Rich tea biscuits


Preparation info

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Appears in

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South: The history of British Baking, savoury and sweet

Oats in the North, Wheat from the South

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2020

  • About

Rich tea biscuits have an uncomplicated flavour, making them ideal for dipping in your hot coffee or tea. Scientists have also proven that Rich tea biscuits are the superior dunker or dipper. Research showed that the Digestive crumbles after five seconds, while the Rich tea holds up for no less than 20 seconds. It’s because the Rich tea remains crisp that people find it such a superior dunker. Only in Great Britain do they research these kinds of small things!

Prince William requested a Rich tea cake for his groom’s cake for the royal wedding. A total of 1700 biscuits and 40 pounds of chocolate were used to create this no-bake cake, which is also rumoured to be The Queen’s favourite cake.

If the royals and almost half of the British population approve of Rich tea biscuits, they should certainly be included in this book. Home-made, they are certainly a lot more rustic than the tidy, perfectly smooth Rich teas of the iconic British biscuit brands, but they do dip just as well.


  • 280 g (10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 65 g ( oz) raw (demerara) sugar
  • 65 g ( oz) chilled butter, diced
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) chilled milk
  • flour, for dusting


Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F) and line one or two baking trays with baking paper.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Pour in the milk and use your fingers to bring the ingredients together into a dough. Briefly press and knead the dough.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and divide it in half to make it easier to work with. Roll out half the dough as thinly as possible – 2 mm (1/16 inch) would be ideal (keep in mind that the cookies rise to twice their height). Cut out the cookies with a 7 cm (2¾ inch) cutter, then repeat with the other half of the dough.

Prick the biscuits all over with a fork and place them on the lined baking trays. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes until they are a pale golden colour. Leave them to cool on the trays.

And now brew yourself a cup of tea and start dipping!