Now plain, thin, biscuit, usually of flour and water only with no fats. Commonly baked so as to puff slightly and the raised surfaces to brown.
The name is known at least since advertisements in the North of England during the early 19th Century (eg. Newcastle Courant - Saturday 21 August 1819, p1) where 'water biscuits' seems to be used to denominate a class of biscuit apart from 'butter biscuits'.
The most famous brand, Carrs of Carlisle, now part of United Biscuits, were, in 1841, the first biscuit manufacturer to receive the royal warrant and the first biscuit manufacturer to automate the process.
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