Gluten-free Gingernut Biscuits (made with lard)

Delicious ginger biscuits that break with a satisfying snap. This Dairy-free, Gluten-free and Paleo recipe is made with ground almonds, honey and lard.

Gluten-free Gingernut Biscuits (made with lard)

Although putting pig fat into biscuits might sound like a strange concept to modern tastes, good old-fashioned lard really does make the best biscuits. This is because lard is a stable fat, which remains solid at room temperature. Unlike oil, it cannot be stirred into a mixture, but instead must be rubbed into flour, creating a crumbly mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. The rubbing action coats the flour particles with a layer of fat, which stops them from binding together. This results in a weaker structure, creating a crumbly texture that falls apart and flakes. In pastry this texture is described as ‘short’, to reflect the fact that only short proteins are formed. This makes lard the best fat for baking crisp biscuits.

Doughs which have been made using the rubbing-in method need to be left to rest in a cold place for 30 minutes before baking. This is because manual handling will naturally melt some of the fat. By giving the fat time to resolidify, it is easier to roll out and will hold its shape better in the oven.

makes cooking time
20 small / 12 large
Gluten-free Gingernut Biscuits (made with lard)
Ingredients Instructions
  • 2 1/2 cups (225g) ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup (33g) almond flour (plus extra for flouring a work surface)
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5/8 cup (168g) honey
  • 1/2 cup (101g) lard, cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork

for greasing the baking tray:

  • 1 teaspoon light olive oil
  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl (ground almonds, almond flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, bicarbonate of soda and salt). Stir until evenly mixed.
  2. Add the honey and lard. Use your fingertips to lightly rub in the honey and lard, until you achieve a crumbly texture that resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Tip the beaten egg into the mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix in the egg and form a sticky dough. Knead into a ball then transfer to the fridge. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper and lightly grease with light olive oil.
  5. Lightly dust a work surface with almond flour. Turn out the dough, then sprinkle more almond flour on top. Use a rolling pin to roll out to about 1cm thick. Cut out the biscuits using a 6.5 cm / 2.5 inch cutter. Collect up the trimmings into a ball, and repeat until all the dough is used – the mixture should make about 20 (alternatively, use a 7.5 cm / 3 inch cutter to make 12 larger biscuits).
  6. Arrange the biscuits on the baking tray. Leave plenty of space between each biscuit, as they will spread during baking. Use a pastry brush to lightly dab the surface of each biscuit with water.
  7. Transfer to the lowest shelf of the preheated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until brown and mostly firm to the touch. Turn the tray halfway through for even colouring.
  8. Transfer onto a wire cooling rack using a palette knife or fish slice. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature, where they will keep for 1 week.

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