Bread 25: stottie cake from England

Let’s be blunt here: my stottie cakes didn’t work out. Wiki tells me they’re meant to have a doughy texture, but my money says that doesn’t mean they should still be actual dough in the middle. I don’t think I rolled them thin enough. Stotties are a Newcastle speciality from the north east of England, a home of other fantastically-named things like singing hinnies, which are a type of scone cooked in a griddle pan.

Traditionally baked on the hot coals at the bottom of an oven, stotties are flipped halfway through. The resulting flatbreads taste a bit like extra-big muffins (of the bread variety). My dad is a Newcastle man – although he claims not to remember them – so I’ll have to have another go some time.

I used this recipe from Dan Lepard’s Handmade Loaf, which I may have photographed on my phone ahem although I have now ordered it. He claims that stottie cakes are one of the great breads of Europe, but doesn’t provide a justification for this and I’d have been curious to know his reasons.

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One thought on “Bread 25: stottie cake from England

  1. Nice to see a recipe for stottie cake! Being born and bred (bread?) in Sunderland I grew up with it. However I would like to share some info I gained many years ago about stotties. Essentially stotties were a by-product of small scale bread production in small bakers (I worked in one in Sunderland in the early 70’s when I was a student – sadly it’s gone now). When dough was placed in tins then weighed and trimmed to get the correct weight, the trimmings were gathered together and re-kneaded and formed into the traditional “flat-cake” style (I remember my grandmother calling it flat cake). This second kneading helped give real stotty cake it’s chewy texture, I would say something akin to ciabatta rather than a muffin. As you say it was baked in the bottom of the oven, which gave it another name – “oven-bottom cake”. So I would be tempted to say that unless you bake a lot of bread with resultant excess dough you ain’t going to get proper stotty! Of course you could try giving it another kneading.
    I hope this is at least of interest if not much use.

    Steve B

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