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* * UPDATED on 25 Oct 2022 * *
Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits are good for you!!
Pre-gluten-free days, I always had a packet of McVitie’s digestive biscuits handy for those peckish moments, or even when I felt under the weather. In the UK, they sell gluten-free digestive biscuits in most supermarkets. In mainland Europe, they are hard to come by, and when I do find them, they are expensive and not quite the same as I remember.
I decided to experiment with different flours and flavourings to try to mimic that “digestive” taste. The most important ingredient is the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda.
Where do digestive biscuits originate from?
After researching its origin, I discovered that two 19th century Scottish doctors invented the biscuits as a cure for digestive ailments. The magic ingredient, bicarbonate of soda has many health benefits. Traditionally, one teaspoon with a glass of water a day would keep everything in ship shape. I think I much prefer one biscuit a day over the water!
How to eat gluten-free digestive biscuits?
With a cup of tea
These gluten-free digestive biscuits are excellent dunked in a hot cup of tea. It’s a winning combination and a great comfort moment especially to have as a snack between meals.
On a cheeseboard
Slices of cheddar cheese and digestive biscuits are meant for each other. It’s the best combination! In fact, other strong cheeses like Camembert, Brie and Blue Cheese also go well with these biscuits.
Homemade Chocolate Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits
If you have some spare dark chocolate in the pantry, simply melt some in a bowl over simmering water or in the microwave and spread them over the top of the biscuit. Allow to cool in the fridge before serving. You will be rewarded with a very authentic “chocolate digestive biscuit”. An impossible find in the supermarket for those gluten-free treat moments!
In baking as biscuit crumbs
Now that you know how to make these easy biscuits, why not turn them into homemade digestive biscuit crumbs for all your biscuit pie crusts, cheesecake bases, energy balls, etc. Double the recipe and save some whole and the others for crumbs. Simply process the biscuits into fine crumbs and store them in airtight containers in the freezer for further use or use them straight away for your dessert in mind.
TIP: When calculating how many breadcrumbs are needed for a recipe, each digestive biscuit weighs 20 g, providing they measure 7 cm wide and 3 mm thick.
Gluten-Free Digestive Biscuits
- Round fluted cookie cutter set 7 cm is the ideal size for digestive biscuits
- 180 g gluten-free oats (processed into oat flour) or store-bought gluten-free oat flour
- 160 g almond meal (processed into almond flour) or store-bought almond flour
- 50 g tapioca flour
- 40 g rice flour
- 110 g brown sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 160 g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp golden syrup or runny honey
- 3 tbsp boiling water
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Mix all the flours, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
- Rub the chilled butter into the flour mixture either using your fingertips or processing it in a food processor until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- The mixture should resemble this texture as illustrated in the photo.
- Mix the boiling water with the golden syrup or honey and the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda. This will foam slightly as you mix it.
- Add this golden syrup mixture to the flour mixture, together with the cinnamon powder, milk and vanilla extract. Mix well until the dough comes together.
- Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. It will be a soft dough, but should it feel too sticky, add an extra tbsp of tapioca or oat flour. Please note the dough will become firmer after chilling.
- Place the dough on a portion of plastic film and shape the dough into a rough disc.
- Wrap the dough up with the plastic film and chill for one hour.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 325°F.
- Place the disc out onto a sheet of baking paper, covering the top with the plastic film to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll out the dough until it measures 3mm thick.
- Using a round 7 cm cookie cutter measuring cut out the biscuits and using a floured fork, transfer them to lined baking trays 3 cm apart. They spread slightly.
- With the same fork, mark the biscuits as illustrated in the photo.
- Bake for 15 minutes and cool on the baking tray for 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer the biscuits to cool completely on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, store them in an air-tight glass or tin container.
- Keeps for 3 to 5 days in an airtight tin or container
- The dough freezes well, but the baked biscuits lose their crunch when defrosted. However, processing the baked biscuits into breadcrumbs freezes very well for pie bases, desserts etc.
Recipes using gluten-free digestive biscuits