I have been searching and searching for a Granita biscuit recipe. One thing is for certain, there is not one on the web. I searched for ages the other day. When that failed I decided to try some of my old cookbooks for inspiration.
One book I tried was a little one I bought in the Barossa a couple of years ago called The Barossa Cookery Book – Selected & Choice Recipes. It was first published in 1917. I have the 33rd edition. The first edition was published to aid the South Australian Soldiers’ Fund. Today, proceeds from its sale go to the maintenance of the Tanunda Soldiers’ Memorial Town Hall. Essentially, the book is a collection of recipes contributed by women living in the Barossa Valley in 1917. Some of the recipes are a killer.
I particularly like this contribution by Mrs Vic Kappler:
A Tasty Dinner
This combination makes a very tasty dinner. Boiled pickled pork, dumplings and stewed quinces, thickened with a little cornflour. Dumplings: SR flour and water the consistency of scones. These may be boiled with the pork for 10 minutes.
And this contributed by Mrs Melva Keil:
Biscuits though mincer
¾ lb sugar, 1 lb butter, 3 eggs, 2 lbs flour, and vanilla essence to flavour. A little cornflour is an improvement.
I have no idea what you are supposed to do but the title is intriguing
In addition to these cryptic recipes there are some that are expressed with a little more clarity. The wholemeal biscuits, contributed by Mrs Heinze, is one such example. I decided to give them a go to see how close they were to Granitas. The answer is: “not very” but the recipe has given me ideas of what to try next. I quite like the biscuits. They are not particularly sweet but pleasant in a rustic sort of way. I have been eating them plain but they would also be nice with a little butter or cheese.
- ¼ lb (112g) butter
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1½ cups of wholemeal flour
- 1¼ cup self-raising flour
- pinch of salt
- a little milk.
- ½ cup toasted wheat flakes (Wheaties etc)
The milk and the wheat flakes weren’t in the original recipe. I needed a little milk to form a dough and I added the wheat flakes as they are listed as an ingredient in Granitas.
- Beat the butter and the sugar to a cream.
- Add the egg and mix well.
- Sift the flours and salt together, add to the other ingredients (including the bran that is left behind in the sieve).
- Add the wheat flakes (if using). Mix well to make a stiff dough. If the dough does not come together, add a little milk until you are able to form a stiff dough.
- Roll the dough out until it is about 5 mils thick.
- Cut in rounds with a large scone cutter. Pierce biscuits with a fork.
- Preheat oven to 160°C
- Bake until light brown about 20-25 minutes.
I have formulated a recipe which I think will be closer to Granitas. These biscuits were a bit too rustic. My home-made Granitas need to be more refined. Next time:
- I am not going to add back the bran after the flours have been sifted.
- I am going to add some golden syrup ( a listed ingredient on Granita packets) which will make the biscuits a bit sweeter; and
- I will crush the wheat flakes a bit. I didn’t bother this time because I thought they would get crushed when I rolled out the dough, but I ended up with some big pieces in the biscuits.
I will let you know the results.
Postscript: Here is a link to my next try https://passionfruitgarden.com/2014/06/30/in-my-kitchen-july-2014/. The taste was right but they were crunchy which Granitas are not. This is my recipe for Granitas: 112g butter, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup golden syrup, 1 egg, 1½ cups Atta flour (or sifted whole meal flour) 1¼ SR flour, pinch of salt, ½ cup crushed wheat flakes (eg Weeties) milk to form dough. If you skip the egg, replace the butter with palm oil (or another vegetable oil and replace the milk with water, I am sure you would be very close.
I thought they had coconut in them
Hi Deb, no coconut – check out the ingredients on the packet.
Have you tried wheatgerm?
I find it a little difficult finding a few ingredients here, both woollies and coles are limiting their stock. I did buy some almond meal the other day but have still to try it. That mountain of granitas is to tempting and the packets are so easy to tear open. I am sure they put a lot of research into the opening ease of their packets.
I still cant pin point the unique taste they have (apart from the butter) There are some caramel looking grains in the mix, some are rather large.
