Sunday, 17 September 2017

Shrewsbury Biscuits


6 oz plain flour
2 oz castor sugar
2 oz butter
1/2 level tsp salt
1 egg
vanilla essence


  1. Prepare a moderate oven, 350º F or Mark 4.
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add egg and vanilla essence and beat well.
  4. Work in flour and salt to form a stiff dough.
  5. Knead lightly and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into fancy shapes (approximately 40 biscuits using a 1.5 inch round cutter).
  6. Bake on a flat greased tin for 20-25 minutes.

"Recipe for Sweet biscuits"

This is the recipe that came in the child's baking set with rolling pin and cutters.

Makes approximately 18 biscuits

First collect together the things that you will need. Mixing bowl, wooden spoon, pastry board, rolling pin, pastry cutters, baking tray.

(Editor's note: I would advise that you grease the baking tray. The recipe is designed for very small cutters, of three different designs. With larger cutters you will not get 18 biscuits).


2 oz (56 grams) softened butter
2 oz (56 grams) caster sugar
4 oz (113 grams) plain flour
About 2 dessert spoons milk

  1. Ask a grown-up to turn on the oven for you and set it at 350ºF (180ºC, Gas mark 3) with a shelf in the centre.
  2. Put the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl and mix them well together with the wooden spoon until soft and creamy
  3. Mix in the flour and the milk with the wooden spoon until the ingredients are mixed well together. Now using your hands, knead the mixture together, making it into a ball of dough.
  4. Sprinkle a little flour onto the pastry board and rolling pin so that the dough will not stick, and roll the dough out until it is about as think as a 10p piece.
  5. Using the pastry cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and put them carefully onto the baking tray, leaving spaces between each one. You should get about six of each shape but don't worry if you have more or less.
  6. Now ask a grown-up to help you, and remember that the oven will be hot. Put the biscuits into the oven on the centre shelf. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the biscuits are light brown.
  7. Take the biscuits out of the oven on the baking tray. Don't forget that the baking tray will be very hot, so use an oven cloth. Leave the biscuits to cool for five minutes. Lift them onto a wire cooling tray and when they are completely cold sprinkle a little sugar on top of them—DELICIOUS!
  8. Store them in an airtight tin so that they will not go soft.
  9. Now you can tidy up the kitchen and wash up your cooking utensils. Just wipe clean the pastry board and rolling pin; do not put them in the water.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Hot cross buns (the traditional family version from the grey folder)


1 lb strong white flour
1 level tsp salt
1 level tsp mixed spice
1/2 level tsp grated nutmeg
2 oz caster sugar
1 oz fresh yeast (or 1 level tbsp dried yeast)
1 warm egg (beaten) made up to half a pint with warm milk and water, and 1 tsp caster sugar (make sure it's all very nice and warm!)
2 oz melted butter
4 oz currants
1-2 oz chopped mixed peel

For the crosses:

1 oz self raising flour
1 dessert spoon of oil
1 dessert spoon of milk
1 dessertspoon of water

For the glaze:

1 tbsp water
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp caster sugar


If possible, work in a warm room!

  1. Warm the bowl to quite hot
  2. Sift the flour, salt, spices and sugar into the warm bowl
  3. Add the warm milk and water to the egg and add the yeast (and sugar if using dried yeast).
  4. Make a dip in the middle of the dry ingredients and stir in the melted butter and the yeasty liquid.
  5. Mix to a soft dough.
  6. Turn out onto an unfloured surface, and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth.
  7. Press out the dough with knuckles and spread the currants and mixed peel over the surface.
  8. Gather it up and knead it again to distribute the fruit.
  9. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a smooth ball. Put it in the warm bowl to rise, covered with a plastic bag.
  10. When it has doubled in size turn it out again, flatten it, knead it again, and divide into 16 pieces by rolling the side of your hand across the middle of each piece to force the dough apart at the centre. (The original recipe says make 12, but when it works well this quantity makes 16 large buns).
  11. Place the buns well apart on a greased tray. Put them in a warm place to rise (covered with a bag or cloth).
  12. Heat the oven to 425º F, Gas mark 7
  13. When the buns are risen and all joined up at the edges, apply the crosses: make up the paste for the crosses in a small bowl, and use a piping bag or cone of greaseproof paper to squeeze a tube of paste across each row of buns, and then again at right angles across the vertical and horizontal axes. (If your piping hole is too large and you have 16 large buns, you may need to make more paste!)
  14. Bake them in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes (until they sound good and hollow on the bottom).
  15. While they are baking make the glaze: heat the ingredients in a small pan on the stove, slowly at first then boil, stirring with a wooden spoon. Draw it off the heat.
  16. When the buns are done, glaze them using a pastry brush while they are still hot.
  17. Allow to cool a bit, or just eat them immediately.... 
  18. To serve, split the bun horizontally and butter it liberally. Split buns can be toasted in the toaster, or whole buns can be reheated in the oven.