Bath Oliver is a dry and hard biscuit that is generally eaten with cheese. This cracker like biscuit is made with flour, milk, butter and yeast. Invented by Dr. William Oliver, these thin crackers are served with Port wine and preferably cheddar cheese. These biscuits are baked in thin large sheets and then broken to pieces.
Origin of Bath Oliver Recipe
Bath Oliver biscuits were invented by Dr. William Oliver around the year 1750 in Bath, Somerset. The biscuit got its name from the fact that the English physician treated his patients in the spa waters at Bath and this name preceded that of Oliver’s to result in the hard biscuits. He found that the mineral waters at Bath had slimming properties and this he invented the biscuit with the intention of helping his rheumatic patients in controlling their weight. Though the business was started by Dr. Oliver, on his death, the recipe was bequeathed to his coachman, which over the years passes hands and ended with James Fortt. Today, these biscuits are enjoyed by many in the UK.
Method Of Preparation And Ingredients Used In Making Bath Biscuits
The Bath Oliver biscuits are made with plain flour, milk, butter, rye flour and dried yeast. Milk and butter are heated till the butter melts. To this mixture dried yeast and a pinch of rye flour are added and stirred well. This is allowed to stay a while till the mixture gets frothy. The plain flour and salt (to taste) are then added and kneaded into dough, till smooth and elastic. This dough is covered and allowed to sit for some time till it doubles. The dough is then pressed like pasta and baked. These baked biscuits are generally served with quince, cheese and wine.
Variations of Bath Oliver Recipe
There are a few recipes from Bath that carry the same name as the place; however, they are not necessarily biscuit recipes. One such popular recipe from Bath is Bath Bun.
Bath Bun– This particular recipe has two different mixtures of flour, one is the dough and the other the batter. The batter is prepared by mixing plain flour, caster sugar, dried yeast, milk and water and set aside. The dough is prepared by rubbing in the butter into the flour and then mixing the bread crumb like flour with eggs, sugar, peel and sultanas. All these are added to the batter and beaten well. The dough is set aside and finally bakes after glazing with an egg, sugar and water mixture.