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Small pieces of toasted or fried bread, usually served in soup or broth, or with meat, or used for dipping into gravy, etc. Known from the 13th Century up to Mrs.B. "Serue your broth with meate vppon Sippets" says 'The Good Huswifes Jewell' of 1596. (Huswife 1596). While modern 'croutons' or fried bread tend to be miserably rectangular, older receipts offer the option of much more interesting shapes.

Shaped sippets

Original Receipt from 'The English Cookery Book' edited by JH Walsh Walsh 1859;

Sippets Of Bread To Garnish Hashes.
342. May be made by simply toasting slices of bread an inch in thickness; paring off the crusts, and cutting the slices into angular pieces. Or, by cutting the bread in the shape of common sippets, soaking them for three quarters of an hour with a spoonful of cream gently dropped upon each, and then frying them in butter of a light brown; after which they must be drained on a cloth by the fire, and served hot and dry. If as an ornamental garnish, they may be cut in shapes with a paste-cutter.

Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)

FRIED SIPPETS OF BREAD (for Garnishing many Dishes).
425. Cut the bread into thin slices, and stamp them out in whatever shape you like, - rings, crosses, diamonds, &c. &c. Fry them in the same manner as the bread crumbs, in clear boiling lard, or clarified dripping, and drain them until thoroughly crisp before the fire. When variety is desired, fry some of a pale colour, and others of a darker hue.

426. Proceed as above, by frying some slices of bread cut in any fanciful shape. When quite crisp, dip one side of the sippet into the beaten white of an egg mixed with a little flour, and place it on the edge of the dish. Continue in this manner till the border is completed, arranging the sippets a pale and a dark one alternately.

Although the word 'Sippet' has pretty much fallen out of use in England, it is preserved by a well-known Australian brand...

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