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06/12/2013

Biscuit cutting & baking


There's loads of tips about the best way to roll the dough and bake your biscuits, but it's just about finding what works for you. I think I've worked it out for me so I'll tell you and then I'll make a list of tips from books, blogs, comments etc.

So, this is my rolling set up:


I roll my dough sandwiched in cling film, to pencil thickness (literally!). One day, I'll buy or make some kind of wood strip but until then, that'll do.
The rolled dough goes in the fridge for about 30min. I usually balance it on a baking tray.
Cut the shapes trying to minimise scraps. If the dough is sticky, dipping the cutters in flour might be useful. 
Place the biscuits on the baking tray leaving enough room around each one. Three very important things here:
1- If you're not 100% sure your biscuits will come off the tray, don't risk it: use greaseproof paper!
2- You need to know how your oven bakes. The batch of biscuits you see on the picture, the first and last columns got burnt. I've learnt my lesson, now I leave a bigger gap on each side.
3- Think about the size. I've been doing a tray of bigger biscuit and a tray of smaller ones but if I had much smaller biscuits I would put those on a separate bit of paper so I could just slide them off and put the other ones back in the oven.
The biscuits are done when they start to colour around the edges. They will continue to cook while they are cooling so it's important not to overbake. I've found it tricky to bake bigger biscuits so I've been using mini cutters to get a more uniform bake. It also adds a design element. 
Let the biscuits cool for a few minutes before touching them (they are very soft when they come out).
When completely cool, store in an airtight container until ready to decorate.
As I bake straight on my trays, I wash them between each batch. If using greaseproof paper, I'd still give them at least a rince to cool them down quickly before the next batch.

Repeat the rolling, fridge, cutting, baking, cooling process, trying not to handle the dough too much. 

Tips:
- use greaseproof paper when rolling the dough (careful with creases)
- use cling film when rolling (careful with tearing)
- use rolling guides about 5mm thick (or pencils!)


If you'd like to share your tips, feel free to leave a comment or join our Facebook group.

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