Linden Font

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Cheese and biscuits


Crackers. Biscuits. In the states, biscuits are more like scones than the crisp little tidbits they are known as in Aus. Call them crackers here and at best you'll get a raised eyebrow. Australians are decidedly set in their vernacular and here, crackers means crazy.

When we were growing up, it was all about biscuits. A pat of butter and vegemite (or maybe some ripe sliced tomatoes with S&P) was all we needed for an afternoon snack. I wish my tastes were that simple these days. That said, my brothers did used to eat tomato sauce sandwiches - they are exactly as horrid as you're imagining - so maybe our lack of simplicity isn't such a bad thing.


We were a savoury family. The only sweet snacks we ate were fruit - living in Stone Fruit Central it was hard to avoid. Everything we enjoyed after school, while watching a movie or between meals was salty and crunchy. Most of the time it was a commercial dry biscuit but when we were old enough my younger brother Paul and I would start making our own snacks. There was the Cheese And Bacon Balls Incident (of which Mum and Dad only recently learned). After devising a recipe for croquettes, we started frying. Unfortunately we had far too much hot oil in a teeny tiny saucepan. One burnt kitchen chimney later and we decided to give baking a rest for a while.

I decided I needed to come up with a biscuit recipe after buying some cheese to enjoy over the Christmas period. As expected, I couldn't settle on one flavour, so came up with two. Thankfully the recipes were quick and easy so it wasn't too much of a hassle.

Parmesan and paprika biscuits

1 cup of plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp corn flour
25 grams parmesan cheese (grana padano is fine)
60 grams butter
85 ml milk.


Preheat oven to 230 degrees celsius. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the cheese and butter and beat with the paddle attachment until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk and knead with the dough hook for around 3 minutes. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.


Roll out the dough until 2-3mm thin and place on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, mark out 2cm squares and dock each square twice with a skewer. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. You may need to rotate the tray half way through. Cool on the tray and break apart when cool enough to handle.

Rosemary and black pepper biscuits

1 cup of plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp potato flour
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
100 ml milk.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Add all the ingredients except the milk to the bowl of an electric mixer. Slowly add the milk until a dough forms. You may need more or less milk and you might need to form the dough by hand before kneading in the mixer. Knead for 3 minutes and rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Roll out the dough to 2-3mm thick. Place on baking sheet and mark out 2 cm squares with a sharp knife. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. You may need to rotate halfway through baking. Cool on the tray and break apart when cool enough to handle.

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