Biscuit baking!

One thing you probably know about me is that I like to experiment. When I’m baking I love to try new things and test out different textures and flavours. I’ve been baking a lot of cakes lately, something which I enjoy and lot. I’ve also tried out various different breads.

My next quest is to bake biscuits. I always have baked biscuits, from time to time, and they’re hardly ever terrible, which is certainly a good thing. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement or reason to have a go at using different ingredients.

There are lots of different types of biscuits and I don’t really mind which kind I make as long as they taste great. I’ll happily roll out dough and cut out shapes, or spoon balls onto a baking tray and cook them until they’ve spread into the shape of biscuits. This weekend I’ve been experimenting more with drop cookies, which are the kind you make by spooning a ball onto a baking tray.

Another thing I’ve been doing this weekend is experimenting with different flours. A while back I decided that I wanted to bake biscuits using wheat flour, it’s the kind of flour that’s in any packet of biscuits you might pick up from a supermarket. But, it’s really difficult to find. I’ve looked on various occasions and haven’t managed to find the wheat flour that I’m looking for. I did, however, find some rye flour. I don’t know a lot about rye flour, except that the packet I picked up said that it was good for baking biscuits.

I’ve been using a pretty standard recipe:

75g sugar

75g butter

1tbsp golden syrup

1tbsp treacle

1tbsp milk

150g flour

When using different ingredients, like different types of flours, I just have to make substitutes and that is what I did. I used half self-raising flour and half rye flour. Since I don’t know much about rye, I added a heaped teaspoon of baking powder to ensure that rising wasn’t a problem. And voila!

My batch of rye biscuits was actually really successful. Perhaps even some of the best biscuits I’ve made. They were just the right amount of crunchy whilst also being a little chewy in the middle – exactly the way I like them.

I hope to experiment again soon, but this time I will use more rye and remove the self-raising flour. I think the only reason I used it was because I was scared of making a horrible batch of biscuits, now I don’t need to be scared I can take away that safety net.

Whilst adding the rye I also did another experiment, one that I wasn’t entirely happy with mixing with the rye experiment. The thought of two things going wrong at once just felt too much, but I did it anyway. I added carob powder to half of my rye biscuit dough, I also added a little extra milk to offset the additional powder. I think that I should have added a little more milk than I did, though, as the biscuits didn’t spread as well as the others.

If you don’t know what carob is, it’s basically a substitute for chocolate. I know that they make dairy free chocolate and other such versions suitable for those with diabetes. But one thing they don’t make chocolate for is people who can’t have it due to migraines. Carob, however, is made from an entirely different plant. It does taste quite different to chocolate, but the concept is very similar. It’s got quite a flavour which makes eating too much of it in one go difficult, probably a good thing, though it’s low or absent of sugar anyway.

So I added carob powder to half of my biscuit dough and the result is pretty good. They have that almost chocolatey taste that makes them a great substitute for those who can’t eat chocolate biscuits.

Today’s experimentations have been a whole lot of fun. I think I’ve learnt a lot about not being scared of trying new things. I got really good at attempting different types of cake and there’s no reason to feel that fear when trying different biscuits. I’d love to try more experimenting, and since my aunty suggested a ginger biscuit recipe, I will have to have a go at that. I love ginger biscuits, but most of the ones you can buy in a packet are hard and extremely crunchy.

Another experiment I want to do is to have a go at baking rye bread. I’m very fussy with bread, but I think that it will be a fun experiment to make. Besides, I now have a nearly full packet of rye flour left to use.

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