Grain, Dairy and Sugar Free Biscuits

This was the most difficult recipe for me to master. I have baked different versions of grain, dairy and sugar free biscuits more than 10 times now. My objective was to make the recipe using coconut flour as the primary ingredient, without significant amount of any nut meal.

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I also wanted to try lard instead of coconut oil, which I found quite difficult to work with in its solid form. As the starting point I used 3 ingredient dough recipe – with  a simple 3:2:1 ratio of ingredients, measured in table spoons: 3 coconut flour, 2 butter(coconut oil) and 1 honey. Any source of fat (butter, coconut oil or lard) and honey are notoriously difficult to measure in volume. I did it several times and results were always different. I was nearly ready to publish the recipe and decided to measure weight of all ingredients once again, to be on the safe side, and got the difference in coconut flour in 10g. For coconut flour it was an unacceptable deviation. So I had to measure all ingredients with total precision and bake biscuits yet again. I have to say, that everything happens for a good reason. Many bakes ensured that I had an opportunity to try different baking regimes and to get the temperature right. I do not understand how it is possible to bake anything with honey at even 160C and not to burn it. I either got biscuits not fully baked, or burned on the edges. So I went really low on temperature and extended baking time, but my biscuits now are fully baked with no sign of any burning.

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The evidence of all these attempts can be seen below. The first attempt for 3:2:1 recipe with addition of poppy seeds. Edges are darker.

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An attempt to create more dense dough with coconut oil, resulted in better looking dough, but

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with very dry biscuits. Those biscuits would be put to a better use to make the bottom layer of mousse cake, or as a crumble on dairy and sugar free deserts. Also darker on the edges.

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Another bake from the dough, salvaged from the bin, when I tried to omit honey from the recipe altogether, and ended up with not enough sweetness in biscuits. I had to add honey anyway and many more ingredients to make it work. They were not bad and better baked, but the recipe would be impossible to reproduce.

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Second last version, I was finally happy with. Sweet, hard and crunchy, and not burned, with even colour through whole biscuit.

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It is probably possible to make the dough from this recipe in food processor, if made in larger quantities, but I like to feel the dough, so I make it manually. Compared to other types of dough, this one is soft and sticky, but is very easy to work with if the hands are wet. I think this dough can be used to make crusts for tartlets, when you want them sweet. For not so sweet tart crust I use another dough, where an intense flavour of the  filling compensates for the less sweet dough.

Ingredients:

for 8 biscuits, try first before making more biscuits, different coconut flours might give slightly different results

  • 30g coconut flour
  • 40g lard (room temperature)
  • 35g honey
  • 10g almond meal
  • 1/2 tea spoon lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/2 tea spoon Dutch spice mix (optional)
  • slivered pistachios or almonds for decoration (optional)

Preparation:

  • place coconut flour, lemon zest, Dutch spice mix and lard into a wide bowl
  • working with your fingers incorporate all dry ingredients into lard
  • add honey and combine it with the dough
  • add almond meal and work all ingredients into a homogenous texture, it will be soft and sticky
  • scrape all the dough from your fingers and palms, I have found that it works well when I use small silicone spatula
  • wet your hands
  • collect all the sticky dough from the side of the bowl with a wet spatula
  • make a soft ball from the dough
  • divide the dough into 8 pieces (12-13g), roll the ball from each piece
  • press and spread each piece of dough on a baking paper, dipping fingers into water for each biscuit
  • bake in preheated to 140C oven for 20-25min (I preheated fan forced oven to 140C, turned in to 130C and baked biscuits for 25min, turning the tray 3 times)
  • let biscuits cool down on a tray, they will firm up
  • keep biscuits in air-tight container

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These biscuits are hard and crunchy. It is possible that when stored they will absorb moisture and become softer. Freshly baked biscuits were a nice accompaniment to banana and strawberry salad with coconut lemon curd and chunky mixed berries sauce.

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