Ode to the digestive – part 5, and finally…

Digestives main 1

To finish my 5 days of digestive recipes here’s a recipe to make your own. These are the real deal and seriously delicious. They have similarities to factory made ones but can’t really be compared – I wouldn’t dream of putting a melted marshmallow on top of one of these.

I’m thinking of making these wholesome treats to give to trick or treaters on Halloween. Is that cruel?

Home made digestives
(adapted from a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in his ‘River Cottage everyday’ cookbook)

NOTE: Whilst delicious, in my experience these digestives don’t keep awfully well. They are best eaten on the day of baking but after a day in the tin they start to go soft. For this reason I halve or even quarter the recipe below.

Makes 35-40 (to make this amount you will need two square baking trays and you will need to cook them in two batches, unless you have two ovens).

  • 250g wholemeal flour
  • 250g butter (a whole standard pat) cut into small cubes and softened
  • 250g medium oatmeal
  • 125g soft brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of fine sea salt if you are using unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon if using salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • About 1 tablespoon of milk

Measure the butter, flour, oatmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients together with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Now add a little milk, a few drops at a time (you may not need to whole amount) until everything comes together into a slightly sticky dough.

Dust with flour and press into a disc about 25 cm in diameter. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up a bit.

If you are making the dough in advance then you will need to take it out of the fridge for about an hour before you need to roll out as the dough will become very hard. The dough will keep for up to a couple of days in the fridge.

When you are ready to cook preheat the oven to 170oC fan.

Dust the dough, your work surface and rolling pin liberally with flour and roll out carefully dusting with more flour to stop the dough sticking until it is about 3-4 mm thick.

Cut out the biscuits with a 6-7 cm cutter and use a spatula or palette knife to transfer them to baking sheets (either non-stick or lined with greaseproof paper).

Place in the oven and bake for up to 10 minutes checking regularly that they are not browning too much around the edges. You want an even light brown colour on the top and a slightly darker brown around the edges.

Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheets to firm up before transferring (using a palette knife of spatula) to wire racks to cool completely.

Eat with a nice cup of tea. I challenge you to only eat one, they are very moreish.

Ready to roll out.

Ready to roll out.

Cutting out.

Cutting out.

On the tray ready for the oven.

On the tray ready for the oven.

Tasty stack.

A tasty stack.


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