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How to Make Australian Toaster Biscuits

Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes one ingredient at a time.

Australian toaster biscuits, toasted and buttered

Australian toaster biscuits, toasted and buttered

Do You Remember the 1990s?

Years ago, when my daughters were still in the single digits (under 10 years of age) life was so sweet. Gas was just $1.00 per gallon, the minimum wage was a whopping $4.25, slap bracelets were "in," every child dreamed of finding a Nintendo Game Boy under the Christmas tree . . . and we had Orowheat Australian Toaster Biscuits.

And Then Our Hearts Were Broken

In a moment of corporate insanity, the powers-that-be at Orowheat did the unimaginable—they discontinued Australian toaster biscuits. Why, oh why?

Some copycats have suggested that ATBs are akin to English crumpets. No, they are not. Crumpets are rather flat and stodgy, whereas the ATBs of my memory (and my memory is well intact, thank you very much), are light and fluffy, tall and rife with nooks and crannies just begging to be christened with jam and melting butter.

My dear friends, where Orowheat has failed we can succeed. Together, we can make Australian toaster biscuits. Here's how.

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl or stand mixer
  • Large spoon for stirring
  • Food-safe plastic wrap
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 3-inch ring molds
  • Griddle or large saute pan
  • Spatula
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 3 cups plus 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients (flour through yeast) in a large mixing bowl. Slowly pour in warm water and stir to combine. I used my stand mixer and meat at low-medium speed for 8 minutes. If you do not have a mixer you can stir by hand. (You might want to enlist the aid of a helper.)
  2. Scrape batter (yes it will be a batter, not your typical bread dough) into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to proof (rise) for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Combine baking soda and milk. Gently stir down batter; stir in the soda/milk mixture until well mixed.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Heat griddle to medium heat. Spray griddle surface and rings with non-stick cooking spray. Place rings on the griddle, spaced several inches apart to allow room for flipping/turning.
  7. Fill rings half-full with batter. The amount will seem skimpy, but trust me, the batter will rise to the top of the ring. Allow to "bake" undisturbed for 8 minutes, then flip over to "bake" the other side. This will take just 3 minutes. (I had only two rings, so had to do this 6 times.) Place toaster biscuits on the rimmed baking sheet, remove rings.
  8. When all biscuits are griddled, bake in preheated oven 5 minutes. Cool completely before slicing in half horizontally.
  9. To serve, toast biscuits and serve with butter or jam (or both).

Yield: Makes 12 toaster biscuits

© 2020 Linda Lum