These are easy to make and extremely good just as they are. Pack them up with a nutty cheese, a jar of fig relish, and a pretty wooden board however, and you have an extremely lovely gift.
Oat and black pepper biscuits
- Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus resting
- Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 50 minutes, plus resting
Makes: about 40
175g wholegrain spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp English mustard powder
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
3 tbsp whole milk
plain flour, for dusting
1. Sift together the oatmeal, spelt flour, baking and mustard powders, pepper and cayenne, then transfer to a food processor; add any bran left in the sieve as well. Add the salt, butter, sugar and rosemary, then pulse until the butter has been incorporated. Add the milk and pulse again to bring the dough together.
2. Tip the dough onto the work surface and knead very lightly to a smooth ball. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Dust the work surface with plain flour; roll out the dough to 0.2cm-thick. Using a 6cm cookie cutter, stamp out biscuits and lay on parchment-lined baking trays. Gather the scraps together and repeat, cutting out more biscuits. Sprinkle each biscuit with a little sea salt; chill for 20 minutes.
4. Bake on the middle shelf, in batches if necessary, for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden and crisp. Cool on wire racks.