Fyaren here again. Camping at Ragnarok, the largest event for our sport Dagorhir, is a fantastic but taxing experience in all aspects. For campers with food allergies, like myself, hassle-free food alternatives are essential for fueling an active, healthy character all week long! Alric gave me a fun article on early Anglo-Saxon breads (I thought it was a cruel joke at first), so I decided to concoct a similar recipe using my stash of gluten-free grains.
Chickpeas and oats are both documented in The Capitulare de Villis (c. 800) in Charlemange’s France. My fantasy-based Kender character is not restricted to historic plausibility, but it’s still interesting to see what people in Europe might have been eating. I had pre-ground chickpea flour handy, but I ground the oats myself. These cakes can be dried out, and revitalized by wrapping them in a damp, warm towel or by dipping them in broth! I eat them with curried chicken, or as a flatbread with cheese/peanut butter and sliced apples.
The blog post I based this recipe on was a bit vague about cooking times and other details, so I’ve added information based on my several times cooking (and joyfully eating) these cakes. These tips should help guide fireside cooking as well—I had to use the inside stove this time because of a wildfire warning!
Here’s how I made them, with a text-only version you can reference at the end!
Heat up your cooking surface (cast-iron griddle, hot rock, etc.) while you’re making the dough.
Grind oats and combine with dry chickpea flower. The oats add a varied grain size, and some good texture, to the final product.
Mix hot water into the grain mixture until slightly sticky (see pics below), kneading gently
Shape your sticky cakes by squishing or stretching. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking too much. The cakes should sizzle as you put them on the griddle. Raw ones don’t stack well.
Shaping my cakes…
When it’s ready to flip, the raw (up) side will lighten.
Cook the second side for about the same amount of time as the first. You can peek at the bottom of the cake to see how brown the spots are, or cut a small slit through the top (not the whole way) with your flipper and peep inside. The inside should be about the same shade of beige as the outside (below). Your cake is undercooked if the inside is 2+ shades darker, and it will be a bit gummy.
Enjoy while hot and fresh, or reconstitute using a damp towel/wet food! The cakes curl when dried but keep well.
Note: this recipe is pretty much “whatever you grew, make a cake out of it”, but I’ll provide general ratios (and a lot of pictures) to help you get started!
- 3 parts chickpea (garbanzo bean) flower
- 1 part ground oats
- Hot water (added in ¼ cup quantities to desired consistency)
–Makes 12 cakes slightly larger than my hands, if 1 ½ cups of chickpea flour and ½ cup of oat flour are used.
- Heat up your cooking surface (cast-iron griddle, hot rock, etc.)
- Grind oats and combine with dry chickpea flower
- Mix hot water into the grain mixture until slightly sticky (see pics below), kneading gently
- Once the griddle is hot, shape your sticky cakes. Wet your hands to keep them from sticking too much. The shaped cakes should squish out just past your palms. If they are still too thick, you can stretch them by pulling gently with your fingers while holding the cake vertically in the air.
- Place the shaped cakes directly on the griddle. They should sizzle.
- The documentation states that after reciting 8-10 Our Father’s, you can flip the cake. I’m an easily distracted cook who also multitasks, so I’ll share my flipping secret with you. While this dough is wet, it doesn’t bubble like pancake batter. When it’s ready to flip, the raw (up) side will lighten in color. See photos below for plenty of comparisons
- Cook the second side for about the same amount of time as the first. You can peek at the bottom of the cake to see how brown the spots are, or cut a small slit through the top (not the whole way) with your flipper and peep at the color inside.
- Eat while hot! The inside should be about the same shade of beige as the outside. Your cake is undercooked if the inside is 2+ shades darker, and it will be a bit gummy.
Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspires you to make some new food for your camping or mundane meals. I will be developing this into a gluten free, Lembas-bread-inspired tack cake soon.
PS: these are period pet approved! =P