Shrewsbury Biscuits

Happiness is dipping biscuit in tea.

It is a known fact that Baking and learning to bake is often referred to as the chemistry of cooking. All ingredients must be measured and the measurement is absolutely critical in the kitchen.

Good quality fresh ingredients will ensure the best cookies or biscuits. The basic difference between a cookie and a biscuit could be that a cookie is bigger than a biscuit and can be eaten hot as soon as it is baked.

Shrewsbury biscuit is named after Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire. It is a classic English dessert. These biscuits are made from a dough that contains flour, butter, sugar, egg and lemon rind or lemon juice. Basically these are everyday biscuits with the taste of lime and can be relished at any time of the day. Here in India, this biscuit is synonymous with the Kayani bakery of Pune, Maharashtra which bakes 200-300 kg of biscuits every day. People in Pune for a weekend getaway are sure to leave back for home with a box of Shrewsbury biscuits. They complement our Indian Chai and these biscuits in particular deliver happiness at every bite.

I really do not remember Mom baking biscuits at home as much as I remember her cakes. When I started baking biscuits following some random recipes – many a times I have been shocked at the final result! Either it was too sweet, or the biscuits were not uniform in size or the baking time was more than what was on the recipe. Somehow after a lot of patience, I’ve managed to finally zero down on the almost perfect recipe for Shrewsbury biscuit.

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Ingredients:

  • Flour- 2 cups (substitute 3 tbsp of flour with 3 tbsp of semolina)
  • Butter- 1/2 cup
  • Sugar-1/2 cup
  • Egg – 1 beaten (only half the quantity required)
  • Lime juice-2 tsp
  • Lemon rind- 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Beat in egg gradually.
  • Add sieved flour, semolina and mix with lime juice to a stiff dough.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured board, knead lightly and roll out.
  • Cut into rounds with any pastry cutter.
  • Place in a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 170deg c for 15-20 minutes.
  • Leave to cool and store.

Chefs tips and variations:

  • If you do not like the sour taste of lime, omit the lime juice and carry on with the recipe.
  • After you make the dough and cut out the biscuits, you could make a depression in the center and fill it with orange marmalade or any berry jam.
  • The flour used for rolling the biscuit dough should be down to a minimum amount.
  • Biscuits to be baked should be placed in the center of the oven so that there is free circulation of air all around.
  • There should be a minimum of 2 inches or 5 cms between the biscuits to be baked.
  • Biscuits baked will be soft at first but will become crisp as they cool down.
  • Prep. time – 10-15 minutes
  • Cooking time –  15 minutes
  • No. of biscuits -20 -25

If you ever feel there is something missing in your life, it is almost always a biscuit.

 

Till my next post

Cheers,

Rose

 

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