A gluten free version of digestive biscuits that originated in Scotland and were created to help with digestion!
Digestive biscuits are typically made with whole wheat flour. I wanted to attempt to make a gluten free version with buckwheat flour. From what I read and previous recipes I found, the use of buckwheat flour was included as a ratio of the flour portion. With people still using whole wheat flour as the main flour source. For those of you who haven’t had a digestive biscuit, it is similar to shortbread. Flour, sugar, butter and milk come together to form a flaky cookie. It’s delicious. This cookie, which was made with all buckwheat flour, was just as tender and flaky as its wheat flour counterpart.
I read a lot of articles on buckwheat flour and its incorporation into typically wheat or white flour recipes. Not only is buckwheat flour gluten free but it has plenty of healthier qualities than wheat flour. In the paper “Studies on Functional Properties and Incorporation of Buckwheat Flour for Biscuit Making” by Baljeet et al., researchers highlight how buckwheat flour compares to wheat flour, “buckwheat flour (BWF) is superior to the wheat flour because of its higher lysine, iron copper and magnesium content. The significant contents of rutin, catechins and other polyphenols as well as their potential antioxidant activity are also of great significance” (1067). These components of buckwheat flour can be very beneficial to human health, “benefits like reducing high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar and preventing cancer risk” (Baljeet et al. 1067). The researchers looked at oil absorption in buckwheat flour and wheat flour, finding that, “the oil absorption capacity (OAC) of BWF [buckwheat flour] was significantly higher than that of refined WF [wheat flour]. The oil absorption capacity (OAC) of flour is equally important as it improves the mouth feel and retains the flavor” (Baljeet et al. 1070). I found the biscuits I made were very flavorful and had a great mouth feel, potentially due to the oil absorption capacity of buckwheat flour.
The biscuits in this study were made with different percentages of buckwheat flour to wheat flour, “biscuits were prepared with the incorporation of buckwheat flour in 10, 20, 30, and 40% concentration with refined wheat flour to assess the quality and acceptability of the biscuits” (Baljeet et al. 1067). They found the best result was “with addition of 20 and 30% buckwheat flour [the biscuits] had overall acceptability score of 6.71 and 6.20 respectively, suggesting acceptability to the consumers” (Baljeet et al. 1067). In addition to this study, I read a study about buckwheat flour in pasta where they found the addition of buckwheat increased the sensorial score (Chillo et al 150). A study about cookies looked at the “texture, flavour and appearance” of cookies made with rice flour and buckwheat flour (Torbica et al. 277). I hope buckwheat flour continues to gain popularity and can be incorporated into more of our foods!
Makes: about 20 cookies
1 ⅔ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter, cold and cubed
¼ cup almond milk
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahreinheit.
2. In a bowl, add buckwheat flour, powdered sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
3. Remove butter from the fridge and cube. Add the cubes to the flour mixture and rub them through your fingers with the flour until the mixture resembles wet sand.
4. Add the almond milk to the mixture and mix until a dough ball is formed.
5. Dust your countertop with buckwheat flour and place dough on the counter. Roll out dough with a rolling pin to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut out cookies to about 3 inch diameter (I used a pint glass) and place cookies on a lined cookie sheet.
6. Use a toothpick or a fork to poke holes in the dough.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
Baljeet, S.Y., et al. “Studies on Functional Properties and Incorporation of Buckwheat Flour for Biscuit Making.” International Food Research Journal, vol. 17, 2010, pp. 1067-1076.
Chillo, S., et al. “Influence of the Addition of Buckwheat Flour and Durum Wheat Bran on Spaghetti Quality.” Journal of Cereal Science, vol. 47, no. 2, 2008, pp. 144–152.
Torbica, Aleksandra, et al. “Rice and Buckwheat Flour Characterisation and Its Relation to Cookie Quality.” Food Research International, vol. 48, no. 1, 2012, pp. 277–283.
Recipe adapted from: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/homemade-digestive-biscuits/