I’ve always been a keen chef but only recently did I venture into the zone of the more basic biscuits and bread, usually doing hob cooking.
Successful round of sesame seed bread rolls 🙂
Recipe as follows:
- 1 3/4 cups plain flour
- 1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
- 300mL lukewarm water
- 2 tsp active dried yeast
- milk for glazing
- 5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp salt
- In a mixing bowl, mix the flours and salt.
- Take 75mL of the water and mix with active dried yeast and wait for it to dissolve.
- Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture and the rest of the water, mixing it to form a rough dough.
- Transfer to a well floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth. Put it back into the bowl and cover with cling film, and wait for it to rise until at least double its original size, around 1.5-2 hours (mine rose to that size in just an hour but no harm letting it rise a bit more!)
- Once again transfer to a floured surface and knead in the sesame seeds (leave some for sprinkling on top later)
- Separate the dough into 16 pieces, roll them into balls and put them into a greased 9″ baking tin (I did it radially so they will all cook and spread out evenly) and cover with cling film again, and wait for them to rise more. (It said on the recipe book to wait until they rise above the rim, but it didn’t look very likely when I made them so I just waited until they were snugly filling out the tin and they turned out fine)
- Preheat the oven to 230F (about 400C). Brush the dough with milk and sprinkle some more sesame seeds over. Bake for about 15 minutes then lower the heat to 200F and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until it sounds hollow when you tap the bread.
Assortment of biscuits: lemon biscuits, ginger and honey biscuits, jam sandwiches (clockwise from left)
This was pretty much an impromptu recipe so I’m afraid I can’t guarantee it to be fail-safe haha
Cut half a block of butter (about 125g), at room temperature, into cubes. I used 5 tsp caster sugar for all the biscuits apart from the ginger and honey one, which I replaced 2 tsp caster sugar with honey. Cream the butter and sugar (I just bashed them up with a hand whisk). Add 2 eggs. Mix well. Now you should be getting a pale yellow paste.
Now at this stage, there are variations for the different flavours:
Lemon: add zest to the mixture
Ginger and honey: add grated ginger, with the juices (from experience you have to add quite a bit for the ginger flavour to come out so don’t be afraid that it will become overpowering)
Add plain flour, little by little, and mix whilst adding until you get a dough-y consistency. It shouldn’t be too sticky too touch but it shouldn’t be so dry that it has cracks either.
You can choose to wrap the dough up and chill it in the refrigerator for a bit, but I didn’t and the biscuits were fine.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface (make them thinner for sandwich-type biscuits since you don’t want to be eating 2-inch thick biscuits). Cut them into whatever shape you like. For the jam sandwiches, simply put your favourite jam between two pieces of dough. Remember not to add too much as the jam will just leak out from the sides and your biscuits will look messy (so maybe biscuit makers are not just being stingy). For the net effect on the ginger and honey biscuits, just score the dough lightly with a knife. For lemon biscuits, I made a flavoured icing:
Mix icing sugar with water. Take care to add the water little by little otherwise you’ll find that you’ll need to add more icing sugar to make it the right consistency and end up making a litre of icing. For lemon/lime flavoured icing, just add a little juice of either fruit into the mixture and also zest to add colour (lime ones I made had a brilliantly bright lime green colour). In order for the icing to actually dry into icing and not be absorbed into the biscuits and turn transparent, you need to make the icing fairly viscous, almost gloopy.
Bake the biscuits in an oven with temperature 180F until they turn golden brown, or look like the biscuits you buy from shops. Let them cool and then add icing.
Both these have received rave reviews by family and boyfriend. So do give them a go.
More culinary experiments to come..