English Digestive Biscuits were evidently created in the Victorian Era to add whole grains to the English diet. Also, because they originally contained bicarbonate of soda, they were thought to aid in digestion. They are practically health food!
They are similar to a Graham cracker, but a lot more cookie-like .... and a lot more elegant.
This dough is really easy to roll out and work with. No chilling necessary. I combined all of the ingredients in a food processor, but you can also mix them with a pastry blender or your hands.
The only changes I made to the original recipe were to add a half teaspoon of salt, and to substitute 2 ounces of dark brown sugar for 2 ounces of the confectioners' sugar. I also used a square cookie cutter. For a more traditional look, use a round cutter without scalloped edges.
This recipe was originally published in The Baking Sheet Newsletter in December, 1991 by King Arthur Flour, and is the recipe of the month for the the Avid Bakers Challenge. Each month, the bakers in the group make the same recipe, often adapting it to their taste. This year, we are baking recipes from King Arthur Flour. If you'd like to bake along, click >here< for more information.
English Digestive Biscuits
1/2 C (2 ounces) Unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 C (6 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C unsalted butter, cut into about 12 pieces
2 ounces dark brown sugar
1/4 C (1 ounce) confectioners' sugar
1/4 C cold milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Pulse the flours, baking powder, salt, and butter in a food processor (or mix with your fingers).
- Add the sugars and milk, and pulse just a few times.
- Place the mixture on a piece of wax paper and form it into a disk.
- Place another piece of wax paper on top of the dough and roll it out to a 1/8 inch thickness.
- Remove the top layer of wax paper and cut the dough with a 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter and place the cookies on the baking sheet. Pull the scraps together, re-roll, and continue to cut out more cookies.
- Prick the cookies with a fork, and bake, one sheet at a time, for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.