It’s one of those family in-jokes that we always referred to Digestives biscuits as Suggestive biscuits – my mum always did and the habit just stuck. This recipe is based on one from Cheerful Cookery by Noel Chanter, which my mum won as a school prize back in the 1960s. So this post is quite definitely a tribute to mum – which is as it should be as I owe all my baking confidence to her.
It doesn’t take long at all to rustle up a batch of these lovely crunchy wholesome biscuits, packed with the goodness of oats, as long as you stick closely to the instructions, because handling the dough is just a little bit tricky. Only a little bit though, so don’t let it put you off…
- 100g butter
- 125g self-raising flour (or plain flour plus 1tsp baking powder)
- 75g medium oatmeal
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 50g granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp milk
- Preheat your oven to 170C (fan)/180C/Gas Mark 4.
- Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment or grease lightly.
- Weigh the butter and flour into a large bowl and use a stand mixer, food processor or your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like lumpy breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the dry ingredients.
- Add the milk and use your hands (this is important because the warmth of your hands will help) to bring the dough together. Don’t be tempted to add more milk – just have a bit of patience and the dough will come together.
- Transfer the dough to your work surface (don’t flour it, you really don’t want to make your dough more dry) and knead until the dough is smooth and no longer crumbly.
- Cut a piece of baking parchment or greaseproof paper onto your worktop and roll the dough out on the paper until it is 3-4mm thick. Resist the urge to use extra flour, but you can put a little on your rolling pin. Move the paper rather than the dough whilst you are rolling out.
- Stamp out biscuits using a 7cm cutter and transfer them to your prepared baking sheets – I got 15 biscuits out of this quantity of dough.
- Prick the biscuits with a fork, then bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
These will keep well in an air tight box. Of course if you want to make them more luxurious you could coat one side with melted chocolate. Mmmm.