When we think of baking and filling the tins, it is usually sweet biscuits, cakes and slices which spring to mind. However, home made savoury biscuits and crackers are so delicious and so easy to make, they should not be over-looked. They are a great thing to have in the tins or to serve on a cheese board, but also make lovely gifts, especially if coupled with some home made relish or pickle.
My favourite way of making cheese biscuits is to place all ingredients in a food processor and process in bursts until the dough starts to form a ball. If you don’t have a food processor, rub your butter into the flour and cheese, then combine with a knife until you get a dough which is just coming together (you may have to add a little milk). I then roll my dough into a log, chill, slice and bake. The logs of raw dough freeze really well and you can slice and bake them from frozen. Cooling the baked biscuits on the trays helps to ensure crispness.
These cheese biscuits with rice bubbles in them are super easy to make. The butter is melted and added to the dry ingredients and the rice bubbles provide a good crunchy texture.
The different flavour combinations for cheese biscuits are endless. Some of my favourites include parmesan and smoked paprika, tasty cheese and chopped rosemary, feta with sundried tomato (drained on paper towels), blue cheese (roll the chilled logs in poppyseeds for a decorative edge) and parmesan with a dash of cayenne pepper.
Water crackers are also incredibly simple to make and just so much nicer than the store bought ones. They are also relatively low fat! Home made water crackers make the perfect pre-dinner drinks nibble when accompanied by a nice cheese and some quince paste. Once again the flavour and look can be easily changed by sprinkling the uncooked dough with flaky sea salt, cumin seeds, sesame seeds or Moroccan spice mix, and cut into triangles, rectangles or irregular shapes.
Another favourite on the cheese board (or with peanut butter!) is oat biscuits. I like to blitz my rolled oats in the food processor before making the biscuits, to give a finer texture to the finished product. Parmesan and/or nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans) make great additions. To me the perfect oat biscuit is thin and crisp, so it is best to roll these out and cut into shapes. Bran biscuits are another Kiwi favourite. I love them simply buttered, but they also are delicious with cheese and dried fruit.
Try making some savoury biscuits today – they won’t last long in the tins!