The garibaldi biscuit was first made in Bermondsey, south London, by Peek Freans, a tea company. It was similar to traditional biscuits at the time – dry, square and ideal for sustenance on long journeys. Maybe this is why I find them perfect for both a long bike ride and to complement a good cup of tea. It is a simple biscuit with a lovely crumbly texture and fruity chew. Traditionally, the garibaldi biscuit features currants, but adding barberries gives a tangy edge, while fennel seeds bring a lingering aniseed sweetness and toasted hazelnuts offer a satisfying crunch.
60g plain flour
45g wholemeal plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
25g unsalted butter
15g caster sugar
1 medium egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
30g chopped roasted hazelnuts
1 tsp fennel seeds
A little extra milk and caster sugar for sprinkling
Put the flours, baking powder, butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and rub until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg and vanilla with a fork and add to the mixture. Then add the milk a little at a time until it comes together as a soft dough (you may not need it at all).
Shape into a square, and then wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 mins. Heat the oven to 210C (190C fan)/410F/gas mark 7.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to 20cm by 30cm. Sprinkle the barberries, currants and nuts over half the surface, fold the other half over, sprinkle over the fennel seeds and roll out so it’s once again 20cm by 30cm.
Trim the edges, then cut into 14 fingers (remember to bake the offcuts, too).
Transfer to a lined baking tray, brush with milk and sprinkle lightly with caster sugar. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until nicely golden at the edges.