An authentic Scottish recipe from


- 4 oz (125g) medium oatmeal
- 2 teaspoons melted fat (bacon fat, if available)
- 2 pinches bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 tablespoon hot water
- extra oatmeal for kneading


  • Mix oatmeal, salt and bicarbonate together, then pour the melted fat into the centre of the mixture.
  • Stir well and add enough water to make a stiff paste.
  • Cover a working surface in oatmeal and turn out the mixture onto this.
  • Work quickly - the paste is hard to work if it cools.
  • Divide in two :
  • Roll one half into a ball and knead with hands covered in oatmeal to stop it sticking.
  • Roll to a quarter inch thick.
  • Select a plate that is slightly smaller than the size of your pan.
  • Place the plate over the rolled mixture and cut round to make a circular oatcake.
  • Cut the circle into quarters (called farls) and place in a heated pan that has been greased lightly.
  • Cook for around 3 minutes till the edges curl slightly, turn, and cook the other side.
  • Get another oatcake ready while the first is being cooked.

Another method is to bake the oatcakes in an oven at Gas Mark 5/ 375F/ 190C for around 30 minutes till brown at the edges. The quantities in this recipe are enough for two bannocks of traditional size. Again, cut to Farls before cooking to make management easier. Store in a tin and reheat in a warm (not hot) oven as required.