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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Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
15 mins
total:
40 mins
Servings:
24
Yield:
2 dozen
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Ingredients

24
Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Nutrition Facts

67 calories; protein 1.2g; carbohydrates 8.9g; fat 2.9g; cholesterol 4.2mg; sodium 30.9mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (6)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/12/2003
I am dying to find a biscuit brake! In case I find a wringer washer how do I convert it? Read More
(14)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
02/08/2010
"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. Read More
(23)
7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
02/08/2010
"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. Read More
(23)
Rating: 5 stars
04/11/2003
I am dying to find a biscuit brake! In case I find a wringer washer how do I convert it? Read More
(14)
Rating: 4 stars
06/13/2008
Beaten biscuits aren't supposed to be fluffy! They are more like crackers. The photo looks about right. Read More
(13)
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Rating: 3 stars
04/24/2008
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. Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
05/04/2009
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 Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2009
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. Read More
(4)
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