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This recipe, inspired by my post about the Great English Bible of 1541, was a little bit a challenge for me.    It took me several tries to get it right, in terms of handling the dough and making them look right. I also believe the translation in the book I’ve been using, Tudor Cookery: Recipes and History was incorrect in terms of the amount of some of the ingredients.

Nonetheless, I really loved these.  This is a sweet biscuit, meant more for breakfast, in my opinion. It has a taste unlike any other bread or biscuit I’ve ever had before!  Its made with aniseed, which gives it a black licorice flavor. This is a great conversation starter, particularly for bread lovers.

Tastes like black licorice!

Tastes like black licorice!

The original recipe comes from The good huswifes Jewell, pt. 2, published in 1596, but was translated in the book I used called Tudor Cookery: Recipes and History by Peter Brears.  The Brears version calls for 6 ounces of flour, which is three quarters of a cup.  This creates a dough that is like runny cookie dough… completely sticky and unworkable.  I believe I have corrected the amount of flour, ( I think he really meant 16 ounces-possible typo?) which creates a biscuit that gets crisp and brown on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Ingredients

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon of aniseed or caraway

Instructions

Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl, then beat in the sugar, aniseed or caraway, and finally the flour, forming a stiff dough.

Not the best photo, but you can see the consistency the dough should have before you make the twists.

Not the best photo, but you can see the consistency the dough should have before you make the twists.

Knead the flour on a lightly floured board and form into rolls, approximately 1/2 inch in diameter and about 4 inches long. Take two of these lengths and twist them together to form a knot, pressing the ends together to prevent unraveling.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Plunge 3-4 knotted biscuits into the water at a time. At first, they’ll sink to the bottom of the pot. Leave them alone for about 30 seconds. Then using a slotted spoon, dislodge them from the bottom of the pan and let them float and swell for about a minute or two. Lift them out and drain them on a tea towel for about five minutes.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment, then spray lightly with cooking spray.

Once the oven is heated, transfer the biscuits to the parchment. Bake for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to flip the biscuits and bake them again for another 10-15 minutes until they are golden. Serve and enjoy!

Best when served warm!

Best when served warm!

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