Monday, January 12, 2015
Word of the Week - Biscuit
Last week, I made some truly beautiful southern-style biscuits (click the photo for the recipe). And oh, how delicious they were!! Of course, this being my family, the mere bread itself wasn't the only thing we worked on. My awesome children also had to ask, "So if they call cookies biscuits in England...then what do they call biscuits?"
I know I have some English followers, so perhaps Elisabeth will chime in (hi, Elisabeth! LOL), but from my research, here's what I found. As I stood there with flour on my shirt, the table still a mess, and my lovely white rounds rising in the oven. ;-)
The current spelling of biscuit is from the 19th century--earlier it was bisket (16th century) or besquite (14th century). It comes from the Old French besquit, a word from the 12th century that literally meant "twice cooked." The idea of a baked good actually came about in the French because it was so close a cognate with the Italian biscotto, which meant "(bread) twice baked."
The American biscuit is first recorded in about 1818. Our idea of calling the baked sweet cookie was taken from the Dutch koekje, which means "little cake." (You will in fact find many colonial recipes for things like "little sugar cakes"...which are just sugar cookies.)
But to answer my kids' original question, I had to keep looking. What do they call our biscuits?? Well, there are scones...but scones are generally sweet, not the type of thing to dip in soup. Rolls are yeasty, as are buns.
So we eventually found this answer: the American biscuit just exist elsewhere, LOL, so there's no name for it. There we go. ;-) And now I'm hungry!
Be sure to stop by tomorrow for links to a cover reveal for another of my designs!!