Perfect Flapjacks are only 25 minutes away! Yet to make the perfect flapjacks it is important that we understand our ingredients and cooking method. Newer recipes for flapjacks call for just ‘regular’ porridge oats, these are oats which have been cut first, (to make pinhead oats) which are then rolled, to make them quick to cook. While older flapjack recipes call for ‘jumbo’ oats which are oats which have been rolled, but not cut before-hand. However, as it turns out, to get the best texture in your flapjack you should use a mixture of these quicker cooked regular porridge oats and the slower to cook jumbo oats. Finally if you like your flapjacks a little chewy then bake them on a lower shelf in the oven at 175C, and if you like them crisper cook them on the top shelf in the oven at 190C.
Recommended: try making the sticky orange flapjacks as well as the regular ones.
The name ‘flapjack’ (an old name) comes from flap, to toss and jack, a common forename. As Samuel Johnson said in 1780 : “In some counties a flapjack signifies an applepuff: but anciently [mentioned by Shakespeare] it seems to have meant a pancake”. How it turned from a pancake, to an apple puff to an oat cake is a bit of a mystery … but the old oat floured pancakes and scones, which were tossed (turned) on a griddle, are not too far from the modern tray-baked flapjack.
Makes 18 bars
If you only have regular porridge oats, and no jumbo oats, and you need to make flapjacks quick, then don’t worry, just use regular porridge oats (500g).
- 300g unsalted butter
- 100g demerara sugar (or golden caster sugar)
- 170g golden syrup (7 tablespoons)
- 270g jumbo porridge oats (rolled – not cut)
- 230g porridge oats (rolled – and cut)
- pinch of ground sea-salt
To Make ‘Sticky Orange Flapjacks’
- 1 orange (zest only)
- 3 tbsp fine shredded orange marmalade
Preheat the oven to 175C (if you like them chewy) 0r 195C (if you like them crispy)
Line a 30 x 20cm baking tin or tray with baking parchment (cutting it to fit neatly) then wipe over softened butter to grease. The deeper the tin or tray, and the deeper the flapjack, the more moist and chewier the centres will remain. The ideal height for each flapjack is around 2.5cm (1 inch).
In a small saucepan melt the butter, then add the sugar, golden syrup and a pinch of sea-salt, (if making the sticky orange flapjacks also add in the orange zest). Make sure everything has melted and come together. Stir well to combine, then take off the heat and stir in the oats (both types if using). Give it a couple of minutes to cool.
Pour and press the flapjack mixture into the prepared tin (evenly). Place the tray in the oven and bake for 25 minutes (at 175C for chewy and 190C for crispy) until just set and golden in colour.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for a few minutes after they come out of the oven. However, before they harden, turn the large flapjack out and cut it into 18 equal sized squares or bars, (if making the sticky orange flapjacks melt the marmalade in the pan and brush this glaze over each square). Store in an airtight container for up to a week.