Make Ahead

Rich Tea Biscuits

February 13, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Regula Ysewijn
  • Makes 22 to 24 biscuits
Author Notes

This recipe yields biscuits that are coarser than the commercially produced biscuits, but they work just as well for dunking. My advice? Dunk long and enjoy the soaked biscuit to the fullest. —Regula Ysewijn

What You'll Need
  • 280 grams white flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 heaping teaspoons cane sugar
  • 4 1/12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup cold, full-fat milk
  1. Preheat your oven to 410° F (210° C) and prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, mix well.
  3. Cut the butter into small cubes, transfer to the bowl and start rubbing the butter into the flour until you get a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  4. Pour in the milk, combine with your fingers, then press and knead briefly into a smooth dough.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a clean floured working surface and divide it in half to make it more manageable to work with. Take one half of the dough, and roll it out as thinly as possible. (Keep in mind that the biscuits will double in thickness.) Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits into individual 6 centimeter-wide circles. Repeat with the other half of dough.
  6. Prick the biscuits gently with a fork or pastry docker, all over, and transfer them to your baking tray.
  7. Place in the center rack of your oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden but not browned. Cool on a baking tray.
  8. Optional: Boil fresh water, place tea in your favorite cup, pour hot water over it, and wait. Break a Rich Tea biscuit in 2 and dunk. Enjoy.
  9. Store your biscuits in an airtight container. They are best when enjoyed immediately, but will last around 3 to 4 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Capitalmind
  • kfles
  • Massimiliano Curzi
    Massimiliano Curzi
  • Regula - Miss Foodwise
    Regula - Miss Foodwise
  • Kathy Gilbert
    Kathy Gilbert

14 Reviews

Capitalmind October 16, 2018
Yesterday I made Swedish hardtack for a re-enactment group as traditional is inedible. The Swedish tasted incredibly familiar, Googled a Rich Tea recipe and found the ingredients are almost identical! Instead of cream though I used buttermilk. Recommend rolling very thin as 1/4 inch will leave them soft in the middle and a long low temp bake. Swedish recipe I used is here
Massimiliano C. February 16, 2021
Agreed about the thickness! Make sure they are thin, almost uncomfortably thin! I didn't read that they needed to be 6cm in diameter and so I made them regular sized (like the McVities RichTea biscuits) which are more like 4cm. So while the outer was crispy and yummy, the internal part was a bit too soft and undercooked
kfles March 10, 2015
I can't wait to make these! I hadn't even thought about making my own tea biscuits, what a treat!
Phishstyx February 28, 2015
Thanks for the prompt response. But, I'm still uncertain: "3tsp of sugar is 30 grams". So, 30g for the recipe, or 30g + heaping = 45g? 50g?
Regula -. March 1, 2015
I have no idea what the heaping means. Just stick to the exact grams I gave you and you'll be fine. Let me know how it goes! :)
Phishstyx March 6, 2015
Thanks for the clarification. & for sharing your recipe.
sue C. February 27, 2015
thanks regula. your clarification with the original amounts is greatly appreciated.
sue C. February 26, 2015
question on the amount of butter for the rich tea biscuits….. is 4 1/12 tbsp correct? it seems to be a strange amount. from the picture, it looks like a bit more than a four oz stick? please clarify the amount. thanks,
Regula -. February 27, 2015
Hello, thanks for your comment :) My original recipe was altered by Food52 for American audience, so I have no idea if this is correct. Please see below my original quantities in grams.
280 g plain white flour
1tbsp of baking powder
0,5 tsp salt
3 heaped teaspoons of sugar
65 g butter
150 ml cold milk

Hope this helps,
Kathy G. December 17, 2021
Thank you for the weight measures. Although I’m an American baker, I prefer measuring by weight rather than volume. With that in mind, do you have a weight measure for the baking powder? Also, the recipe just says sugar. Does it make a difference to use caster sugar rather than granulated? Which do you use? Thanks for your answers.
Phishstyx February 25, 2015
"3 heaping teaspoons"? I've noticed British celebrity cooks like Delia Smith & Nigella Lawson using flatware (what we use to eat) to measure ingredients. So, is this based on a British spoon for stirring tea or US measuring spoons? In my meager experience, British tea spoons are smaller than US tea spoons, but bigger than iced tea spoons. So, I don't even have an equivalent to guess.
"Heaping" suggests to me, as full as possible (as opposed to "rounded"), so maybe 3 heaping = 2 Tbl?

You gave us the courtesy of listing the flour by weight; please continue with a weight of sugar, too. Or is it basically, "to taste"? Thanks for your attention to this discrepancy.
Regula -. February 27, 2015
Hello, thanks for your comment. I have supplied the lovely people of Food52 with my measurements in grams, they have altered it for American audience, I did not do that. Here are the quantities from my original recipe:
280 g plain white flour
1tbsp of baking powder
0,5 tsp salt
3 heaped teaspoons of sugar
65 g butter
150 ml cold milk

Hope this helps,
Regula -. February 27, 2015
oh and 3tsp of sugar is 30 grams
0,5 tsp of salt is 5 grams
1 tbsp is 20 gram
Happy baking!!
Isabel G. July 27, 2015
Looking forward to trying your recipe!
But 1 teaspoon = 4 grams so 3tsp = 12 grams of sugar
Just wondering how you get 30 grams?