Back in the day Stokies would pass half a dozen Oatcake Shops to buy from their favourite place. It's all about the texture, flavour "and 'em not being being too thick, duck". In homage to High Lane, Tunstall I now make these in exile at home in the Welsh hills on a cast iron planc usually used for Welsh Cakes.
200g Porrige Oats milled to a very course flour in a food processor with a metal blade
100g Shipton Mill Plain Flour
100g Shipton Mill 706 Wholmeal Flour
50g Shipton Mill Buckwheat Flour
Blend the above togeter and mix to a stiff dough with 300ml water and autolyse for 4 hours.
Take 200g of active 100% hydration sourdough starter and mix it up with 200ml of water before working it into the dough to form a thick batter. Leave at room temperature (20 C) for 4 hours to start the fermentation before mixing in 10g salt and moving to a cool larder (8-14 C) to ferment gently overnight. (It will rise a bit so use a big enough bowl)
In the morning add 500ml of semi skimmed milk and wisk in to form a batter that flows like double cream.
Heat your planc, tava or bakestone and season with veg oil.
You'll need a 4 1/4oz or 120ml ladle, wooden spatular and a pallet knife and pleanty of cooling trays as you'll get 12-14 Oatcakes.
With the pre oiled planc or bakestone smoking, pour on 120ml of the bater and immediately use the bottom of the ladle to form it out into an 8" circle. If you like 'em thin then grab your wooden spatular and use it 'backhand' to gently 'J stroke' the still liquid batter off the top surface to widen the oatcake to a 9" diameter.
Turn the heat down a tad and gently start feathering in your metal pallet knife all the way round under the edge, working it to the centre. As soon as the oatcake releases then flip it over. After a few seconds you'll be able to spin it freely. Tap the top surface with your finger and you'll feel the airy spring from the sourdough. We are always looking for a golden brown colour on both sides so when its done pull it off and cool on a wire tray.
Oil the planc or tava after each oatcake is done and get it smoking before you start the next or it will stick!
You can eat them fresh with bacon, cheese etc. or layer them between greasproof paper and freeze, reheating your oatcakes briefly under a hot grill.
Added by: Ted Brown
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The Shipton Millers