Historic Baking: 1930's Biscuit Recipe

What did people bake in the 1930's? Bake this biscuit recipe at home for a taste of vintage French baking.
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Olivia Higgs
Nov 14
1.5 mins
Nov 14
1.5 mins

Take a trip back in time to 1936 for some vintage cooking. This retro recipe is for Bretzels Fondants - a tea biscuit which tastes a bit like shortbread, and it comes from the cookbook L’Art Culinary Moderne by Henri-Paul Pellaprat who was a chef and co-founder of the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. The original recipe uses crushed anise as a flavoring but you can try your own such as, vanilla exract, earl grey, matcha, spices, citrus, nuts, floral waters and herbs. You can also bring in different textures like crushed nuts, candied oranges or caramel chunks.


  • 125g (1 cup) flour
  • 75g (1/3 cup) softened butter
  • 20g (1/4 cup) sucre
  • a pinch of crushed anise (or another flavoring of your choice)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg

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Add all the ingredients into a bowl and combine into a dough. Divide the dough into pieces about the size of “a pigeon’s egg” and roll into. Roll the pieces into little sausages about the thickness of a finger in the middle and thinner at the ends. Take the ends and bring them to the middle to form the shape of a “pince-nez” (see photo below) and with a bit of egg wash seal the joints - repeat for all. Sprinkle with sugar and put in the oven at 180°C/356°F.

These biscuits feature in our guide on homemade gifts for foodies. Have a read here for inspiration for making homemade condiments, sweet treats, and culinary essentials.

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