Hogweed seed biscuits and real life

After collecting and grinding my common hogweed spice I wanted to try baking some biscuits. Today is much cooler and our first rain in a couple of months so seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I used this recipe from Robin Harford-
140g soft butter
50g soft brown sugar
100g sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tbs molasses or black treacle
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground hogweed seed

I creamed the butter and sugars (granulated not caster sugar and dark soft brown sugar rather than the light brown sugar he specifies. I try to limit how many different types I buy and I use dark brown in flapjack), then added the egg yolk and molasses. Eldest daughter wants to make Eton Mess this evening so she'll use the egg white for meringues later.

I added the flour, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), cinnamon, ginger, and hogweed seed.

The dough is very soft so I wrapped the log of biscuit dough in some beeswax wrap and refrigerated it for half an hour or so. I think I do have some cling film left somewhere but I'm trying to cut down on single use plastics and hardly ever use it. Once a year at the most, I think.

In the interest of full disclosure and following the interesting discussion in the comments and then the following post on Jo's blog, this is what the rest of my kitchen island looked as I was cooking.

Drinks brought back from a barbecue with neighbours last night. Courgette, cucumber, tomatoes and runner beans picked from the garden yesterday and this morning. Jars of dark sugar eldeflower marmalade that are still waiting for me to label them. Empty bottles and jam jars (very useful. You can never have too many jam jars) waiting to be put away before full-on jam and chutney making begins. A plastic bag I was given something in drying after being rinsed. Youngest daughter's plate bag from Guide camp that still hasn't been put away, a tray of pickling cucumbers I bought from a lovely man at the local Farmer's Market; he and his wife fund a Thai orphanage by growing and selling vegetables. Some people ordered a huge amount of gherkins and dill and then backed out after he'd planted 150 gherkin plants. My children inhale pickled gherkins and I wanted to crack lacto-fermented cucumbers so I bought 11 pounds from him and will probably be back for more. There are 2 jars of bread and butter pickles cooling, sliced cucumbers salted and draining for a different batch of a different recipe so we can taste test and sterilised jars I didn't use waiting for batch #2. A bowl of figs I got given. They're underripe so I'm deciding whether to make them into chutney or jam.

Preheat the oven to 180 C. I sliced the log of chilled dough into slices about 5mm thick and spaced them out on a baking tray lined with reusable baking parchment. They baked for about ten minutes.

Cool on the tray for a few minutes and then transfer to a rack. 

The hogweed is quite distinctive. Considering it made 36 biscuits and there's only 1 teaspoon of it in the mixture you can definitely taste it. They are delicious; ginger snap-type biscuits that would be good even without the hogweed. Perfect for Autumn and Winter with the dark sugar and molasses, I think.


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