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Foodie treats for under £2.00: Fortt’s Bath Oliver Biscuits

Photo: Bath Oliver Biscuits

Photo: Bath Oliver Biscuits

Shopping with my mum I reached for a pack of Bath Oliver biscuits and was shocked to see that they were £1.85 (price matched with Tesco). My hand hovered. I love these crackers but could I justify spending almost two quid on them?

These biscuits were invented by Dr William Oliver in the mid 1700’s. Dr Oliver was a medical man and philanthropist. The biscuits were designed as a diet biscuit for his obese clients who were taking the waters in Bath. He died leaving his secret recipe, £100 and some sacks of flour to his coachman, Atkins. The lucky Mr Atkins went on to make a fortune with these biscuits.

My mum introduced me to these in the 1960’s as possibly the best biscuit to eat with cheese. Then she discovered chocolate Bath Oliver’s – a real treat for chocoholics with a penchant for dark rich chocolate (they are a great foodie present too for just under a fiver). I put a tin of these in D’s stocking this Christmas, forgetting that he doesn’t eat dark chocolate so had a very enjoyable ramble through the tin during January.

The plain biscuits are great with Davidstow cheddar or just eaten alone with a cup of sweet tea mid morning. The Min Pins love them too.

“Surely you could make something similar. They can’t be more than flour and water.” My mum is always enthusiastically optimistic, when it comes to what I might be able to do.

I peered at the ingredients on the side of the pack
‘Wheat flour, butter oil, vegetable oil, salt, whole milk powder, malt extract, raising agent (ammonium bicarbonate), yeast, hops.’
No wonder they taste so good.

Not having hops and ammonium bicarbonate to hand I slipped a pack into the trolley. But since then I have been looking for a similar recipe to the ‘secret’ Bath Oliver one. I have discovered a lot of interesting biscuits but had failed to find a recipe for a simple savoury biscuit on a par with the Bath Oliver.

Then this evening I found this link. With a recipe! No hops or malt extract but it’s a start.

Watch this space. It could be biscuit shaped.

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  1. james meacham

    why is it impossible to find someone who has these in stock, I have tried all the supermarkets and local deli shops around the Sussex area. Are they longer being produced?

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