Traditional Scottish recipe for Bannocks (oatcakes)!!

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Traditional Scottish Recipes

Oatcakes are a very traditional part of the Scottish diet. They were cooked on a griddle (a flat iron pot placed over the fire) but nowadays a heavy frying pan is used.


4 oz (125g) medium oatmeal

2 teaspoons melted fat (bacon fat, if available)

2 pinches of bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

3/4 tablespoons hot water

Additional oatmeal for kneading


  • Mix the oatmeal, salt and bicarbonate and pour in the melted fat into the centre of the mixture.
  • Stir well, using a porridge stick if you have one and add enough water to make into a stiff paste.
  • Cover a surface in oatmeal and turn the mixture onto this.
  • Work quickly as the paste is difficult to work if it cools.
  • Divide into two and roll one half into a ball and knead with hands covered in oatmeal to stop it sticking.
  • Roll out to around quarter inch thick. Put a plate which is slightly smaller than the size of your pan over the flattened mixture and cut round to leave a circular oatcake.
  • Cut into quarters (also called farls) and place in a heated pan which has been lightly greased.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes until the edges curl slightly, turn, and cook the other side.
  • Get ready with another oatcake while the first is being cooked.
  • An alternative method of cooking is to bake them in an oven at Gas5/375F/190C for about 30 minutes or until brown at the edges.
  • The quantities above will be enough for two bannocks about the size of a dessert plate.
  • If you want more, do them in batches rather than making larger quantities of mixture. Store in a tin and reheat in a moderate oven when required.

What can I say these oatcakes go way back and my family always had them in the house when I was growing up. They eat them with a cheese board or whatever you like really. Why don’t you give them a try!

Kimberly xo

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