Home-made Digestives

Home-made digestives with a satisfying crunch that'll beat anything you'll buy in the supermarket.

The Great British Bake Off: Big Book of Baking
By Linda Collister
Buy on Amazon / Hive / Waterstones

Introduction

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.

Makes 20 biscuits
Easy

Ingredients

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

Essential kit

You will need a 1 x 7.5cm plain round cutter.

Instructions

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.

Savoury digestives

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.

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