We often make these at River Cottage, usually to serve with cheese, but they are also delicious with cold meats, particularly pâtés and terrines. We prefer a less sweet biscuit with meats, so we reduce the sugar content slightly. I have given both options here.
- Yield: 40
- 250 g unsalted butter, softened
- 250 g spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
- 250 g medium oatmeal
- 125 g soft brown sugar (or 100 g for a less sweet biscuit)
- 10 g salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- A little milk, to mix
- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs; the easiest way to do this is in a food processor, if you have one. Add the oatmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder, and mix together until evenly combined. Add enough milk, a few drops at a time, to bind the mixture and form a slightly sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and dust with more flour, then press into a round, flat disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour, to rest and firm up a bit. (This dough will keep well in the fridge for a few days, but it will become rock-hard, so if prepared ahead you’ll need to let it soften out of the fridge before you roll it out.)
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Flour the dough well and lay it between two sheets of greaseproof paper or cling film. (As the dough is sticky and brittle, this makes it much easier to handle.) Roll it out carefully to a thickness of 3–4 mm, dusting regularly with flour to stop it sticking.
- Using a 7 cm pastry cutter, cut out about 40 rounds and lay them on non-stick baking sheets, or ones lined with baking parchment. Bake for 7–10 minutes, checking regularly after 7 minutes; the biscuits should be brown around the edges and lightly coloured on top. Leave on the baking sheet for a minute or two, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.