As you may know, this month in the Sentient Baker kitchen it’s all about the humble oat. From a simple bowl of porridge to a crunchy, spiced cookie, oats are my fuel of choice when the temperature drops. These Chilli Oat Bites closely resemble a Scottish Oatcake in their savoury simplicity, but pack a flavoursome punch with the addition of paprika and parmesan cheese. I use buckwheat flour to ensure that they are gluten free but they would work just as well with normal wheat flour. These are hearty, feisty little savoury biscuits. They blossom when lavishly buttered, making excellent accompaniments to soups, salads and smorgasbords. Pile them with whipped goats cheese and a smear of chilli jam, dip them into hummus or adorn with a rustic pâté. With a satisfying crunch and a lingering heat they make perfect sharing food for dinner party ‘picnics’.
Chilli Oat Bites
(Makes approx. 24 biscuits)
115g instant oats
30g buckwheat flour (white or wholemeal wheat flour can be substituted)
30g grated parmesan cheese
30g butter, cold and cubed
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sweet paprika
¼ tsp chilli flakes
pinch black pepper
50ml hot water
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 170°C Fan/ Gas Mark 5 and line or grease a large baking tray
- Combine the dry ingredients together in a bowl, including the parmesan cheese.
- Add the butter to the dry ingredients and work the mixture into damp ‘breadcrumbs’ with your finger-tips. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated.
- Add the water and work the mixture lightly into a soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll to approximately 1cm thickness.
- Cut into rounds using the smooth side of a scone cutter and transfer to a baking sheet (I use a 48mm cutter for bitesize biscuits). The uncooked texture is quite crumbly so I find It helps to firmly pat down the dough with a finger each time I press the cutter down.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden.
- Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container or cookie tin, they should keep for at least a week.