I wanted to try out the Emmer flour which I came across in Bristol so Becky suggested adapting one of her fave Dan Leppard recipes. The original was made with spelt & ginger – I love a ginger biscuit but cardamom is king in our house.
Are you wondering what the hell Emmer flour is? I was. According to the packet it is an ancient form of “bearded wheat whose history can be traced back to the wild grasses collected by hunter gatherers and then domesticated to create modern wheat crops” Blimey!I bought it as I am again eating a gluten free diet. Regular readers might remember that I have stopped & started eating gluten several times but I reluctantly have to admit that it makes me fell like crap. I have done elimination diets a number of times & every time re-introducing wheat gives me swollen hands & what can best be described as brain fog – poor memory, no concentration & as it gets worse I even start to stutter.
The thing which has puzzled me for ages is that when I am in other countries I can eat it without problems. I spent last winter in India & I did not forgo the roti but felt great. A friend suggested that aflatoxin (or some other mycotoxin) might be the culprit rather than gluten. It seems that these days wheat is usually harvested before it is ready & then stored in giant heaps. This causes the growth of mold toxins as it is harvested before the seeds dries so there is a lot of damp. I figured I would try the Emmer as it has gluten but is probably harvested in a different way to commercial fours. I ate it 2 days in a row & no swollen hands or forgetfulness occurred. Interesting! Food is so bloody complicated these days.
Anyway if you fancy giving Emmer flour a try I can say that it is good to bake with. It tastes lovely in pancakes & particularly these biscuits & has a lovely fine texture for a wholewheat grain. You can also make these with regular flour or spelt & I imagine they would work well with a GF mix too.
Crunchy Cardamom & Emmer Flour Biscuits
Ingredients (makes about 25):
50g unsalted butter
50g golden syrup (or honey)
40g caster sugar
40g light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
140g emmer flour (or plain flour/spelt/gluten free)
seeds from 7/8 cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch salt (I reckon it would also be good with a crack of black pepper)
Pre-heat the oven to 200 (180 fan) C
- Warm the butter & golden syrup slowly in a pan until they have melted & mixed together
- Remove from the heat & add the other sugars & egg yolk. Beat well to combine everything
- Add the flour, bicarb, cardamom & salt. Mix to form a soft dough
- Form teaspoon sized balls (about 15g) and place them about 5 cm apart on a greased baking tray
- Bake in batches for 7-8 minutes until they look like this
- Let them cool for a couple of minutes before removing to a cooling rack (or just get the kettle on & nom them up while still warm)