Garibaldi biscuits seem to have gone out of fashion, which is a shame. They were a regular feature in the biscuit tin of my youth, much favoured by visiting aunts and friends of my mum, rather than being the first to be chosen by my older sister and I (that would have been a bourbon or later, a ginger cream).
Most families seem to call these ‘squashed fly biscuits or ‘fly cemeteries’ which of course might have something to do with why the children weren’t quite so keen on them. I don’t remember this putting me off, even if the mere name of a blood orange meant I wouldn’t remotely go near one.
Garibaldis have quite a bit in common with Eccles cakes and Chorley cakes, those other traditional cakes/pies/biscuits (let’s get the lid back on THAT can of worms quickly…) all something I have long since given up dreaming of eating gluten free. The older I get, the more I find a garibaldi appealing – hence the desire to figure out a GF version. They are reassuringly unsweet and plain. And they hold up to dunking in a mug of tea (yes, even the homemade ones!).
In researching for this post (I’ll spare you the origin of the name and the visit to Britain of an Italian military dignatory) I discovered that at one time it was possible to buy a chocolate-covered garibaldi. I know those never made their way into our house, otherwise I guarantee they would have been held in considerably higher esteem!
- 120g my four flour blend (see flour blend page)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 25g sugar
- 25g unsalted butter
- 3-4 tbsp milk
- 50g currants
- 1 egg white
- extra teaspoon sugar to sprinkle
- Preheat the oven to 180C (160C Fan).
- Combine the flour, flax, salt and sugar in a bowl.
- Rub in the butter until it is well combined, like sand.
- Add enough milk to bind to a soft dough.
- Place on a sheet of baking parchment and cover with a piece of clingfilm.
- Roll out to approx 25 x 15cm.
- Remove the cling film, scatter half the piece with the currants, then fold the other side over, using your hand under the baking parchment to help you (like turning the page of a book) and press down.
- Replace the cling film and roll out again until approx 25 x 15 cm or 2mm thick. Try not to let the currants break through the surface too much as they tend to burn otherwise.
- Cut into biscuits 3 rows of 6 biscuits, but leave them all joined together.
- Brush with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
- Carefully transfer the biscuits, one at a time, to a baking parchment covered baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.