One thing I did work out was when baking make sure I grease the tray with butter so you don’t get that bitter dry taste of the flour from rolling out the pastry. I do hate that taste you get from scones and flour. I will try again soon especially now that I purchase so new biscuit cutters and I will try to remember to punch the holes in next time.
John, If you are in Perth Kakulas Sister in Nollamara sell just about everything you can think of.
Going to try using toasted bread crumbs (from home made bread) as a main ingredient
Hi John, thanks for following. I am pretty confident you need crushed wheat flakes. Check out the ingredients on the packet. Here is my next try https://passionfruitgarden.com/2014/06/30/in-my-kitchen-july-2014/. The taste was right but they were crunchy which Granitas are not. This is my recipe for Granitas 112g butter, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup golden syrup, 1 egg, 1½ cups Atta flour (or sifted whole meal flour) 1¼ SR flour, pinch of salt, ½ cup crushed wheat flakes (eg Weeties) milk to form dough. If you skip the egg, replace the butter with palm oil (or another vegetable oil and replace the milk with water I am sure you would be very close. Let me know what you decide to go with. regards G
The bread crumbs gave the perfect texture and crunch + their cheap. All I need do now is slightly tinker with the taste. The first test batch of 8 biscuits lacked a slightly butter taste that the copyrighted biscuits have. So may try some soy meal. I will try your recipe as well. I am sure we can conquer our addiction problem soon.
John. Do you have a packet? I have checked out the ingredients before but I don’t have one at the moment. It definitely included wheat flakes and golden syrup. Check one out next time you are in a supermarket. I found whole meal flour was too course that is why I went for sifted whole meal flour. There was definitely vegetable oil in them too. I am sure there was no soy meal or bread crumbs. Most commercial biscuits have biscuit crumb in them from previous batches – they don’t waste anything in those factories:) Good luck.
Sounds like we both followed a similar path. Yes I have a packet and have looked at the ingredients and inspected the biscuits both by taste and using a microscopic lens. The visual texture is def flaky and the tough on the tongue is granular. What I tried to do is duplicate the biscuit using my own crazy reasoning. I make my own bread and have a good deal of toasted crumbs which when you taste is very similar to “Grans” So I figured why not find a basic biscuit recipe and try it. The results are quite remarkable. As I said before all I need to do is tweek the taste to get that buttery finish. I will write the recipe/method out soon.
The basic ingredients are SR flour, Bread crumbs, eggs, butter, milk powder, malt extract, molasses, vanilla ess. Let me see if I can attach a pic to this reply. Not sure how to do it so I will send separately.
PS. Good to see you have a veg garden as well. Enjoy your wine.
Looks like you are getting closer in your Granita hunt! I predict lots of biscuits in your future.
So do I Debi.
Nice timing on the biscuit exercise… the rewards for imperfection in the quest for granitas is you get to nibble on the contenders (lightly topped with butter or cheese is my preference) with a cup of tea, hopefully in a patch of sun.
As it turns out Ella, I love these plan biscuits so all is not lost.
Are Granitas the same as chocolate wheatens?
No Liz. Granitas are made by Arnotts. I am not sure about wheatens. Granitas don’t have any chocolate on them.
You’ll nail those Granitas eventally, call them Glenditas! I have a fund raising cookbook that was published by my high school when I was a student. It makes an hilarious read, but really more importantly it’s a snapshot of Australia in the 60s
Do you sometimes wonder what future generations will think of our recipe books? What? You have to mix ingredients together? Why not just go buy a package at the store & put it in the microwave (although there will probably be something else by then)….I guess back in the day, people relied more on just mixing interesting ingredients & taste testing as they go. I remember my mother putting all sorts of things on the table but rarely did I ever see her refer to a recipe.
Hi Diane, I was thinking as I was going through the cook book – there was no need for instructions – country women at this time jut knew what to do.
I could make these and call them Wheaton biscuits! These look a bit like digestive biscuits – not sure if you have them in Australia. What are granita biscuits?
Hi Anne, Granitas are a plain commercial biscuit by Arnotts. They have a wee bit of texture and some sort of wheat grain in them. The ingredients include wheat flakes. They probably started out a bit like these but got more refined as the years went on.