Beaten Biscuits

Preparation info

  • Yields about

    5 to 6 dozen

    , depending upon size
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Bill Neal's Southern Cooking

Bill Neal's Southern Cooking

By Bill Neal

Published 1985

  • About

Beaten biscuits are a symbol of the Old South, when time and labor weren’t luxuries but a way of life. They still appear at fancy parties, and especially weddings, sandwiched with wafer-thin country ham. At such events, they rarely exceed a inch diameter.


  • 4 cups (488 g) flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) lard
  • 1 cup (235 ml) cold water
  • tablespoons (23 g) melted butter


    Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together. With the fingertips or blending fork, work the lard into the flour until the fat is completely and evenly dispersed. Make a well in the center of the mixture, add the water all at once, and stir with the wooden spoon until it is well mixed. Turn out and knead until dough is smooth, approximately 25 strokes.

    Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Using 10 strokes at a time, begin beating the dough with a mallet, cleaver, or rolling pin into a rectangle approximately 15 by 6 inches (38 × 15 cm). Fold the rectangle into thirds, turn 90 degrees to the right, and repeat. Do this at least 30 times (300 strokes, 500 for company). Roll out to a ½ inch ( cm) thickness and cut with a cutter dipped in flour. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and brush the tops with melted butter.

    Prick with a fork and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, then raise heat to 350°F (177°C) and bake 10 minutes until slightly browned.