Old recipes are well-known for being imprecise, especially about temperature, but when they call for a "hot" or "cool" oven we can get a decent idea of what they're talking about. This one:
- INGREDIENTS.—1 lb. of flour, 1/2 lb. of pounded loaf sugar, 1/4 lb. of fresh butter, 2 eggs, 1 small teaspoonful of carbonate of soda.
Mode.—Put the flour (which should be perfectly dry) into a basin; rub in the butter, add the sugar, and mix these ingredients well together. Whisk the eggs, stir them into the mixture, and beat it well, until everything is well incorporated. Quickly stir in the soda, roll the paste out until it is about 1/2 inch thick, cut it into small round cakes with a tin cutter, and bake them from 12 to 18 minutes in rather a brisk oven. After the soda is added, great expedition is necessary in rolling and cutting out the paste, and in putting the biscuits immediately into the oven, or they will be heavy.
Time.—12 to 18 minutes. Average cost, 1s.
Sufficient to make about 3 dozen cakes. Seasonable at any time.
[italics mine] is less clear. Presumably brisk=quick cooking=fairly hot, but that could still be anywhere from say 180°C to 250°C. As I'm considering baking it to see how they turn out, finding a similar modern recipe to copy isn't really possible, because I don't know what constitutes similar: a biscuit (UK)? a scone?
I've asked about another aspect of the same recipe, and the idea of baking it was prmpted by a discussion about the meanings of biscuit at english.se.