Garibaldi biscuits


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



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

The Garibaldi was first baked by Jonathan Carr for the English biscuit company, Peek, Frean and Co, in 1861. John Carr was a celebrity in the biscuit world: he was the first to succeed in producing biscuits on a large industrial scale. He comes from the nest of the Carr family that still produces Carr’s Table Water Crackers in Carlisle, England.

The biscuit was named after Italian General Giuseppe Garibaldi, who fought to unite Italy in the 19th century.


  • 100 g ( oz) currants
  • 150 g ( oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 50 g ( oz) rice flour or cornflour (cornstarch)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50 g ( oz) raw (demerara) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 50 g ( oz) chilled butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash


Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Put the currants in a bowl and lightly bruise them with a pestle or the base of a glass bottle.

Put the flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolks and milk. (You can use the egg whites instead of the egg yolk for the egg wash.) Use a blunt knife to mix the wet and dry ingredients together, and then use your hands to briefly knead the mixture into a smooth dough. Put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough in half and roll each half out on a floured sheet of baking paper into a rectangle about 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 inches). Brush one of the rectangles with the egg wash (or the reserved egg whites) and spread the currants over it in an even layer. Brush the second dough rectangle with the egg wash, then lay it over the currants on the other sheet of dough.

Lightly roll over the sandwiched dough until the two halves stick together. Don’t worry if the currants are visible here and there – it adds to the biscuits’ charm.

Cut the sandwiched dough into 14 rectangular biscuits. Lightly push the edges into place and place on the baking tray. Brush with more egg wash and sprinkle with the extra sugar.

Bake the biscuits in the middle of the oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly coloured. Leave on the baking tray to cool.