Christine McFadden is a Dorset food legend. Her new book Flour explores this most vital of ingredients with recipes like these wholesome oatcakes
A combination of oatmeal flour, porridge oats,
homely mashed potato and a generous grinding of black
pepper makes particularly nutritious oatcakes with a
subtle comforting flavour. Pleasantly chewy but crisp at the
edges, they’re equally delicious slathered with butter or left unadorned. Enjoy them at their best soon after cooking.
2 floury potatoes (weighing about 250g/9oz in
total), preferably organic, cut into chunks
(see Cook’s notes)
25g (1oz) unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
(see Cook’s notes)
50g (1¾oz) oat flour (see Cook’s notes)
25g (1oz) porridge oats
Plain flour for dusting
1. Put the potato chunks into a large saucepan of salted water. Bring to a
boil, then simmer briskly for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain the potatoes,
then put them back in the pan and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 5
minutes to absorb excess moisture.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Line a baking tray with a silicone
sheet or well-greased baking parchment.
3. Mash the potatoes until smooth, then stir in the butter, salt, pepper, oat flour
and porridge oats. Pack the dough together well and put on a well-floured
board. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll it out to a thickness of 5mm (¼in).
Cut into rounds with a 7cm (2¾in) cutter. Lift carefully on to the baking tray
using a spatula. Re-roll any leftover dough until it’s all used up.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through, until golden at the
edges. Remove from the oven and leave on the tray to firm up. Carefully
transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
• Mashed potato may seem mundane, but it’s
well worth using good-quality organic potatoes
for a good flavour.
• For the best flavour it is well worth looking
for good-quality black peppercorns such as
Wynad or Tellicherry. Don’t be tempted to use
pre-ground pepper – it simply doesn’t have the
appetizing aroma and flavour of freshly ground.
• If you can’t get hold of oat flour, it’s fine to use
Extract taken from Flour by Christine McFadden (Absolute Press, £26) Photography © Mike Cooper