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Marie Biscuit Recipe and Process Guide

Marie Biscuit Recipe and Process Guide

A Marie Biscuits are one of the favorites in The Complete Collections of Biscuit TypesMarie is a classic hard sweet biscuit characterized by an even, attractive colour, texture and good volume.


Other examples of hard sweet biscuits are Petit Buerre, Rich Tea, Arrowroot, Morning Coffee. Doughs for hard sweet biscuits have the following features:

  1. Doughs have strong, developed gluten which gives an elastic dough, which is sheeted and cut. It often shrinks in the first stage of baking.
  2. Doughs have low sugar and fat
  3. Doughs have water contents typically of around 12%
  4. Biscuits are normally baked on a wire-mesh band (except for Marie which is traditionally baked on a steel band)
  5. Humidity in the first part of the baking is important to achieve good volume and a smooth surface sheen
  6. Biscuits are baked to low moisture contents, around 1.5% – 3.0%

Marie Biscuit and  other hard sweet biscuits


Marie is a classic biscuit made throughout Europe and Asia. It has a light, crisp, delicate texture, with pale colour and clear smooth surface. Product specification 
Dimensions:                           66.0 mm diam.
Thickness:                                6.0 mm
Weight:                                     8.3 g
Appearance:                          Smooth surface, clear printing
Colour:                                   Pale golden
Texture:                                 Crisp and light
Moisture:                               1.5%

Marie biscuits are made with medium protein flour and contain SMS to develop a soft extensible dough. The doughs are mixed on horizontal mixers to a temperature of 40-42oC. The dough is sheeted and cut and is traditionally baked on a steel band.

Formulation (1) (2)
Flour 100.00 100.00
Cornflour 4.41 4.10
Maize flour 14.70  –
Granulated sugar 25.59 21.67
Invert syrup 80% 7.94 6.67
Butter  – 4.87
Whey powder 1.67
Margarine  – 10.00
Shortening 11.03  –
Lecithin 0.57 0.50
Salt 0.88 0.70
Soda 0.67 0.58
ACP 0.08 0.16
Protease 0.02 0.02
SMS 10% solution 0.02 0.02
Whole liquid egg 3.33
Ammonium bicarbonate 0.73 0.33
Water 26.47 17.95


Recipe (1) is a good standard Marie, Recipe (2) is a higher quality product. Critical ingredients 

  • flour should not exceed 9.0% protein. Higher protein will result in a hard biscuit.
  • cornflour and maize flour are used to reduce the total gluten content and make a more tender eating biscuit.
  • SMS will modify the protein to make a soft extensible dough.
  • Marie biscuits are made with medium protein flour and contain SMS to develop a soft extensible dough. The doughs are mixed on horizontal mixers to a temperature of 40-42 degrees C. The dough is sheeted and cut and is traditionally baked on a steel band.


An “all in one mix” on a horizontal mixer. Mixing is critical to developing the soft extensible dough. A mixing action which kneads the dough without too much tearing and extruding is ideal. Mixing time on a typical high speed mixer will be 20-25 minutes. Marie doughs are mixed until the required temperature is achieved. The dough should reach 40-42oC. At this temperature it should be well kneaded and of correct consistency for machining. Higher dough temperatures result in unstable doughs. The dough is used straight away without standing and it is important to maintain the temperature.

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The dough may be laminated, but doughs made with SMS are usually sheeted without lamination. Dough scrap incorporation is very important and should be very even and consistent. The temperature of the scrap dough should be as close as possible to the temperature of the new dough. Dough sheet reduction should be gentle and should not exceed the ratio of 2.5:1.

Typical roll gaps are:

Forcing roll gap on sheeter:                 18.0 mm
Gauging gap on sheeter:                         9.0 mm
1st gauge roll                                              5.7 mm
2nd gauge roll                                             2.5 mm
Final gauge roll                                          1.1 mm  (Cutting thickness: 1.3 mm)

The doughs shrink and require good relaxation before cutting. Separate cutting and printing rolls on the rotary cutter are recommended to achieve good, clear printing and docker holes, (piercing of holes in the dough pieces).

Errebi cutter design for Marie Biscuit

Cutter design for Maria showing the docker pin arrangement. Note the dough piece is cut as an oval shape to compensate for shrinkage during baking. Drawing and design by Errebi Technology

Steam may be used at the oven entry to achieve a high humidity. This will improve the surface finish of the biscuit.

Baking time:               5.0 – 6.5 minutes
Temperatures:            200 / 220 / 180oC
Moisture:                     Less than 1.5%

A hybrid oven is ideal with Direct Gas Fired zones followed by Indirect Radiant or Convection zones. The convection zones will dry the product well and ensure an even bland colour, but care must be taken to ensure a low moisture gradient between the centre of the biscuit and the surface, otherwise the product will be prone to “checking”. Adequate baking and cooling time are required.

Direct Gas Fired - Indirect Radiant Oven for Marie Biscuit

Baker Pacific Direct Gas Fired/Indirect Radiant oven


A ratio of cooling to baking time should be at least 1.5:1. This will help to avoid checking (cracking of the biscuits after packaging due to an internal moisture gradient).

Ingredient specifications


The flour shall be milled from good quality soft wheat, free from infestation and impurities, especially pesticides. The flour shall not be treated with enzymes and shall not contain chemical additives. The appearance shall be a good white colour, free from bran particles. The odour shall be free from mustiness and foreign odours.

