01 September 2017

RUSTIC BUTTERY BISCUITS

This recipe is one of my very favourites from the childhood. When we were kids, we ate them warm, actually, hot off the baking sheet, with icy cold strawberry jam. Later on, I started having them with cheese spreads, or even as a mini turkey salad sandwiches. If you wish, you can flavour the butter spread to your liking.
A few pinches of crushed red pepper flakes, if serving them savoury, can be a delicious addition. Or even a sprinkling of chives before the dough is rolled up. If you are serving them sweet, add a bit of vanilla or even a bit of icing sugar to the butter. They may not be the quickest biscuits to make, but they are certainly one of the most delicious ones.


Ingredients
300 grams plain flour
120 ml warm water
120 ml warm whole milk
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
50 grams butter, softened
2 tablespoons whole milk

Preparation
Sift the flour twice, add the yeast, sugar and salt and whisk well to combine. Set the bowl aside. Take a medium bowl and combine the milk and water, then make a well in the centre of the flour and pour it in. Mix with a wooden spoon until a dough starts to form. Start kneading it with your hands for about 5 minutes, until a soft dough forms. If it starts to stick too much, add a tiny bit of flour more. Once the dough stops sticking to your hands, add the oil and knead it in. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place for about an hour and a half, or until doubled in size. While the dough is rising, beat the softened butter with an electric mixer on high, for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Take the risen dough out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a very large rectangle, the largest your work surface will allow you to. Do not force the dough to roll out; if it keeps shrinking while you roll, let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then roll it out again. When you're satisfied with the size of the rectangle, gently lift the dough off the surface to make sure it didn't stick anywhere. Take a spatula and gently spread the whipped butter all over the dough rectangle in an even layer. Roll the dough tightly, starting from the longer side. The tighter the roll, the better. Once the dough is evenly rolled up, shape the roll into a pinwheel, tucking the ends underneath.
Cover the swirl with a kitchen towel and leave it to rest for about 30 minutes. Take a large rolling pin and gently flour it. Lift the dough swirl off the surface, to see it is not sticking to it and roll it out in a square shape (about 25x25 cm; 10x10"), about 1 cm thick. Using a large knife, cut the square into 25 little pieces and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Let them rest for 15 minutes, and brush them with some milk just before baking. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (400˚F), for about 10-12 minutes. Yields 25 biscuits.

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