Five Roses Tea Biscuits

These old-fashioned tea biscuits are simple to make and delicious!

Five Roses Tea Biscuits

Origin: Lachine Canal National Historic Site
Region: Quebec
Period: 20th century - present
Course: Breads and Pancakes

Lachine Canal Photo of Lachine Canal
© Library and Archives Canada

Ogilvie Flour Mills has operated two flour mills along the Lachine Canal in Montreal since the beginning of the 19th century. For a time, Ogilvie’s was the biggest flour mill in the world, processing 300,000 bushels of grain into 6000 100-lb bags of flour per hour. The factory stacks of the mill joined many others along the Lachine Canal, which was once a hub of industrial food production in Montreal. Neighbours of the mill included Redpath Sugar, Canada Malting, and Loney’s Chocolate Factory.

The flashing “Farine Five Roses” factory sign that sits atop Ogilvie’s headquarters has long been a landmark for Montrealers, securing its place in the industrial history of the city.

Five Roses Tea Biscuits


  • 4 cups | 970 g of Five Roses Flour
  • 2 tbsp | 30 g baking powder
  • 1 tsp | 5 g salt
  • 1 tsp | 5 g sugar (to taste)
  • 1 cup | 230 g butter, in small cubes
  • 2 cups | 500 ml milk


  • Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl until the ingredients are evenly combined. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal, then add the milk and mix gently.
  • Turn the dough out on a floured surface and roll 8 to 10 times until dough is approximately ¾" (2 cm) thick.
  • Cut out biscuit shapes to your liking or use a cookie cutter to make biscuits. You can re-use leftover dough – just combine and roll out again. Put biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and place in oven.
  • Bake at 375°F (190°C) for about 30 minutes or 425°F (220°C) for 15 to 20 minutes.


Recipe tested by Chef David Fairbanks, Algonquin College of Hospitality and Tourism

The original Five Roses Baking Powder Biscuit recipe comes from the Ogilvie Flour Mill’s publication, Ogilvie’s Book for a Cook: Old Recipes from Canada, which was compiled in 1885 but enjoyed such popularity that it was reissued several times. The first editions are attributed to Kate Aitken