Weak flour: Semi-sweet doughs

Starch 74.5
Moisture 14.0
Proteins (gluten forming) 7.0
Proteins (soluble) 1.0
Sugar 2.0
Fat 1.0
Ash (mineral salts) 0.5
Total 100.0


Protein free starch extracted from maize.


The sugar shall be free from impurities and infestation. The appearance shall be a fine, white crystalline solid, free flowing and free from lumps.

The sugar shall have a sweet taste and be free from odours.

Moisture content:       0.06% maximum
Ash content:                0.03% maximum
Particle size:
Caster sugar:         MA = 276 to 300 um  CV = 16 to 26%
Icing sugar:            Maximum held on a 100um sieve 6%
                                  Maximum held on a 60um sieve 13%
                                  Tricalcium phosphate may be added to 1.5% max.


MA      Mean aperture
CV       Coefficient of Variation

Invert syrup 70% 

Syrup of 70% solids made by acid hydrolysis of sucrose. The result is a 50:50 mixture of dextrose and fructose which are both reducing sugars and contribute to the Maillard reaction in baking.

Dough fat / Shortening 

The fat shall be free from impurities and appear clean and bright when melted. The fat should be odourless, free from rancid and foreign flavours. The fat should be produced from good quality crude oils by a process of refining, bleaching and deodorising. It should be made primarily from vegetable oils, but it may contain hydrogenated fish oils.

Free fatty acid (as oleic acid)                                      maximum 0.08%
Peroxide value (milli equivalent per kg)                  maximum 1.0 %
Moisture                                                                         maximum 0.1%
Slip melting point (BS 684 1.3 1976) 34 to 37 degrees C.


Dairy fat solids obtained from milk and plasticised with 16% water.


A blend of fats, usually vegetable fats, plasticised with 16% water.

Whey powder 

A by-product of cheese. Dried whey is fat free.

/h4> A complex natural surfactant obtained from soya beans

Ammonium bicarbonate (“Vol”) (NH4)HCO

A volatile salt, which, when heated liberates carbon dioxide, ammonia gas and water.

                                                                       Min.                Max.

Ammonium bicarbonate                           99.0%
Heavy lead                                                     0                    10ppm
Arsenic                                                           0                     1ppm
Basic magnesium carbonate                      0.5                      1.0

Sodium bicarbonate

The most important aerating agent. When heated it liberates carbon dioxide and water, leaving sodium carbonate as the residual salt. Sodium carbonate has a softening action on gluten and darkens the biscuit.

If sodium bicarbonate is heated, only half the carbon dioxide is released, but if an acid is present all the carbon dioxide is released and there is no softening action on the gluten or darkening of the colour of the biscuit.

ACP – Acid calcium phosphate 

Acid calcium phosphate is also known as monocalcium phosphate. It is fairly soluble in cold water, but for doughs which are used without standing, a good proportion of the reaction takes place during baking. It is used in conjunction with sodium bicarbonate and ammonium carbonate.


Sodium chloride, used as a flavour enhancer and also to control the rate and extent of fermentation.

SMS – Sodium metabisulphite Na2S2O5 

A reducing agent for the modification of the strength of the gluten in doughs

Proteolytic enzyme  

Used to soften the gluten in doughs. A white, fine powder.

Recommended source: Kerry Bioscience

Recommended enzymes: Biobake BSC and Profix 100P

More Our Experts Insights

Visit TechTalks Discussion 

Checking in sweet Laminated Biscuits (Marie) after using hot water in dough
After using hot water (~55°C) to reduce dough mixing time in Marie biscuits line, checking occurrence has increased significantly. Could these two factors be related? I normally associate checking with inadequate moisture removal during baking, or bad cooling conditions, but never with mixing changes or hot water use in dough.

Lab scale: Marie biscuit mould (hand held) 
I am sourcing for Marie biscuit mould (hand held). Stamping and cutting to be done manually. I am located in Malaysia. 

Marie biscuit
I'm making marie biscuits. But when I try to increase the amount of sugar in the recipe, it becomes soft and incoherent. Is there a solution to this problem? In the past, I used to add 10 kilos of sugar to 50 kilos of flour. Now I want to add 13 kilos of sugar to 50 kilos of flour.

Lab scale: marie biscuits
I am doing lab scale marie biscuits. But i have never seen how the Marie biscuit dough looks like especially right after mixing. Is it supposed to be dough-like or crumbly-like? Would like to have advice or share on the below....

Surface Appearance
How to remove the blister appearance on Marie biscuit surface? 

Blisters on marie biscuits
There is a marie recipe with less fat and high water ratio. When producing there is large crust blister on top of the biscuit. We tried to reduce 1st zone temperature to avoid aggressive heat and then moisture was the next problem steam also applying. Dockers was prefect and docker position too. We can't change fat:water ratio and what might be the technological solution for this.

Marie biscuits with soapy taste
Issue: marie biscuit having soapy taste. Root cause I have in mind: imbalance pH, saponification process which happened when ammonia bicarbonate reacted with shortening. Question: Is there any calculation method available to calculate how much ammonia bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate we can add into a recipe in order to have a balanced pH? I wonder if there's any acid needed to balance the pH? If yes, which acid to use? How to calculate how much of the acid to use?

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