Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Ammonia bisuits بسكويت نشادر Biscot na- shader

Ammonia bisuits بسكويت نشادر Biscot na- shader

After dropping my eldest at Kinder this morning I thought what better time to make a batch of biscuits than when I only had one extra pair of hands in the kitchen to contend with.  I got started right away and had great help from my youngest, a mere 1 year old, who helped carry random things from the fridge to the bench as that is what I must have appeared to be doing in his eyes.  
I gathered the ingredients and while pulling out the mixing machine I find him watching me with his fingers already in his ears – clearly he knows this thing makes noise.
I was attempting to make Ammonia bisuits بسكويت نشادر Biscot na- shader which is a light crunchy biscuit made light by ammonia - and not the household cleaning kind!

Baker's ammonia = ammonium carbonate = bicarbonate of ammonia = This is an ancestor of modern baking powder.  If you can’t locate Bakers ammonia then substitute (for 1 teaspoon of baker’s ammonia) 1 teaspoon baking powder plus 1 teaspoon baking soda.  

I didn’t have bakers ammonia and decided to go ahead and use the substitute.  Also, I used 7 x 50g eggs and while I should have known better I substitute some cotton seed oil (which I happen to have in the cupboard since it was given to me as a gift) for the vegetable oil which I didn’t have quite enough of to make 1 cup.  I must have used about 50 ml so not a great deal but in hind sight should have gone without.

I followed the recipe given to me by my step mother and was careful to measure accurately.  All was going well until I needed to shape the biscuits.  A quick phone call to confirm details and I go ahead shaping my first batch of Ammonia bisuits بسكويت نشادر Biscot na- shader.  
Hmmmm….Not really what I expected.  They were thick and had an uncanny resemblance to those tiny dinner rolls you can buy from the supermarket.  Take 2.  I make another batch for the oven remembering that my step mother warned me not to roll them too thick.  

They still don’t look right and they didn’t taste right either.  Not to be disheartened I moved forward making several more trays full of biscuits of varying shapes and sizes.  I also took some of the dough and mixed through some finely grated orange rind to see if that helped with the flavour.
No, that didn’t help.  The flavour was strange to me and I put that down to the cotton seed oil (even though there was such a small amount in there for the amount of dough).  I go back and read the label on the bottle.  Yep, that’s where the answer lies!  Cotton seed oil – INFUSED WITH GARLIC AND GUMLEAF (Gumleaf which comes from the Australian native tree which provides food for Koalas only and no other animal – except for perhaps people who infuse oils with them) !!!

Well, no coming back from that. No masking THAT flavour and since the biscuits I made bear no resemblance to the Ammonia bisuits بسكويت نشادر Biscot na- shader I decide to call it quits.  

The boys didn’t mind the taste (after all aren’t all biscuits delicious) but I threw them out anyway.

I think secretly that spoiling that batch was a good thing.  The alternative was that they would be absolutely delicious and then I would have a battle on my hands for self-control when it came to eating them.  All’s well that ends well. 


  1. Please can you tell me where to buy ammonium bicarbonate in Melbourne, thanks

    1. Good question! I have tried to find it in supermarkets and cake decorating shops etc but the best place to find it is at an Italian or Greek / Mediterranean delicatessen.
      I am not sure where you are based but in the Western Suburbs you can find it at a Greek deli at the St Albans market and I have also found it available at the Prahran Market at the Sweet Greek shop (shop 702). They sell 28 g Ammonium Bicarbonate for $2.50.
      I would think you would find it in one of the many shops in Oakleigh too since I have found other ingredients in Oakleigh that I had trouble getting elsewhere (like Kataifi).
      Hope that helps.

    2. Thanks, I had just bought a packet from Chinese grocery shop in Richmond, might be it, not sure cos is in Chinese name. It made biscuit crispy.

  2. Thanks for that. Always good to know more places to get it. Enjoy the biscuits!