Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Recipe Box Swap: Tea Biscuits

I wanted to take part in the Recipe Box Swap this month and lucky me it was no-theme month so I got to choose whatever I wanted to share. This recipe comes from one of my all-time favourite cookbooks, The Purity Cookbook. The edition I have is a 2001 reprint of the 1967 edition, but the cookbook has been around for a long time. The maker of Purity Flour, Western Canada Flour Mills Co., was founded in 1905 and I believe the first edition of the Purity Cookbook was released in 1917. I believe that you can still get the 2001 reprint and I highly recommend it.

A tea biscuit dough should be soft but not sticky. A little kneading improves the quality of the biscuits, but should be done with a gentle touch as too much handling tends to make them tough.

Tea Biscuits, BASIC RECIPE

Preheat oven to 450F
Blend or sift together
2 cups Pre-Sifted PURITY All-Purpose Flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Cut in finely
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
Stir with a fork to make a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 8 to 10 times. Roll or pat to desired thickness, (biscuits will be doubled in height when baked). Cut out with a floured cutter.

Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, close together for soft-sided biscuits or about 1″ apart for crusty-sided biscuits.
Bake in preheated 450F oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
Yield: 18 to 20 - 1 3/4″ biscuits.

You have no idea how good these tea biscuits are. They may sound simple, or even bland, but they are really homey, cozy, and perfect. Also remember that since this is the basic recipe that you can add whatever you want (raisins, berries, cheese, etc) to change them up.

Follow this link to see who else is swapping this month: The Recipe Box Swap


  1. I love having tea in the afternoons after work...normally with fruit, but tea biscuits sound so much better!

  2. These sound delightful - I'm dreaming of them with cheese! Thanks for the recipe and the cookbook recommendation. :)

  3. I have the original printing of this cookbook, my mom gave it to me when I started out on my own. I'll have to check out that recipe now.
    there is another similar to it, I think she got them for free for buying flour.

  4. I have loved Thais cookbook as long as I can remember. My mom had the old one with the coil binding. Mine is so tattered from use that I had to look some recipes on line. I have also given it to new brides as a shower gift. As for the biscuits? Devine!