Better Garibaldi biscuits

Should Garibaldi biscuits have a yolk in them? My answer: They don't need it, but sure, it's nice. What if you put in the whole egg instead? That's nice, too. I did that by accident the other day, having forgotten to separate white from yolk. Oh well. I figured it was bound to taste all right, and since the white that was not supposed to be there would add unbudgeted moisture, I would skip the recipe's 3 tablespoons of milk. It worked out just fine: the milk, I reckon, was only there to make up for the absence of the white in the recipe as written. But why was the egg white left out?

Whenever a baking recipe asks you to put in only the yolk of an egg, or only the white, you have to wonder where the other half is going -- and sure enough, the yolk often goes in the dough while the white is reserved for duty in washing the top, like a glue for the reception of sparkling sugar crystals. Having you use one egg for two different functions is more conservative than requiring you to use one and a half, which for most cooks really means two, as anything unused will simply go down the sink. But in my case, it's just as well that I bunged the whole egg in, white and all, since I really don't need my Garibaldis to shine with sugar. They are quite sweet enough as they are (though not cloying at all).

The other question is whether Garibaldi biscuits should have candied fruit. My answer is No: currants are lovely all by themselves, and this is a simple biscuit, simply made, with few ingredients. So I depart from the BBC recipe in this, as well. Just make 'em with currants (about 65 grams' worth, in a mix using 225g of flour). What I DO agree with, though, is the addition of spice: I used 1/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground cloves. You could cut out one or change the combinations, but I thought the spice notes were both lovely and subtle.

A final point: neither the BBC nor the Delia Smith recipes I've seen advise an adequate quantity of salt. Indeed, the BBC one, weirdly, has no salt whatsoever. The Delia one mentions 'a pinch of salt' -- a formulation I dislike and avoid in my own recipe devisings, for the simple reasons that a) a pinch is rarely even close to enough and b) given the latter, the amount is and should be spoon-measurable. Rarely if ever do I want less than 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt (or anything else) in my recipes, and usually I want a lot more than that. 'A pinch' does not begin to cover it. Calling for 'a pinch' is a tradition of vagueness and sloppiness in recipes that will have to get on without me. I like to give definite guidance, with appropriate boldness, instead of causing doubt and confusion (and flabby taste) with the lazy terminology of 'a pinch'. If a baker is frightened of an ingredient, that's her lookout, and she is of course always free to adjust it according to taste.

I'd show a picture here of my various Garibaldis, but I'm afraid I've eaten them all. Maybe next time....