There are times, in the quiet, hazy hours of the morning when the kettle is boiling for the first cup of tea or coffee, when I reach for my jar of oats and think, 'I'm just so over porridge'.
Breakfast - if you take it - is usually that meal of the day that stays grounded in ritual for means of simplicity, or because you probably don't have the time, and certainly aren't conscious enough yet to think of anything too groovy or exciting to eat. For the most part, our stomachs are just yawning and stretching from sleep, and to attack it with last night's reheated curry would be a bit much (although I do know people who happily do this).
Sometimes I just want pastries or cake, to pretend I am Parisian for breakfast. In this recipe I have found a happy medium between ease and indulgence, but still hearty and nutritious - an oatcake that contains everything in it that I would usually have in my morning porridge, but with the benefit of a satisfying crunch and portability. This salty umami of miso combined with toffee-like maple syrup makes these pretty addictive...
Makes roughly 18
200g organic oats, 50g blitzed and 50g left whole
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp honey
11/2 tbsp white miso paste
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp mixed seeds
1tsp ground ginger
A handful raisins
Zest of half an orange (optional)
Plain flour, for rolling
Set your oven to 150C (fan). First toast your seeds. Set a heavy-based frying pan (a cast-iron skillet works best) over a medium-high heat and put the sesame and mixed seeds in, making sure they're well spread across the pan. Keep an eye on them, as they will brown quickly - enjoy the cracking and popping sounds - so toss after they look brown on one side, leave for another minute or so and then put them into a bowl.
Boil the kettle and mix a splash of hot water with the miso paste, just enough to break it down a bit. Add to the blitzed and whole oats with maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, orange zest, seeds, honey and raisins. Mix well until it all comes together in a rough dough.
Flour a clean surface and tip out the dough. If the dough is too sticky, roll it around in the flour until coated. Take a rolling pin and roll the dough to roughly 1cm thick. Cut into whatever shape or size you desire, as they won't spread in the oven. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for ten to fifteen minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool and crisp a little.
Now boil the kettle and enjoy with coffee!
They will keep for up to a week in an airtight container.