I am a proud crazy dog lady. I have a four-year-old Spaniel-cross named Archie, who on a daily basis I kiss, cuddle, propose marriage to, etc, etc. (He hates me.)
Anyway, one thing I am very careful with when it comes to Archie is his diet. He’s naturally slim so weight isn’t an issue; rather, I am very aware that I want him to eat the best he can, at all times. After all, he’s not a wild dog snuffling around in the – er – desert. Rather, he’s totally reliant on me to make sure he is as well-fed and happily nutritioned – totally a word – as possible. This is a role I take seriously. Much like there is a lot of ‘human’ food that’s crammed with e-numbers and preservatives, so to are there endless baddies lurking in the pet food aisle.
When his favourite (organic, additive-free, parsley-flavoured – for truly, this dog eats better than I do) biscuits were out-of-stock in our local supermarket yesterday, I thought I’d roll up my sleeves and have a go at making some dog biscuits of my own. Because how hard can it be? (Disclaimer: it is quite hard, especially if, like me, you’re whisking with a fork rather than a food processor. Peanut butter is a ‘mare to work with.)
You will need…
– 2 mugs-worth of spelt flour (you might need more depending on the consistency of your mixture, so keep extra on stand-by. I used spelt as it’s gluten-free but still high in fibre and good for canine tummies.)
– 3 generous tablespoons of peanut butter
– A drizzle of natural honey
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon of baking powder
– A mug of warm water
– Optional: a cookie cutter
Set your cooker 180C/350F.
With a fork, mix together the flour, baking powder and egg. Add the peanut butter, honey and water and whisk until a smooth dough starts to form. If your mixture is too ‘sticky’, add in a nudge more flour. (Nudge. Such a technical term.)
Flour your rolling board and tip the dough out. Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough until it’s about half-an-inch thick.
I used a bone-shaped cookie cutter for shaping the biscuits; if using a cutter, dip it in hot water before putting it in the dough in order to allow the dough to separate from the cutter more easily. If you don’t have a cutter, use a glass to cut them into circles.
Put your cut-out biscuits onto a baking tray, covered in baking parchment. Pop in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden in colour; slide a knife into one of the biscuits and see if the blade comes out clean to check they’re cooked thoroughly throughout.