Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Three Flour Challenge

I went on a slight flour-based spree during my weekly shop recently, stocking up on Rice, Bread, Spelt, Soya, Potato and Semolina, but what to do with it all?

I must say, I adore Doves Farm Flours, they have the most delicious range, and although for some bakes I use trusty cheaper flours when I'm trying out new recipes, you can't beat a good quality flour.

I'm usually a follow-the-recipe exactly baker, the type Berry and Hollywood would love on the technical challenge on the British Bake Off, no messing with their recipes here, usually.

But I wanted to challenge my baking skills, create my own biscuits, each using a different flour and flavour.

 Plain | Semolina | Rice 

I wasn't entirely sure where to start and I'd even banned myself from my trusty BeRo book to 'just check' the usual quantities, ratios and methods. Here goes...

For each of the biscuit doughs, I used 50g butter, 50g Sugar and 100g of the flour. After emptying my trust baking cupbard and seeing what I could concoct, I came up with three different biccies!

Nutmeg and Date Spiced Stars (the NEW taste of Christmas!)
Semolina Sugar Biscuits (with drizzled chocolate topping)
Gluten-free Vanilla Biscuits (chocolate dipped)

With all of the biscuits, I mixed them all by hand, sugar and butter first, then added the flour and kept mixing, using milk to bring them together at the end. I then chilled each of the doughs for 15 minutes and rolled out on a lightly floured surface and cut to shape. I baked them all for 10-12 minutes at 180degrees.


Nutmeg and Date Stars

Anyone who knows me knows I love Christmas. I adore the Yuletide flavours more than any. Ginger, Mixed Spice and Nutmeg evoke the warmest of memories for me. So, even though it’s September and we’re clinging on to the last threads of Summer, I’m getting ready for the most wonderful time of year. And after the success of these in my taste test on some willing colleagues, I am going to have to perfect these by Advent, with lots of ideas for festive taste combinations already suggested!

50g Butter
50g Light Brown Sugar
30g Chopped Dates
100g Plain Flour
1 ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
Splash of milk (to bring together the dough)

Golden Semolina Biscuits

I’m a huge semolina pudding fan; it’s up there with rice pudding and custard on my top supper list. But I’ve never baked with it, so today’s experiment was the perfect chance to use it in a recipe. I’ve cheated a little here using plain flour and semolina, to make these golden little treats, drizzled with creamy milk chocolate, of course.

50g Butter
50g Semolina
50g Plain Flour
50g Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
Splash of milk (to bring together the dough)

Gluten-free Vanilla Sugar Biscuits

I have a friend who’s celiac and requires a gluten-free diet. I always feel guilty taking in batches of baking and seeing her face when they all contain gluten. So, these vanilla rice flour biscuits are my venture in to gluten-free baking for her and dipped in melted chocolate for an extra little treat.

50g Butter
100g Rice Flour
50g Icing Sugar
Pinch Salt
A few drops of Vanilla Extract (or pods)

For one of my first EVER experimental bakes, with no recipes and my own flavour combinations, I am pleased with the results. The best thing about my mini bake off? Finding my new signature Christmas cookie….I am totally inspired to get more creative with flavours and try new ideas out. Watch this space.


M said...

And I'll be stealing your idea from recipe 1 and the GFness of recipe 3 to create my own Christmas biscuits. Thanks!

Sarah Robertson said...

Oh, make sure you share your own adventures in the biscuit making world! I love trying new combos!