You are here

Milk & Sugar Biscuits

A 16th century Italian Recipe, translated into English by Shannon Wanty

From Christoforo di Messisbugo, Banchetti composizioni di vivande e apparecchio generale (Lucio Spineda, Venice, 1610)

pp40v/r Brazzatelle di latte, e zuccaro. (Biscuits of milk, and sugar).

To make 50 biscuits, of four ounces. One takes 15 pounds of flour, three ounces of rose water, three pounds of milk, and two pounds of white sugar, 25 eggs, four ounces of butter, and these things knead together well. Then make your biscuits, following the manner that you would make it, and make them rise with great diligence. And when they will be risen, make your water boil, and throw into it the said biscuits to cook, and when they float1 dig them out, and put them in fresh water, and when yonder you take them to cook on the fire, and if you would want to put anise in, it would work well.

1 This is a conjecture, as I am unable to find the word "verranno" - or a similar one - in Florio. The phrase used at this point is "e come verranno di sopra le cauarai fuori". The end phrase "le cauarai fuori" is more literally to "dig them out", I am basing the floating aspect on the similar recipe in Scappi for ciambelle, which are also cooked in this manner (Book VI, recipe 140). Incidentally Florio gives the phrase "cauar fuori il limbello", meaning  "to utter the worst one knows against anybody".