The power of suggestion is pretty strong at my workplace…when it comes to food. A colleague was telling me about making biscuits recently, and how fast her young son put back 6 or 8 of the flaky goodness.
It got me thinking. And reminiscing. About tea biscuits.
It’s been years since I made them. But a James Beard cookbook (autographed to my mother) seemed a good place to start.
I actually couldn’t find a recipe listed as “tea” biscuit in any of my cookbooks. So under the B for “biscuits” it was. The recipe in the 1961 James Beard Cookbook kept things pretty simple when it came to naming recipes. After the basic biscuit recipe, you could choose the further descriptions for square, round, rich, fluffy, parsley, cheese, pungent or marmalade biscuits.
I kept it simple with the round variety.
Basic Biscuit Dough
2 cups flour – 5 tsp baking powder – 1 tsp salt – 2 tsp sugar – 5 T fat (about 1/3 cup butter) – 3/4 cup milk
Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in the butter (I roll it in the flour and grate it into the mixture with a cheese grater). Work with fingers until mixture is evenly crumbly. Stir in just enough milk to make it a smooth, soft dough, not to sticky to be handled. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead gently for 1 minute. Roll to about 1/2 inch thick, cut in rounds and place on buttered baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 450F, until lightly browned.
Eat them all while they are still warm. Cheddar and apple butter, maple butter or just butter.