Get your doublet and hose ready for a right Tudor knees-up. These traditional Tudor biscuits are flavoured with prized spices – caraway, aniseed and mace.
For the dough
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 375g/13oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- ½ tsp ground aniseed
- ½ tsp ground mace
- 60g/2¼oz unsalted butter, cubed
- 150g/5½oz caster sugar
- 1 large or 2 small unwaxed lemons, finely grated zest only
- 3 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
Line two large baking trays with baking parchment.
Place the caraway seeds in a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. Sieve the caraway, flour, aniseed and mace together into a bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs and bring the mixture together to form a soft dough.
Divide the dough into four balls weighing 65g/2½ and four balls weighing 85g/3oz (you might have a little leftover). Place the dough balls on one of the prepared trays, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.
Knead the four smaller pieces of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll using your fingertips into a 30cm/12in rope. Knot into double knots and place on one of the lined trays.
Shape the remaining four larger pieces of dough into long ropes and cut away a quarter of each rope. Lay out (as pictured) into Celtic knots, using the reserved dough to make the rings that sit on top. Place them directly onto the other lined tray. (The double knots will take an extra 5–10 minutes longer to bake, so don’t mix shapes on the baking trays.)
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake the Celtic knots for 15–20 minutes, until golden-brown and the double knots for 20–25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.