Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

English Bisket

October 11th, 2013 by KM Wall

All good things start at home, so let’s take a look at the international biskets of 17th century England, by looking at the one that is called

ENGLISH BISKET

btw, ‘BISKET” is by far and by large the most common spelling of the biscuit in the 17th century. In England. Results may vary by country.

 

 

To make English Bisket.

Take eight new layd egges, taking away the whites of foure of them, beate the eight yoalks and the other foure whites in a faire bowle the fourth parte of an houre, then take a pound of fine flower being dryed in an earthen pot closed covered : then take eight ounces of hard sugar beaten fine, and beat them into your egges with the end of a rowling pin, and beat it so very hard for the space of an houre, but by no meanes let it stand still, always beating it, then haue an Ouen as hot as for manchet ready cleane, hauing some saucers of flate plates, or little tine Coffins buttered over with a feather as thinne as you can strike it over, then put into yoru forsaid paste Coliander-seed, sweet Fennel seede, and Caroway seed, of each the fourth part of an ounce, when you have beaten these into your paste, put it into your saucers, and set them presently into the Ouen, and when you see it rise vp and look white, you may take down your lid, and in a quarter of an houre they will be made, then box it vp and keep it all the yeare.

1621. John Murrell. The Delightful daily exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen. Falconwood Press: 1990. p. 3.

A whole lot of beating going on - these need to be light and frothy. If only they had a Kitchen-Aid.

A whole lot of beating going on – these need to be light and frothy. If only they had a Kitchen-Aid.

Coriander seed - we call the leafy part cilantro or even Chinese parsley

Coriander seed – we call the leafy part cilantro or even Chinese parsley

 

 

Fennel seed - all together this is going to have a very liquorice taste

Fennel seed – all together this is going to have a very liquorice taste

 

Our old friend caraway, up close,. You might remember him as Kimmel....

Our old friend caraway, up close. You might remember him as Kimmel….

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One Response to “English Bisket”

  1. Clarissa says:

    Naples biskets are called for in a lot of the 18th-century receipts I use. There is a really simple receipt in a local manuscript collection; eggs, flour, and sugar are used — no caraway in this one. I make a batch or a double batch and freeze what isn’t immediately needed. It has worked very well. Later this week, Naples biskets will be used in a wine pudding for tasting at the symposium in BelAir, MD on Monday. YUM! :-)

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