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.