Oatcakes, the perfect early morning snack – recipe

oatcakes in a glass jar
Oatcakes. Picture: Renee Moodie

I have started work in the early morning for many years now – and one of the challenges for early shift workers is what to do about breakfast.

Actual breakfast has to be eaten at your desk, and can be done quickly and healthily if you pack the food the night before. But if you are up at 5am, and won’t have a breather to make that breakfast much before 8am, there’s a long stretch of time in which to get hungrier and hungrier, and crabbier and crabbier. What’s needed is a small, nutritious snack that can be eaten on the way to work.

Enter the oatcake.

Oatcakes are widely recommended as a power snack – but the commercially available oatcakes in South Africa always seem to have sugar in them. A hunt on the Internet eventually turned up the perfect solution – a very plain oatcake recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Continue reading “Oatcakes, the perfect early morning snack – recipe”

School biscuits, thanks to a past self

choc chip school biscuits
The latest batch of “school biscuits”. Picture: Renee Moodie

Yesterday I made some biscuits.
They’re known in our house as “school biscuits” and are filled with bran (yep, actual bran as in the stuff that no self-respecting kid would ever eat), wholewheat flour and oats.
Plus chocolate chips, and two kinds of sugar, and butter.
The recipe is one by Heidi Swanson and it so nicely combines nutrition with decadence that is has been a lunchbox favourite with both parents and child in our house for years.
But the best thing about them is that you make one huge batch of dough, bake one set of biscuits then and there and freeze the rest of the dough in three or four portions. And that means that on a busy weekend you can knock out a quick batch with minimal effort, remembering as you go to thank your past self for being so nice to you.
I recommend Heidi’s recipe in its entirety, but here are my notes for South African bakers:
Whole wheat flour – I have used both brown bread flour and Nutty Wheat and they both work fine.
I use three eggs instead of two
Unsalted butter – ordinary butter is fine, just cut back to half a teaspoon of salt
The all-important chocolate: we just use plain old Top Deck, cut up. In other words, you can use any chocolate you like, don’t worry about anything fancy.
So – print out the original, add my notes and get baking!