Slow Spiced Honey & Oat ‘Fermented’ Cookies – Part 1

Spiced honey cookies have been festive food in cultures throughout the world for centuries. Traditionally, the dough was often laid down to ‘ferment’ for several months before being baked.

I started this tradition in my own kitchen many years ago. I put up a flour and honey dough in the autumn and then bake it into Christmas cookies in December (you can see the recipe for those cookies, made of grains other than oats, here).

I’m giving this year over to oat cookies. If you’d like to join me, here’s what you need to do now:

Make your dough:

250g oat flour

You can buy this from your local supplier or you can make it yourself by using a heavy duty grinder to grind up oat flakes. Make the flour as fine as you possibly can.

200g runny honey

The runnier this is the easier it will be to incorporate into your flour. If you can’t get runny honey, you can gently heat thicker honey in a bain marie (a bowl placed over a simmering saucepan of water) to make it runny.

Mix the honey into the oat flour. This will take quite a while and can be a rather sticky affair. Use a spoon for most of the mixing (you can transfer to hands at the end if it’s easier) and have another spoon available to scrape off the mixing spoon.

Once the two are combined, roughly shape your mix into a ball. Put this into a bowl that you’re happy to not have around for a couple of months. Cover this bowl with some aluminium foil or cling film/plastic wrap and poke a couple of small holes in the top (you could also cover with a tightly fitting plate).

Place the bowl with the dough in somewhere out of the way and cool. In my house that is downstairs and this time of year the temperature is usually somewhere between 10°C (50F) and 18°C (65F). Lower than 10°C is also fine (you could put it in the fridge if you have to), and higher than 18°C is probably fine too, though I’ve not tested it.

That’s it! We’ll leave our doughs to mature and I’ll be back in December explaining how to make the cookies!

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