Ingredients: 125g (4½oz) medium oatmeal Pinch of salt 1 tablespoon melted dripping or butter 125ml (4fl oz) boiling water Heat the girdle and grease. Test heat by sprinkling on some flour which should turn a light brown in a few minutes. Also judge heat by holding your hand over the girdle. It should feel hot, but not fiercely so.
Method: Put the oatmeal into a bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the centre, add the dripping or butter and mix through. When well mixed, add the boiling water and mix to make the mixture come together into a firm, but not crumbly, ball. Dust the work surface with oatmeal and press the mixture out roughly into a round. Roll out to about 5mm (¼ inch) thick. Keep pinching the edges together to keep them even. Cut into four triangles (farls) and leave to dry for an hour. Place the four triangles on the girdle and leave to bake till they have dried out and are curled at the edges. This will only happen if they are thin enough. Thick oatcakes will not curl and may need to be baked on both sides. If very thin and well curled, remove and stand on end in a warm place to dry out completely.
Ingredients: 225g (8oz) floury potatoes, mashed 75g (3oz) plain flour 25g (1oz) butter Pinch of salt. About a third flour to potatoes. Use up leftover mashed potatoes.
Method: Heat the girdle and grease. Put the mashed potato into a bowl and sift in the flour. Add the butter and salt and mix to a smooth dough. It should be soft and pliable. roll out to 3-5mm (1/8 – ¼ inch) thick. Bake on the girdle until coloured on one side (about three minutes), then turn andcolour the other side. Wrap in a tea towel.
Ingredients: 225g (8oz) plain flour 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 1 level teaspoon cream of tartar 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 150ml (5fl oz) buttermilk or sweet milk soured with the juice of a lemon Pinch of salt
or Self Raising Flour and 1/2 level teaspoon Baking Powder instead of the Plain Flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.
Method: Pre-heat the girdle and grease lightly. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the oil, sour milk and salt. Mix to a soft pliable dough. Do not overmix or the scones will shrink when baked. Turn out onto a floured board. Flour on top and divide into two. Roll each piece into a circle about 1cm (½ inch) thick and cut each round into 4 quarters. Bake on the girdle for about four to five minutes on one side. Turn and bake on the other side till cooked through. Fold in a tea towel.
These can be made into a more rustic wheaten scone, like Irish soda bread, by substituting half the plain flour with a coarse granary flour.
Ingredients: 225g (8oz) self-raising flour 25g (1oz) caster sugar 2 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 egg 150ml (5fl oz) milk 50g (2oz) currants or sultanas.
Method: Preheat the girdle and grease lightly. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the sugar. Make a well in the centre. Mix the oil and egg together. Add this, along with most of the milk and the currants. Mix to a soft dropping consistency, adding more milk if necessary. Leave to rest for three minutes. Roll out on a floured board to a large round of 1.5cm (¾ inch) thick. Cut into triangles or cut with a scone cutter into rounds. Put the triangles or rounds onto the girdle and bake on one side for about five minutes until lightly browned. Turn and bake on the other side. Wrap in a tea towel.
Substitute black treacle or golden syrup for the sugar to add more flavour.
Scots Pancakes (Dropped Scones) and Crimpets (Crumpets)
Ingredients: 225g (8oz) self-raising flour 2 eggs, beaten 1 level tablespoon golden syrup/ honey/ treacle or sugar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 175ml (6fl oz) milk for pancakes
Additional For Crimpets: 1 egg 250ml (9fl oz) milk ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
Heat girdle and grease.
Pancake Method: Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs, syrup, oil and most of the milk. Mix to a thick ’pouring cream’ consistency adding more milk if necessary.
Crimpet Method: As for pancakes BUT add 1 extra egg and ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda which makes more bubbles while cooking. Use more milk to make a runnier mixture. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs, sugar and most of the milk. Mix to a thin cream consistency adding more milk if necessary.
Drop in spoonfuls onto a hot girdle. Use a ladle for the crumpits which should spread to about 15mm (6 inch). When bubbles appear on the surface, turn. Crumpits should be thinner than pancakes with a lacy effect on one side. Pancakes are usually smaller. When bubbles appear on the top surface, turn. They should be an amber colour on both sides. Cool on a rack in a tea towel to keep warm and soft and eat warm on the day they are baked.