The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

staffordshire oatcakes

bevan's picture

staffordshire oatcakes


I'm researching recipes for Staffordshire oatcakes, which don't use wheat flour and possibly use a fermented 'starter'.

(I would like to make quite a traditional oatcake - and I understand that often they were wheat free?).

Does anyone have a recipe?


ananda's picture


You need to make the batter the day before to allow decent fermentation.

I don't know if you will get away with all oatmeal, but you could give it a try.   This is a suggestion if you do want to try all oatmeal:

Formula, with oats at 100%:

Pinhead Oatmeal: 25

Medium Oatmeal: 25

Fine Oatmeal: 50

Salt: 1.5

Fresh Yeast: 1

Water: 200 [you could do half milk and half water if you prefer]

Cook on a pre-heated skillet, as Pancakes.

If this doesn't work, you will need to substitute some of the fine oatmeal with a soft wheatflour [not self raising]

Best wishes


Caperchick's picture

I've been looking in Elizabeth David's "English Bread and Yeast Cookery" cookbook and she describes a Yorkshire Riddle Cake very similar to the recipe Andy submitted.  It reads as follows:

"Take a quantity of pin-head oatmeal and mix it with warm water and yeast to form a thick porridge.  Leave overnight in a warm room.  Next morning, salt to taste and place spoonsful on to the hot bak-stun (old English) griddle?) and spread the mixutre with a wooden paddle shaped like a Scotch hand, (cupped?)  As the bread cooks, bubbles rise and give it its characteristic appearance.  The cakes should not be turned but should be browned on one side only."  From a Yorkshire Recipe published in 1927.

Elizabeth David was a famous English Cookery journalist.  Her book on English Bread and Yeast Cookery makes for interesting reading and is one heck of a history lesson too.

Hope this is helpful.

Happy Baking..............Lyn 

ananda's picture


see pp. 411-12 of the Penguin version of Ms. David's "English Bread and Yeast Cookery"

Recipe for 16-18 oatcakes [pancakes] of 15 to 18cm diameter:

Fine Oatmeal: 225g

Wheatflour: 225g [original author's preference is for Brown [wheatmeal, or, 85% extract] Flour

Bakers Yeast: 15g [this will be quantity for fresh yeast]

Salt: 8g

Milk: 420g

Water: 420g

The ferment time is only one hour in this recipe.   Personally, I would cut the fresh yeast to 5g and ferment overnight.   Also warm milk and water are specified, although no actual temperature is recommended.   For overnight, I would anticipate c.20*C, not exceeding 25*C [batter temperature].

If you have access to this classic book, please also see the section on crumpets and muffins, pp.341 - 361.   Given these are cooked on a skillet, it does move them into the hotplate category.   Also of use, maybe look at my post here:

All good wishes


Caperchick's picture

Enjoyed the English Muffins video etc.  I could live on this website I think.  I love Elizabeth David's writing about bread and food.  Do you still teach breadbaking?  Worth a trip over the pond to England from Canada....I'll start saving now!


MisterB1949's picture

Being from Staffordshire originally, I am a lover of oatcakes. here's an authentic recipe:


  • 225g fine oatmeal
  • 225g wholewheat or plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 15g yeast
  • 450ml warm milk
  • 450ml warm water
  • 1tsp sugar
  1. Mix the water and milk together.
  2. Mix the salt to the flour and oatmeal in a large bowl.
  3. Dissolve the yeast with a little warm liquid and add the sugar. Allow the mixture to become frothy.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients with the yeast liquid to make a batter adding the remainder of the warm liquid.
  5. Cover the batter with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for about an hour.
  6. Pour out enough batter on a well-greased griddle to make an oatcake of about 22cm. The surface will be covered in holes as it cooks.
  7. Flip the oatcake after 2-3 minutes when the top side has a dry appearance and the underneath is a golden brown colour and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Ruralidle's picture


Thanks for that recipe.  It is similar to the one I used from many years although I used dry yeast and self raising flour.  I will try your recipe next time I make them, but we are fortunate enough to have friends who keep us supplied with oatcakes from traditional oatcake shops in the Potteries, so that may be a while away.

MisterB1949's picture

You're welcome. Our friends and family don't visit often enough. ;)