Friday, February 3, 2012

Followup on Biscuits

In my last post, Jane Angell responded and was supportive of my quest to understand the English Biscuit. To help in the dialog, here is the recipe I found on, submitted by Rhonda Warhol, called Cinnamon Biscuits.

Mix these in a large bowl-
   All-purpose flour  2 cups (250 g)
   salt  1/2 tsp (3 g)
   ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons (5 g)
Cut in-
   butter, softened  1/2 cup (115 g)
Mix with a fork until crumbly.
   white sugar  1/2 cup (100 g)
   vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon (5 ml)

Mix to a stiff paste. Mix in one beaten egg. Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll out dough thinly and cut into 24 rounds.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly gold in color. Let cool on wire rack.

Comments on the site for this recipe said they missed the milk. I found it too dry, too, so I added some. However, I'm American and the recipe isn't. Do the Brits use milk to form a tacky dough? The recipe said roll out thin. I did, and got closer to 50 biscuits so I went too thin. How thin is thin? And is this really "The basic English biscuit,with a dash of cinnamon." as specified on the recipe? Does anyone have a recipe they could hold up as a prime example to a classic English biscuit?

BTW: Sketching will continue. This blog has NOT been converted to a food network channel. This is a food compulsive tangent that must be satisfied, though.


Jane Angell said...

Hi John
So glad you posted the recipe! Thank you.

I would be making these right now, but as my hubby is 60 this week and requested a selection of biscuits to take to his office, I have just used up all the plain flour ...

(The ones I made were one American style cookie and one British style shortbread - both yum according to the children, who had to test them of course before despatch.)

When I have flour again (soon - I need to make a birthday cake!) I will make these. And to keep things sketch based rather than food based, or at least sketch related, I will try and be brave and post a sketch of them to EDM, as my first endeavour.

I do agree with the comment on the previous post that there isn't really a 'typical' English biscuit; so I am interested to see how your recipe turns out.

All best from a snowy England

btw loved the quilting trip sketch

Vicky Williamson said...

Thanks for posting the recipe! Your previous post had me curious. And I'm glad you include American measurements -- I have British recipes and am clueless to their terms.

BTW, I love your blog's new look!

john.p said...

Jane - Thanks for taking the interest in my inquiry! Actually my interest dates back to my college days when I was playing with backpack recipes and I read that English biscuits are very packable, but I didn't know what they were.

Vicky - I'm glad I'm not the only one interested in this quest. And I'm glad you like the new look. It was past due but took me a while to sit down and do something about it.

Jane Angell said...

John, I promise not to hijack your art based blog with baking.. but as you kindly posted the recipe, I went ahead and made these biscuits to see if they resembled an 'English biscuit'. We were split as to their merits - I agreed with you in that I thought they were bland! My daughters loved them.

I am going to suggest you try making Ginger Nuts, a very typically British biscuit, in your quest for a late night snack to go with your cuppa. If you would like a recipe let me know or you can take a peek here at the blog of someone who has recently made them in Switzerland.

And keeping things close to drawing, I did indeed draw some of my batch. Might post them to EDM if brave enough (everyone there is so good it's a little intimidating!)

All good wishes

john.p said...

Jane - Thanks for making the recipe, even if it didn't get consistent opinions. Did you use any milk or do English biscuit recipes like this tend to be on the dry side?

I tried the Ginger Nut recipe and they turned out great! After reading your response I downloaded the recipe, did an across-the-pond conversion and baked up a batch. That's a winner recipe! We don't have golden syrup, but a mix of light corn syrup and dark molasses worked. I converted the stem ginger syrup back to the regular syrups. My only complaint is that they are too good. The idea was a late night snack both boring and low calorie. I had to stop myself at three last night, and it wasn't easy.

I encourage you to post a sketch! Forget about the intimidation. We all just want everyone to succeed from wherever they are at in skills.

Jane Angell said...

I am so glad you liked the ginger nuts! They are indeed a great recipe to do, a winner ... and very good to eat! Sorry they were too good! (for a quick bite without being too tempted, you really need something like a Rich Tea, something you only get in the grocery store, tastes crisp and exceedingly plain, just the thing for late nights... but ... meh!)

I posted the drawing of your recipe to Flickr and will add a link to EDM group; thanks for the encouragement.