5 Ingredients or Fewer

Savoury Sourdough Scottish Oatcakes

May 27, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Stottey
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 16-20
Author Notes

Oatcakes, for the uninitiated, are a Scottish delight.

They come in various forms - some closer to pancakes, some more like crackers - but are universally delicious and comforting.

These are the cracker-esque variety, and are usually eaten with butter or cheese. Really, though, you could put anything on one.

The sourdough doesn't contribute any rise here, but its acidity may help make them extra crisp, by reacting with the baking soda.

A word of warning to Canadian friends - these are not like "Nova Scotia Oatcakes"! They are much drier, and unsweetened.

Store finished oatcakes in your cupboard, in a sealed container.

//Extra Reading//

If you become hooked on this style of oatcake and want to learn more about different variations, I would recommend giving Felicity Cloake's article on "The Perfect Oatcakes" a read. She delves into their history, and offers a more traditional variation, using medium oatmeal:


Adapted from ZeTallGerman on BBC Good Food: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/user/831133/recipe/scottish-oat-cakes —Stottey

What You'll Need
  • 225 grams oats (rolled or porridge, not steel-cut)
  • 120 grams sourdough starter (discard or active)
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • 60 grams unsalted butter (salted would work too, but maybe reduce the salt slightly)
  • Splash boiling water (how much you need will depend on how absorbent your oats are)
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. Mix the oats, salt, sugar and soda in a large bowl.
  3. Add the sourdough starter to the dry ingredients, mixing as best you can - I used my hands in the end - until the starter is evenly incorporated.
  4. Cut the butter into small cubes - half an inch/1cm or so - and squidge the butter with your hands into the dough, until everything starts to come together.
  5. If dry spots remain - they probably will - add a tablespoon of boiling water to the mixture, and knead together again. Boiling water is important here, as it helps to gelatinise the oats slightly, and bind the mixture.
  6. Sprinkle your work surface with plain flour/AP flour, and dump out your dough.
  7. Lightly flour the top of the dough, a rolling pin (and probably yourself), then roll the dough out thinly. I went for around 1/4cm here.
  8. If the mixture is still too try, and not cooperating, use the boiling water to seal cracks that appear, and simply press the mixture together. This is a very, very forgiving dough, so don't worry about being delicate. Just pretend it's play dough and splash with water and press together as needed.
  9. Lightly flour the rim of a drinking glass around 7cm/3inches in diameter, or a round cookie cutter of the same size. Cut out oatcakes - I got sixteen, your milage may vary.
  10. Re-roll the scraps and repeat, performing more hot water surgery as necessary.
  11. Carefully transfer each oatcake to the trays. They are a bit fragile, but won't spread, so don't worry if they are a snug fit on the tray.
  12. Bake for around 30 minutes in total, rotating the trays after 20 minutes if necessary for even browning.
  13. Cool on a wire rack, and eat with mounds of sharp cheese and chutney.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stottey
  • SonyaR
  • passifloraedulis

4 Reviews

SonyaR November 14, 2021
I have been making oatcakes for years but this recipe is a huge upgrade from mine. (The only deviation from the recipe I made was that I used quick oats because that’s what I had in the pantry.) I look forward to checking out your other recipes if you have any!!!! Thank you for sharing!
Stottey November 24, 2021
Thank you so much Sonya! That means the world to me - I definitely have more (especially using oats, I'm a big fan) and I will keep uploading them :)
passifloraedulis May 27, 2021
This is SO good and a wonderful discard recipe to add to the repertoire. Thank you!
Stottey May 31, 2021
Thank you so much for trying them and leaving a review! I really appreciate it and I'm so glad you enjoyed them :)