GF Digestive style biscuit


To me creating recipes is wonderful, quite simply I love what I do. It was certainly no hardship & quite a bit of fun designing my gluten free versions of 3 cheesecake base biscuits - Arnott's GranitaTM, McVities Digestives & a Graham Cracker. As I'm not on a gluten free diet (nor is anyone in my family) I went to the local supermarket, bought a packet of GranitaTM & Digestives & ate a few :) - I also slipped in a packet of McVities chocolate HobNobs. I've never had a Graham Cracker so needed to get on line to check out their ingredients & nutritional information. Once I had all the info for the 3 biscuits I compared their ingredient lists, nutritional information & then started making, baking & tasting.

What is the difference between an Arnott's GranitaTM and a McVities Digestive? Not much in terms of ingredients, a little bit more sugar & some colouring/flavouring in the Granita however I find there is a difference in the texture. Granita are slightly more gritty & I noticed that the family ate the Digestives first. Although Graham Crackers have similar ingredients they are quite a bit sweeter & contain less fat (making them a slightly more drier biscuit).

What you used to love about Arnott's GranitaTM or McVities Digestive may not be the same as what I like about them. As my family (& guests) liked different versions of the biscuits differently I have put a range in the amount for some of the ingredients. If in doubt halve the recipe to start with - make sure you write down the amounts you used. 



230 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour  

100 - 130 g Butter (if in doubt start with 110 g)

60 g Icing sugar

30 g Buckwheat flour

1/4 tsp Salt (or to taste)

1/2 - 1 tsp Vanilla extract (or to taste)

~30 g Water

Butter - the commercial biscuits are made with vegetable oil, I made an oil based version & quickly changed it to butter (the look on my daughter's face said it all). The more butter that is added the less dry the biscuit. I would not put in less butter than 100 g (I find this amount too dry). 

Water -  you need water in the recipe to make the dough workable & for the biscuit to not be similar to a shortbread. Add 30 g as a minimum but remember the amount will change depending on the amount of butter & sugar you use. 



Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Turn the oven on to 170 C (fan forced). 

Combine together the dry ingredients; Bakers' Magic flour, sugar, buckwheat flour & salt.

Melt the butter. Add in the water & vanilla.

Pour the butter/water over the dry ingredients & mix until combined. Bring it together with your hands - if it seems too crumbly add in a little bit more water, maybe a teaspoon at at time. 

Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to a thickness of 4 mm.

Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper. To ensure the biscuits are an even in thickness follow this tip. Find two placements (dinner setting) place them on either side of the dough (my placemats are 4 mm high). For the GF Digestive-style biscuits pictured above I used stainless steel spacers (4 mm) instead of placemats. I find it easier to work with this dough when it is between two sheets of baking paper. When rolling out the dough ensure the rolling pin is wide enough to span the dough and part of the two placemats/spacers. My rolling pin is large – 61 cm from handle to handle. Initially when rolling the pin may not necessarily rest on the placemats/spacers, however, when the dough is the same thickness as the placemats it will. At this stage the dough should be all the same thickness. 

Cutting & Baking

Gently lift off the top piece of baking paper, put it back down on the dough. Holding on to both sheets of baking paper on both sides of the dough gently flip the dough over. Lift off the top piece of baking paper - do not discard. 

Using a round cutter cut out as many as you can and place them on a baking tray. Use a flat knife to help transfer the cut dough to the tray. When you have cut out as many shapes as possible bring the dough together and roll it out again between the two sheets of baking paper. Continue cutting out shapes in the newly rolled dough. Repeat until you can't cut out any more shapes.

Use the blunt end of a bamboo/wooden skewer to poke holes into the biscuits - this prevents them from puffing up when baking.  

The length of time required to bake the biscuits will depend on the size of the cutter you have used, the thickness of the dough & your oven. I baked these for 18 mins turning the trays halfway through baking. 

Simply enjoy!