British Bites: Oatcakes

British Bites

Classic British dishes updated for the modern American cook.


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

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Though these oat-based yeast pancakes may appear lacy and delicate, they're actually quite satisfying and substantial. They're traditionally stuffed with savory ingredient like eggs, sausage, and ham, but they can also be loaded with syrup and filled with jam. Originally made popular in the North Staffordshire area of England, these cakes were once sold from kitchen windows to passersby on the street as fast food. Although increasingly uncommon, there are still manufactures that make and distribute oat pancakes to larger chains and supermarkets.

If you're serving these pancakes as a hearty breakfast or lunch, I suggest filling them with softly cooked apples and bits of sausage. For a light supper, top them with something rich; I like to throw in sautéed mushrooms cooked in butter.

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