Make Ahead

Oat Digestive Biscuits

August 31, 2023
0 Ratings
Photo by Margot Mustich
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • makes 24 biscuits
Author Notes

Most evenings, after dinner is cleaned up and all work put away for the night, I brew a pot of black tea, and my husband and I nibble on digestive biscuits and sip our tea while we read or watch a movie. I always have a couple of boxes of McVittie’s digestive biscuits in the pantry, but when I saw this recipe in the revised and expanded 2019 edition of Tartine Bakery’s first cookbook, I decided it would be nice to be able to make my own.

Since the flour used here is oat flour, this recipe is gluten-free; no need to make any substitutions. I’ve revised Tartine’s volume measures, which were way off, according to my digital scale, and made a couple of other adjustments (a little less salt, a little more butter). You may want to do some tweaking too, depending on which brands of oats and oat flour you are using. Enjoy! —Margot Mustich

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 300 grams rolled oats
  • 80 grams oat flour (see note)
  • 70 grams dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 175 grams unsalted butter, cold
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and molasses.
  3. If using a food processor, place the rolled oats in the bowl and process until finely ground. Add the oat flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda and process until well combined. Cut the butter into ¼-inch cubes. Add the butter and process until sandy. Add the milk-molasses mixture and process until the dough starts to come together. If you are not using a food processor, mix the oats in a blender until finely ground. Place the ground oats into a large bowl and add the oat flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda. Whisk together until well combined. Cut the butter into ¼-inch cubes. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingers until it reaches a sandy texture. Add the milk-molasses mixture and combine with a spatula until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead a few times to bring it together into a cohesive mass.
  5. For 24 cookies of equal size, use a knife or a dough scraper to divide the dough in half. Divide each half into four equal parts. Each of these pieces of dough will make three cookies.
  6. Break off a third of each section at a time and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk on the prepared baking sheet with the palm of your hand. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Before baking, flatten all of the cookies again, if necessary, to form level disks no more than ¼-inch thick. (The cookies won’t spread very much in the oven.)
  7. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the pans from back to front and switch their positions on the top and bottom racks. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes more, or until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and a light golden brown on top.
  8. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
  9. Note: Oat flour is sometimes hard to find in local markets; you have to look in the baking aisle, the natural foods aisle, and the gluten-free section, if there is one. I use the one made by Bob’s Red Mill. If you can’t find oat flour, you could substitute an equal measure of graham flour, but since graham flour is made from wheat, the resulting cookies would not be gluten-free.

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