Recipe by Kevin Ryan
"This is the traditional biscuit of the ham-loving South. In days gone by, these were made by beating the dough until it blistered (about 15-30 minutes). It was then baked, and each biscuit sliced in half to receive a paper-thin slice of incredible salt cured ham. Today, you could use the food processor or a biscuit brake (usually nothing more than a converted washing wringer) to make the dough "snap.""
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1 1/2 tablespoons
lard, chilled and cut into small pieces
Beaten biscuits aren't supposed to be fluffy! They are more like crackers. The photo looks about right.
"Beaten biscuits" were beaten because there was no baking powder or baking soda to be the leavening agent. So, you beat the dough to cause it to blister or rise. Also, water was never in them and it was butter, not lard. I have at least 5 old Kentucky recipe books and the ingredients are identical in each one of them, one going back to 1908! Just find one that has only flour, sugar, butter, salt and enough milk to hold them together. By the way, I make my old Kentucky version every week, with a food processor, and it takes 5 minutes and they turn out flawlessly, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes of baking time. They are softer than Carr's Water biscuits but are not a baking powder biscuit.
I am dying to find a biscuit brake! In case I find a wringer washer how do I convert it?
This recipe didn't work very well for me. Maybe I didn't beat the dough enough...anyway, the dough didn't rise and the biscuits were rather flat. The taste was good, but I was expecting these amazingly fluffy biscuits. BTW, my husband thinks I am a complete nut for trying this recipe. I think his comment was "Just make regular biscuits!" as I was beating the tar out of these. Thanks for letting me try something different. Wish I had a biscuit brake like they just to use, I saw one once in a tour of an old Southern home. PS Did not use the lard, used real butter instead.
i am 99% sure if i remember correctly there are only 3 ingredients in the original beaten biscuits and that would be the flour lard and i think butter the baking powder was left out and when you used a brake you would send it through about 150 times to trap air in the biscuit the more time through the more air was trapped
My husband calls these "hard tack" but my family LOVES beaten biscuit and ham. They are also good toasted with butter and jam. They will NEVER rise like regular biscuit - that's what makes them special. My Mom was from KY and she ordered these special from there. My cousin has a break and makes the very best ones!! My nephew makes them in a bread machine somehow.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Serving Size: 1/24 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 26
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