BISCUITS (Fr., twice-baked), small, fiat brend, rendered dry and hard by baking, in order to their long preservation. They are divided into two classes—the unfermented and the feenwnted, Unfermented or unlearened IL, generally known as common sea biscuits or ship-briad, are made of wheaten-flour (retaining some of the bran), and common salt. The materials are kneaded together, either by manual labor—that is, by the hands and feet of the workmen—or by intro Inches the materials into a long trough or box, with a central shaft, to which a Series of knies is attached, and which is made to revolve rapidly by, machinery. .The,pia,: of dough so. obtained is then kneaded and thinned out Into a Sheet the propsi thiCkiless of the 13., by being passed uud repassed lietween. heavy- rollerS. This sheet being placed below a roller with knife-edge shapes, is readily cut into hexagonal (six-sided) or round pieces of dough of the required size of the biscuits. T he indentation of the slabs of dough, in the case of the hexagonal it , is not complete, so that all the 13. cut out of each slab remain slightly adhering together. These slabs of B. are then introduced into an oven for about 15 minutes, and are placed in a warm room for 2 or 3 days to become thoroughly dry. The more modern oven is open at both ends, and the B. being placed in a frame-work, are drawn by chains through the oven. So rapidly is this operation conducted, that about 2000 lbs. weight of B. are passed through one of these ovens every day of ten hours.
Captains'.B. are prepared from wheaten-flour, water, with common salt, and butter, with an occasional small dose of yeast to cause partial fermentation. Milk is also some times employed. Water .ii. bard B. are made of flour, water, with variable quantities. of butter, eggs, spices, and sugar. Soft B. contain increased quantities of butter and sugar. Yeast Rare those the dough of which is mixed with a small quantity of yeast, yielding more pOrons biscuits. Buttered B. arc made with much butter and a little yeast. Other varieties of B. are named in the following table, which gives the mate rials added to'the sack of flour, 280 lbs. in weight: Water or milk. Butter. Sugar. flavoring. Eggs.
quarts, lbs. lbs. in ozs.
Captains' . 10 15 .. .. ..
Abernethy 81 171 171 17+ ..
3Iachine 61 58 14 .. ..
American.... 10 40 .. • . ..
Jamaica 81 17+ 17+ .. ..
Coffee. 8/ 171 .. .. 140 Great care must be taken in the manipulative part of the process to incorporate the ingredients in a systematic In:la:ler. Thus, the butter is mixed with the flour in a dry condition. and then the water or milk added; and when eggs are used. they are thor oughly beaten up with water, and the sugar (if the latter is required) and the egg-paste added to the dough, which has been previously prepared with butter, or without butter. The various kinds of B. in the preparation of which yeast is employed, present a more :spongy aspect than the unveasted biscuits. Occasionally a little sesquicarbonate of ainmouia (volatile salt) is added, to assist in ra,sing the dough, and make a lighter bis cuit. There are three principal varieties of the yeast or fermented B., and the following table gives the ingredients used in their manufacture from a sack of flour, or 280 lbs.: Water or milk- Dried yeast. Butter. Sugar.
gals. lbs. lbs. lbs.
Oliver • 101 41 35 ..
liendinfr 41 to 5 25 to 30 Cheltenham .. 10+ .... .... 5 Se ft or spired B. are prepared from flour, with much sugar, a great many eggs, some butter, and a small quantity of spices and essences. The eggs tend to give a nice yel low cream-color to the B., which is occasionally imitated by the admixture of a chromate of lead (chronic pillow); but this is dangerous, and has given rise to several cases of poi soning. Several of the soft or spiced B. are referred to in the following table, a sack, or 280 lbs., being the amount of flour employed in each instance: Eggs. Sugar. Butter. flavor.
Orange flower, Tunbridge cakes 930 140 23 Water currants, Citrons and caraways. Volatile salt, Shrewsbury .... 93 93 Cinnamon, ..
Nutmeg or mace. Ginger wafers... 600 112 112 Ginger.
Victoria 730 70 80 Essence of lemon.
The extent to which B. are now consumed may be learned from the fact, that sev eral of the largest biscuit-manufactories each prepare and throw into market every week from 30.000 to 50.000 lbs. weight of B. of various kinds. One of the largest and most complete biscuit-manufactories in England is that of Carr at Carlisle, whose biscuits, sold in tin-boxes, are well-known, Another bakery of this kind is that of Harrison of Liverpool.