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Many people say that cookie dough having water or milk in it makes the end result quite rock hard, and many people told me to bind the dough entirely out of fat to make it flaky. But how do the big biscuit companies make their products crispy and flaky even though their biscuits are not very greasy, and some of them have water/milk in their recipe? I have often tried to make eggless cookies with less fat in them but ended up with really hard ones. What can I do to make my cookies crisp and flaky having less butter/fat in the dough?

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    I'm a little confused by the terminology in this question. British biscuits == American cookies. Sort of. Cookies are not usually flaky. Is this more like some sort of pastry? – Sobachatina Sep 25 '13 at 16:03
  • @Sobachatina I'm pretty sure this is British-Indian style crunchy biscuits, probably roughly like a sweet version of a lot of American crackers, which are flaky in a way. – Cascabel Sep 25 '13 at 18:00
  • @Sobachatina I belong to India. Well I am talking about cookies that we get in bakeries here. People here often call cookies as biscuits. – Chandan Soni Sep 25 '13 at 18:30
  • @Sobachatina biscuits (non-U.S. ) != cookies. This misconception is part of the problem here. – Niall Oct 22 '16 at 22:55
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First, it would help to know where you are located, as "cookie" and "biscuit" are very regional terms.

Second, what commercial companies can achieve is not necessarily achievable at home. While they may use water in their products for a cheaper end product, they also have access to a lot of techniques to offset this. They may use emulsifiers or gums to make the product feel as though it has more fat in it while still using water.

Having a leaner dough though will mean a less tender end result, though it doesn't have to be hard. You could try adding a bit more leavening or baking at a lower temperature and/or for less time to keep your baked goods softer.

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I use grated frozen butter tossed with the dry ingredients keeping batches in the freezer until ready. Mix buttermilk in with a spatula until rough dough forms turn out on floured board, pat and book fold four to five times then cut to desired size. Very important that only use your hands, electric mixer will over mix and destroy any chance of flaky layers.

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