I love biscuits, well eating them anyway! Making my own is definitely not one of my specialties but if I am ever going to get on GBBO (and pigs have of course flown) then master them I must. I baked these lemon and blackberry pinwheels as part of the GBBO and @sbctakeover BakeAlong challenge and they turned out really well. The other half definitely enjoyed them considering how many he snaffled! Even more importantly they impressed the resident baking queen at work. (Just for clarification I am not talking about myself here) Recipe is adapted from BBC Good Food – Lemon Kisses.
Time: Preparation 45 mins, Cooking 12 mins
Makes: 20 biscuits (or more if you slice thinner)
- 200g Butter – Softened
- 140g Caster Sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Lemon
- 5-6 Blackberries
- 280g Plain Flour
Beat together the softened butter and the caster sugar. I went old school and did it all by hand with a wooden spoon, which also burns a few calories which is perfect as they’ll be shortly replaced! Beat in the egg yolk and the vanilla extract as well. As an aside I absolutely hate recipes that do not use the full egg and leave odd whites/yolks. It feels like such a waste. If I was super organised and knew when I would need a random egg yolk/white I might consider freezing them as recommended by some of the other baking bloggers.
I then zested the lemon, one day I will be all cheffy and actually have a proper zester but for the moment using the fine grater on the ubiquitous IKEA model does just fine. I also mashed up my freshly foraged blackberries with a pestle and mortar. A blender would work just as well but there is something deeply satisfying and manly about pulverising by hand. (I’m not insane – my mother had me tested. Courtesy of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory)
To create the pinwheels I need to split the sugary butteryness into 2 separate doughs. In a new bowl on the scales add a quarter of the dough (rough calculation based on weight is 85g)
In the original bowl with ¾ of the dough beat in the lemon zest and leave to infuse while the blackberry dough is being made. Beat the pulverised blackberries into the smaller dough then add 70g of the plain flour. Due to the extra liquid in the blackberries this creates a thick but smooth dough. If it is too pliable i.e. a spoon cannot stand up by itself for a few seconds then add in a little more flour. Return to the lemon dough and add the remaining flour (210g). This mixture will be a lot stiffer as it does not have the added liquid from the blackberries and will be quite a work out to bring together. To make the doughs a little more equal I added the juice of half a lemon to the lemon dough and this adds even more lemon flavour.
On a well-floured surface (my fabulous pastry mat link below) I rolled out the blackberry dough till it was about 4 ml thick (any thinner than this and it is a bugger to pick up later) and roughly 12cm2. Then I rolled out the lemon dough slightly bigger than the blackberry dough, added the blackberry dough on top of the lemon dough and then rolled out until the whole dough is approx. 3 ml thick.
I used my rolling pin as a guide and trimmed one edge of the dough. This will be the centre of the pinwheel so really needs to have the blackberry right to the edge. From the trimmed edge I rolled up the dough tightly and wrapped the cylinder in baking paper (I had run out of clingfilm!) Put in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes, preheat the oven to 180oC and prepare 2 baking trays by lining them with baking paper.
Using a sharp knife I sliced the roll. I like thick biscuits and didn’t quite trust my ability to cut dead straight so I cut mine in cm slices. Top Tip: Have a piece of kitchen roll handy and use it to wipe off any crumbs sticking to the knife and this will lead to a clearer more defined slice. Also to try and keep the roll as round as possible I rotated it a quarter turn between each slice.
I wasn’t sure how much the discs would spread in the oven so placed the biscuits fairly well apart but they don’t actually spread that much unlike the technical challenge of florentines on GBBO. Bake for 12-15 minutes until they go golden brown. I then flipped over the biscuits and left to cool on the tray for 5 mins. I did this because I didn’t want to colour the base any more but the residual heat in the tray would also help to flatten the top side to make the pinwheel stand out more clearly. After 5 mins transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool. Then they are absolutely perfect with a cup of Earl Grey!