My husband’s birthday is this weekend and I needed to make a cheesecake. Of course I had to make life difficult and prepare homemade digestives in advance. Why I went to the trouble of shaping them given I am only going to crush them later I’m not sure…But the reason I chose to make them and not buy is a no-brainer and has everything to do with the taste of these delectable morsels.
- 100 g sorghum flour
- 40 g brown rice flour
- 80 g tapioca starch
- 140 g almond meal
- 10 g flaxseed meal
- 2 tsp ground psyllium husk
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 100 g raw cane/rapadura/light muscovado sugar
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 160 g salted butter chilled and diced
- 3-4 tbsp milk
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, starch, meals, psyllium husk, sea salt and sugar. Sift in the bicarbonate of soda and mix again. Finally, add the cubes of butter and use your fingers to rub it into the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Pour the 4 tablespoons of milk into a small jug and sprinkle about half into the dough. Gently turn the mixture with your fingers so that it starts to absorb the liquid – you are looking to use sufficient milk to activate the linseed and psyllium. You have incorporated sufficient liquidity when the dough starts to come together and is slightly wet. Once you reach this stage there is no need to add more milk.
Shape the dough into a rough ball and wrap in cling film. Flatten into a 2-3 cm disc then chill in the fridge overnight – this will help the dough to firm up.
The next day, preheat the oven to 200°C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper and place two wire racks in your oven.
Remove the dough from the fridge and split it in half – put one back into the fridge and place the other half on your bench. Place a layer of baking paper on your countertop and prepare another layer of baking paper to go on top. Pinch off a small amount from your dough, roll into a ball and then place between the two layers of baking paper. Use a rolling pin or the heel of your hand to press the ball into a rough circle about 8mm thick. Then take a cutter (mine is 2 ¼ inch or 58mm in diameter) and form neat circles. As you form them, gently place on the prepared baking tray. If you find the dough becomes too soft to work with, cover and place in the freezer for a few minutes before trying again.
Continue until you have a sufficient number of digestives to fill up two baking sheets. Then use a fork or skewer to prick the biscuits a few times, to any design of your choosing.
Place the trays in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Remember to swap the trays halfway through to enable the digestives to bake evenly.
Once firm and golden brown, remove from the oven and leave on the baking trays for 5-10 minutes to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. In an airtight container, these digestives should keep for up to 1 week.
Adapted from “River Cottage Gluten Free” by Naomi Devlin