Water Biscuits

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

water biscuits thin, hard biscuits with a flaky texture and golden-brown bubbles all over the surface. They are made from soft wheat flour and water, with minimal amounts of other ingredients, and baked in a very hot oven to give a rapid rise. Those from Orkney have a high reputation.

Water biscuits are 20th-century British descendants of the very plain ship’s biscuits and the very slightly enriched Victorian ‘captain’s biscuit’. Originally such plain biscuits were used in place of fresh bread when it was unobtainable; now they are popular with cheese.