Today is Chandeleur or pancake day here in France which is always celebrated 40 days after Christmas. I decided that I wanted to go a little off piste this year and avoid making the usual gallettes and crepes, but instead draw on the amazing diversity of pancakes around the world. Inspired though I am by classics like Ethiopean Injera or Indian Dosa, I wanted to make a Staffordshire oatcake which comes from near where we used to live in the UK. They’re little known outside the area they come from, but I reckon at some point they’ll be discovered and go viral.
The origins of Staffordshire Oatcakes are lost in the mists of time but we know that the early ones, similar to their French counterparts were made simply with water and oatmeal and by the poor. By the 18th century they had evolved into something more elaborate including wholemeal flour, white flour and milk, briefly fermented to give a thicker pancake which is slightly bread like. They’re really easy to veganise because they don’t contain eggs and work well with plant milk. They’re also delicious, healthy and really easy to make so what’s not to like?
- 230 ml soy milk
- 230 ml warm water
- 1 tsp active dried yeast
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 130 g oat flour or ground oats (just blitz oats in a food processor)
- 50 g wholemeal flour
- 50 g plain white flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix the soy milk and warm water together. Add the yeast and sugar with 3 tablespoons of the milk/water mix. Leave the yeast mixture to become frothy: this should around take 5 minutes.
- Mix the ground oats, both flours and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add the yeast mixture and the remaining milk/water to the flours and mix to form a thick batter.
- Cover the batter and leave in a warm place for an hour before cooking or alternatively leave in the fridge overnight. As the mixture ferments it will thicken and produce bubbles.
- Pour enough oil into a frying pan to coat the base, heat and add a large ladle of the batter. Cook the pancake for a few minutes and then flip it over. The top of the pancake should be mostly cooked before turning it over.
- Serve with savoury or sweet toppings.