Home-made digestives have a coarser texture and more satisfying crunch than a pack from the supermarket. You also know what’s gone into them! You can finish the biscuits with a coating of melted chocolate or make a savoury version to eat with cheese, dips and pâtés.
- 150g plain wholemeal flour (spelt or wheat)
- 150g medium oatmeal
- 1 tbsp bran
- 1/4 tsp crushed sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75g dark muscovado sugar (sieved if lumpy)
- 150g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 1 x 7.5cm plain round cutter
- 1–2 baking sheets, lightly greased with butter
1. Put the flour, oatmeal, bran, salt, baking powder and sugar into the bowl of a food processor. ‘Pulse’ several times until everything is thoroughly combined.
2. Add the chunks of butter and run the machine until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. With the machine running, add enough milk through the feed tube to bring the mixture together into a firm but not dry dough. (You can also make the biscuit mixture by combining all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then rubbing in the butter and finally stirring in the milk with a round-bladed knife.)
3. Lift the dough out of the processor bowl, flatten into a thick disc and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 30 minutes until firm.
4. Set the disc of dough between 2 sheets of clingfilm or baking paper and roll out 4mm thick. Stamp out rounds with the plain cutter and set slightly apart on the greased baking sheets. Gather up the trimmings and work them together, then re-roll and cut out more rounds.
5. Prick each round several times with a fork, then chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
6. Bake the biscuits for 10–12 minutes until golden and slightly darker around the edges. To make sure the biscuits cook evenly, rotate the sheet or sheets after 5 minutes. Remove the sheet or sheets from the oven and set on a heatproof surface. Leave the biscuits to cool and firm up for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack. When cold store in an airtight container for about a week.
Make up the basic recipe but reduce the sugar to 50g. Add an extra 1/4 teaspoon sea salt plus 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried chilli and a pinch of cumin seeds. Roll out in the same way and cut out 5cm rounds. Chill, then bake for about 8 minutes. Makes about 35.