My family adored homemade beaten biscuits, and in the back of my mind I can still hear the pounding of that dough out-of-doors atop an old tree trunk. The dough was made and placed on a heavy flat surface. It was beaten vigorously (one book I know instructs the cook to “use boys to do it”) at least 200 times, until the dough was very white and stiff. It was then rolled out until thin, cut into small circles, and baked. Ideally, each biscuit should be filled with very thin slices of Southern ham. No modern cookbooks, for obvious reasons, give a serious recipe for these biscuits. I do here, for the record. But I also offer a modernized version made in a food processor. The results are fair but cannot compare with those beaten with anguish.
© 1987 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.