourite savoury filling comes from pancake houses in The Netherlands: Appel, spek en gember ie finely sliced apple, bacon and finely chopped syrupy stem ginger.

    Give it a go!

  17. Those look rustic and delicious. Bet they would be great with some spicy chutney.

  18. I might try that without the bacon Colin :)

    You are so right TP, they would be great with spicy chutney. Mmmmmmm, my mouth is watering.

  19. Oh now they sound rather tempting, my cooking skills are lets say something to be worked upon but I may just have to give these a try ..

    1. They are quite easy to make, so you should be ok :)

  20. Oh my word, I'm so glad I found your blog. I'm addicted to these from Neal's Yard, but would love to make my own. I love them best with goat's cheese and pear.

  21. This is a fantastic post, Jac. Just what I was looking for. Ages ago Sainsburys used to stock Staffordshire oatcakes and I was quite addicted to them (lovely with soft cheese, salad and tapenade). I was gutted when they stopped stocking them, but took it as an omen that I shouldn't be eating them. All that's going to change now however. These look just how I remember, but I know they will be vastly tastier and healthier too. Thanks!

    1. Yes, definitely make your own. Very easy :)

  22. PS I have medium oatmeal in the house: do you think I could pulse it to make my own fine oatmeal?

  23. I am from Staffordshire (stoke on trent) and these are our local delicacy....we only eat them with savoury fillings though and usually for breakfast / brunch. My favourite filling is bacon with melted cheese +/- mushrooms/tinned tomatoes......delicious but not too good for the waistline!!!

  24. I am also from Stoke-on-Trent, the home of the Staffordshire oatcake. I think there are some inaccuracies in the history given here. Stoke towns were not mill towns but pottery towns and the workers buying oatcakes would overwhelmingly have worked in the pottery industry (the 'potbanks'). Oatcakes were originally sold via windows in homes - 'hole in the wall' outcake shops - but later became shops and today are mostly like take-away sandwich shops offering both plain oatcakes (and pikelets) by the half dozen and single 'filled oatcakes'. Although the last 'hole in the wall' oatcake shop closed most communities still have a local outcake shop and the habit of eating oatcakes is alive and well in the area. Some oatcake shops sell oatcakes and oatcake mixes by mail order too.

    1. Thanks for helping out with the correct info. I probably remembered the story wrong. I have a shocking memory :)

    2. I lived in Staffordshire for a while and became addicted to them. Found this blog when looking for alterative fillings.
      Not only can you buy the oatcake mixes on line but you can actually buy the prepared item along with pikelets. Have a look on www.StaffordshireOatcakes.com
      Postage is a bit high because of the weight so I buy 4 or 5 dozen at a time and freeze them. x


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