Regular readers of this blog may recall that I previously expressed an intention to make digestive biscuits, but abandoned it in favour of hobnobs on the grounds that they were too austere. Having now made said digestives I can say that I was only partly right. Austere is too strong a word I think, for these work-a-day biscuits, which nonetheless are surprisingly moreish. I actually made them in order to form the base of a cheesecake I had planned to make for a birthday, which may illustrate my devotion to the cause of home baking or the fact that I have far too much time on my hands.
Naturally, I would say the former, but only because these don’t really take that much time to make assuming you have a food processor, without one it really would be a labour of love. And also because I genuinely enjoy baking so that spending an extra couple of hours (this includes chilling time people) making the biscuits I am then going to mercilessly crush with a rolling pin, doesn’t seem like a wasted effort, but an opportunity to extend my baking repertoire. I don’t think I’ve done myself any favours with that last sentence, have I? On with the recipe.
Edd Kimber – Say it With Cake (or indeed as in this case, biscuits)
Makes about 40 6cm biscuits
Ingredients:50g porridge oats 180g plain flour (plus extra for dusting) 180g wholemeal flour Pinch of ground cinnamon 1tsp bicarbonate of soda 150g light brown sugar 250g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
Line two baking trays with baking parchment (or use super-duper non-stick silicone baking trays). Whizz the porridge oats in a food processor until finely ground, then add the flours, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and sugar and whizz again briefly to combine. Add the butter and whizz once more until the mixture just starts to come together. You can also do this by hand, grinding the oats in a blender first, then combining them in a bowl with the other dry ingredients, before rubbing the butter in with your fingertips. Either way, you want to end up with fine crumbs.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently until smooth and uniform. This takes longer than you may think, about 5-7 minutes, and don’t be disheartened if you start to think that it will never form a coheseive dough and you glance over at the ingredients list for confirmation of the egg you must have forgotten to add. You didn’t, it’s not there, keep going and suddenly it will all come together. Promise. Flatten the dough into a disc of sorts, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at 30 minutes. If you leave it longer than this, that’s fine, but allow the dough to come up to room temperature before rolling it out.
Again on a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of 4-5mm. Cut out small rounds using a 7cm round cutter (or whatever you have), re-rolling the scraps to make more biscuits. Put the biscuits onto the baking sheets and chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Bake the biscuits in the oven for 15 minutes, or until they are golden and the edges lightly browned. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool completely. Dip in or drizzle with melted chocolate if you’re feeling decadent.