Bake the Book: Savory Irish Oatcakes

[Photograph: Steve Legato]

Chef McMeel says these cakes were a staple in Northern Ireland, where a barren climate made it nearly impossible to grow anything else.Irish Pantry softens up an ancient recipe with the addition of butter, honey, and sugar. Still dense and hearty, these little oat cakes do well dipped in tea or eaten with jam.

Tips: "Old fashioned rolled oats", of which these cakes are mostly comprised, simply refers to the fat flaked oats that come to mind when one thinks of oatmeal. The whole wheat flour, which is the other dry component in the cake dough, isn't absolutely necessary, but it provides that hearty denseness that AP flour cannot.

Tweaks: Without a sprinkling of sugar on top, these cakes are nearly devoid of sweetness, save for the two tablespoons of honey found in the dough. If that's fine by you, stick with a simple dusting of raw turbinado sugar (the large crystals contribute a satisfying crunch), but if more sugar is what you're after, use a liberal amount to top them before baking. Combine sugar and salt to add savory sweetness in every bite.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Irish Pantry to give away.

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