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This recipe is in categories Main courses, Saxons & Vikings, Vegetarian,
About this recipe:
Difficulty: not rated

This recipe uses flour. The end of the Anglo-Saxon period saw development of water mills but most flour was ground using a quern. The broad beans would have been grown in plots in the village along with other vegetables.

Saxons would have cooked foods such as small cakes or pancakes on a big iron skillet or hanging griddle near an open fire.

This recipe describes the methods used in the Saxon podcast, it is not an accurate guide to cooking the dish in a modern kitchen. To cook this dish yourself follow the link to the modern version.

For images of the cooking process see our Beancake Picture Gallery.

With thanks to Steve and Jo Parish  of Past Alive for their help with this podcast.


Making and cooking it
  1. Shell the beans from their pods
  2. Chop the beans roughly on a wooden board
  3. Add about half a bowl of flour
  4. Moisten this with milk to make a paste
  5. Add a dollop of runny honey. This will make the paste wetter. You may need to add more milk to make sure the batter drops off your spoon
  6. If you wish, you can add a sprinkle of linseeds and some crushed hazelnuts (crush the nuts with a stone)
  7. When the batter will drop from the spoon, take it to your fire
  8. Set the bakestone / iron griddle above the fire
  9. Grease the griddle - you could use  butter for this
  10. When the fat begins to sizzle and smoke a little, drop spoonfuls of the bean batter onto the griddle
  11. You will need to turn the cakes and move them around so they don't scorch
  12. Once they are golden on both sides, they are ready