Amundsen's Arctic Biscuits

September 10th 
Whilst in Tromso, Norway this year see post here , we made the obligatory stop at the Polar museum, dedicated to the adventure of past great explorers.  None more famous than Roald Amundsen.  Notoriously famous in the UK for beating Scott to the Antarctic by 35 days in 1911.  Amundsen is the first person to have reached both poles and did so in 1926 when he made it to the North Pole.  He died two years later on a rescue mission in the Arctic whilst trying to help an Italian explorer, his body has never been found.

Whilst mooching through the museum I came across a free postcard with the recipe on the front of biscuits that were made for Amundsen and his men as they headed towards the North Pole.  I took one and thought to give them a go.  Last week end we had lots of  'boatie' people staying at our house and decided this would be a great time to make said biscuits and see what everyone thought.  We believe they were made by Mrs Klausen.  It is said that she made him approximately 7500 biscuits or 50kg, they last for ages if kept air tight.  And it is noted that he wrote to her saying that her oatmeal biscuits had made it easier for them to work in such harsh conditions.  Records show that Amundsen drank hot chocolate and these biscuits, whilst Scott drank tea and biscuits made from white flour, how true this is, I do not know...  But I do know that these biscuits are moorish and fairly healthy as biscuits go.
Amundsen statue outside Polar musemn, Tromso

 Mrs Klausen's biscuits

Free postcard from the Polaris museum,
recipe for Amundsen's biscuits

You will need:

500g oatmeal
500g butter
100g sugar
6 large teaspoons of baking powder
500ml cold milk
500g plain flour

♥   Melt the butter and sugar.
♥   Blend in the cold milk to the melted mixture, then add the oatmeal.  Leave covered with a tea towel overnight.
♥   Mix in the baking powder with half of the flour and knead in.  The remainder of the flour will be used when rolling out.
♥   Take a small amount of mixture and roll out, adding flour in to make it easier to knead and roll out, but not too thin, perhaps to a depth of 5mm.  Cut out shapes with a biscuit cutter and place on a lined baking tray.
♥   Bake in a preheated medium temperature oven.  This is an old recipe and therefore did not come with a temperature!  I put my biscuits in at about 130 degrees C. 
♥   The biscuits should be cooked until slightly golden, they will crisp up, so keep an eye on them.  Mine took about 20 minutes to bake.

This recipe makes about 100 biscuits using a medium sized biscuit cutter.  I halved mine and made 50! Although, now I realise how long they can last, I will make the full quantity next time.

NOTE:  When returning to the mixture the following morning, do not be put off and think it has gone wrong.  Just follow the instructions and all will be well!

Our Arctic biscuits a la Amundsen
On first taste, I must confess to not being sure, but decided to finish the biscuit.  I then realised how much I enjoyed it.  They would be excellent with a cup of tea, maybe even dunked in the tea!  But with all our boatie friends here, it was unanimous, they were a HIT, but they were especially good as cheese biscuits.  I will be making these again and again.

Amundsen biscuits and cheese
Fun fact:  Roald Dahl was named after this great Norwegian explorer!
Let me know if you make these biscuits
and what you think to them!

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