I think I am in the middle of an awakening, quite a strong sentence considering my advancing middle aged years. But an awakening I am having. It all started with the sourdough, doesn’t everything start with sourdough these days, especially since Covid, but it did, truly it did. As I became a better baker and this evening I had some of the most delicious sourdough bread I think I have ever baked, and that I really wouldn’t buy shop bought bread again, except in a bread emergency or because I haven’t got the will to make something like tortillas as and when I want them. I came to realise that I am still buying commercial biscuits.
Now I am not a biscuit fiend, but as I explored these feelings more fully I realised that it is because I don’t like the biscuits on offer, with the exception of Hobnobs, but even they don’t seem to tick the boxes they once did when they came out 35 years ago. They seem sweeter, and have a less salty note these days, which is a shame because they were perfection.
To be honest I have been listening to this beat of the drum for a while, the call to make my own biscuits, but I know as an ‘O’ level student of Home Economics just how many batches of biscuits I burnt to a cinder as I was gaily ensconced in a side kitchen washing up, chatting and laughing with my lovely friend Jayne whilst smoke was billowing, yes black smoke billowing out of my oven. Along with the walk of shame home as to having to admit that I had burnt the biscuits… again.
The even sadder thing about it is the commercial biscuits sit around for months until they are taken up the allotment to either use as sustenance during heavy digging sessions or training aids for the dogs. That’s no way to treat a biscuit is it? It was time to tackle my demons and to master my disastrous teenage years biscuit time keeping, because the difference of two minutes can spell triumph or disaster depending on the heat of your oven, and explore the hidden delicious delicacies that may lie within the realms of the biscuit world.
I started with a Lemon Polenta biscuit, just from a recipe that I found online. The smell of the lemon as Son no.2 and I whisked the butter and sugar together into the whitest of clouds with the Kenwood was devine. We added egg yolks next and because we had whisked the butter so well, it gave not a hint of wanting to split. This was definitely a case of the student becoming the master as I would have stopped whisking at least 5 minutes before we did, but I was verbally whipped to carry on, and Son no.2 was right. Obviously cheffing in posh restaurants in the Cotswolds has had an effect.
After a good long rest they were cut out.
And baked. not too bad considering my past history! Then dusted with caster sugar.
And placed in a pretty glass biscuit barrel to enjoy looking at.
This new idea has gone down a treat with hubby and son no.2, who both murmured appreciatively as they sampled them.