Beaten Biscuits Recipe -
Beaten Biscuits Recipe
  • READY IN 40 mins

Beaten Biscuits

Recipe by  

"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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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 dozen Change Servings
  • PREP

    25 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    40 mins


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar together. Use a fork to "cut" the lard into the flour until it looks like coarse meal. Using a standing mixer, or a wooden spoon, mix the dough as you slowly add the cream. Mix well to form the dough into a ball, adding water if needed.
  3. Place the dough onto a tabletop, and knead slightly. With a mallet or a one-piece rolling pin, beat the dough a few times to form it into a rough rectangle. Fold the dough over, and then beat it out again. Repeat this process until the dough becomes white and blisters form on the surface, about 15 minutes.
  4. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 2 inch rounds, and prick the top a few times with the tines of a fork. Place on greased baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 11, 2003

I am dying to find a biscuit brake! In case I find a wringer washer how do I convert it?

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 08, 2010

"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.


7 Ratings

Jun 13, 2008

Beaten biscuits aren't supposed to be fluffy! They are more like crackers. The photo looks about right.

Apr 24, 2008

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.

May 04, 2009

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

Nov 23, 2009

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.


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  • Calories
  • 67 kcal
  • 3%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 8.9 g
  • 3%
  • Cholesterol
  • 4 mg
  • 1%
  • Fat
  • 2.9 g
  • 4%
  • Fiber
  • 0.3 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 1.2 g
  • 2%
  • Sodium
  • 31 mg
  • 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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