Sunday, November 18, 2012

Homemade Digestive Biscuits

Homemade Digestive Biscuits - ButterYum

Digestive Biscuits - for those of use who didn't grow up with these thick sandy-textured graham-like crackers, they don't sound very appetizing, but don't be fooled by their unusual name.  There's a reason why these cookies are beloved in the UK.  If you've been searching for the perfect copycat recipe, this one is spot on.



Homemade Digestive Biscuits 
makes 24 cookies
recipe adapted from Serena Wever
Printable Recipe

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat bran (see substitutions below)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons half and half
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flours, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt until combined.  Add butter, shortening, and brown sugar; pulse until combined.  Add half and half and vanilla; pulse until combined.  Press dough into a ball and wrap well with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

To bake, preheat oven to 350F.  Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness between two sheets of wax paper (use 1/8-inch dowels as a guide).  Cut cookies using a 2 1/2-inch cutter.  Prick the cookie cutouts evenly with a fork or skewer.  Slide the wax paper onto a sheet pan and chill for a few minutes before transferring cutouts to a silicone or parchment lined sheet pan.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool completely on a cooling rack.  Store in an airtight container.

Note:  ground bran cereal, wheat germ, oat bran, ground flax seeds, or any combination thereof, can be used as a substitution for the wheat bran.










21 comments:

  1. Patricia, I grew up on these... and tea biscuits in England! To me, they taste delicious!I have never made these little biscuits, but I sure would love to! I am so happy to have this recipe! YUM! Thanks for sharing them at ON THE MENU MONDAY!

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  2. I live in QC..these have always been one of my very favorite cookies..even as a young girl..Thanks!

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  3. I have to say that I've never tasted one! I'd love to try making them - they look delicious.

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  4. These look amazing! You have such talents in the kitchen!! I have never found a good recipe for these, cant wait to try this one! Thanks Patricia!

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  5. I've never had one of these, although I've certainly heard of them. They sound pretty interesting - something I should try. Thanks.

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  6. These sound wonderful. I know baking is exact, but can I leave out the shortening or substitute something? Shortening has soy and that is a no-no for me.

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    1. I didn't develop the recipe, so I don't know why there is shortening in there, but it's only 1 tablespoon so I don't think you would have any trouble leaving it out. Have you tried Spectrum Organic Shortening?

      "Made with organic palm oil, Spectrum Organic Shortening is a healthy, trans-fat free alternative to traditional shortening for flaky crusts and crispy fries"

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    2. I was not aware. I will check it out. Thanks for the info.

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  7. Thanks for sharing! I'm a big fan of digestives and I love to use them for a cookie crumb crust.

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  8. I've worked through a few UK magazines and they call for digestive biscuits but I didn't know what they were and couldn't find them so it's nice to finally see the elusive little devils and to have a recipe for making them on my own. Thanks for sharing this!

    Regarding the shortening. Pure lard would have no flavor and would work well too, don't you figure?

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  9. I am dieing to try these am also English and to get them in the stores is pretty spendy. of course I will dip mine in chocolate as that is my favortie kind LOL
    Pam

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  10. These area wonderful biscuit, we use lard though as it gives a much lighter biscuit, 1-2 teaspoons of salt and no sweeteners. They are great buttered with fat boiled bacon and brown sauce.

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  11. I really want to try this! May I ask what the weight of the cups of flour are in grams please? Or if you don't know, how do you measure into the cups; scoop the cup into the bag and level, or spoon into the cup then level? I find the latter = 125g and the former 140g!

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    1. I don't have the gram weight for this particular recipe despit it being my favorite way to measure. When I don't weigh, I fluff the flour, then lightly scoop using the measuring cup, and level without packing the flour down. Hope that helps!

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    2. Thank you for your quick reply! I shall try fluffing and lightly scooping! It may get quite messy as we keep the flour in its bag rather than having it in a box, which I presume would make it easier to scoop from! I shall expect flour plumes. Have you ever weighed your fluffed scoops?

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    3. I just went into the kitchen to weight them for you. 1 cup of all purpose flour is 140g. 1 cup of whole wheat flour is 145g. Hope that helps!

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  12. ohmygosh you are AMAZING!!!!! Thank you so so much. I tried a very similar recipe but it was rather dry which is why I am being so pernickety! I've never really measured in tbsps either. I used an online converter which does level tbsp measures rather than heaped or rounded, and I think 4 tbsp = 1/4 cup

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    1. Yes, 4 tablespoons is equal to 1/4 cup. Digestive biscuits are characteristically dry, but I hope you like the recipe. I have a relative who is from the UK and he said these are very authentic in flavor and texture.

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    2. Huzzah! I shall try them later this week and report back. I may even cover some with a wee bit of melted dark chocolate. We are regular consumers of McVities digestives and don't really find them dry, but the ones in the Jacobs cheese box are. I have also noticed the digestives made by supermarkets include oats! I love exploring recipes, everyone seems to have their own unique take.

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