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How to make summat outta nowt #12 No scales baking basics.


So at the weekend I decided I wanted to make biscuits but the battery in my scales had gone. It got me wondering about how many people don't have any kitchen scales but would like to make things like biscuits, pastry and crumbles.

When I was a kid I remember using tablespoons as a rough measurement for an ounce (28 grams).

So this is a rough guide to baking some basics without scales and the recipe for the peanut butter biscuits I made at the weekend- they were delicious!

Flour- 1 heaped tablespoon =approx 1oz

Sugar-1 rounded tablespoon=approx 1oz

Butter/marge- 1 rounded tablespoon =approx 1oz

Oats - 1 rounded tablespoon= approx1oz

Basic shortcrust pastry

Shortcrust pastry is made with 3 ingredients, fat, flour and a little water. Now for your fat you can use all butter which makes a very rich pastry, marge, or a mix of either of these and lard.

The quantities are half the amount of fat to flour, so you can adjust the recipe to make more or less pastry as needed. You can use this for pies or pasties, savoury or sweet, or add cheese for cheese straws.

8 heaped tablespoons of plain flour

4 rounded tablespoons of butter/fat

2-3tbsp water

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the diced butter/fat and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 2-3 tbsp water and mix to a firm dough.

Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface.

Wrap in cling film and chill while preparing the filling.

Basic crumble topping

8 heaped tablespoons of plain flour

4 rounded tablespoons of butter

2 rounded tablespoons of sugar

2 rounded tablespoons of porridge oats

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the diced butter/fat and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs

Add the sugar and oats and mix together

Use to top your fruit or alternatively miss out the sugar and make a savoury crumble for a change! you could add herbs or parmesan to the mix and use to top fish pie or roasted vegetables- lovely

Peanut butter biscuits

I was surprised how well these turned out!

6 rounded tablespoons of butter

8 heaped tablespoons of flour

4 rounded tablespoons of peanut butter

4 rounded tablespoons of sugar

4 rounded tablespoons of porridge oats

Put the flour and oats in a large bowl

Put the butter, sugar and peanut butter in a pan and heat gently until it has melted. do not boil it.

Carefully add the butter mixture to the flour and oats and stir until it is all mixed together.

Make into golfball sized balls and place on a baking tray (leave room for them to spread).

Press each ball down with a fork to make a biscuit shape

Bake in a 180 degree oven for 10-15 minutes

Allow to cool before eating- yum!


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Professional Photography by Phill Jackson

Rubbish photography by the staff!

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