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I’ve mentioned in other articles and on my blog that in searching for a reference book I’ve misplaced (actually a whole carton of reference books) I came upon a journal that my Grandmother kept imparting recipes, housekeeping tips, crochet patterns and other minute of interest.
In looking through my Grandmother’s collection of recipes I found this one. I also looked up beaten biscuit in some old cookbooks I have, circa 1870’s to 1890’s and 1942.
One old housekeeping book had a recipe from a Mrs. Dr. (I’ll leave a blank here) saying that any poor woman didn’t need to use baking soda to make good biscuits for her family when a mere half-hour of beating could produce this healthy biscuit for their consumption. Since, historically, most poor women worked at other jobs such as maid, laundress, cook, seamstress and, after the beginning of the industrial age, in factories for twelve to fourteen hours a day, six days a week, I considered this to be a snarky comment.
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I don’t ever remember my grandmother using this recipe, but out of curiosity, I decided to do so.
My grandmother’s recipe for beaten biscuits
- A quart of flour (4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons of lard and butter of equal portions.
- Mix with skimmed milk or milk left from churning until you have a soft dough.
- Beat for fifteen minutes.
- Roll out, cut into biscuits.
- Prick with fork and bake quickly in a hot oven.
And yes it did say fifteen minutes. When I went to my old American Woman’s Cookbook (circa 1942, Victory edition) I found a recipe for beaten biscuit. It recommended beating them for 30 minutes. 425º is the recommended oven temperature.
I also found several other recipes for beaten biscuit in Housekeeping in Old Virginia ©1879.
Interesting, mostly like a thick cracker except not as salty.
This is only something to do if you are really interested in old recipes and methods of cooking. Otherwise just make up a batch of biscuits using Jiffy Mix.
Incidentally, I’ve still not found my copy of The Arabian: A Guide for Owners by Sharon Byford and Kari Albiol or The Arabian, War Horse to Show Horse by Gladys Brown Edwards, but I have gotten my various reference books a lot better organized now. I also found a book about Arabians by Lady Wentworth that went through a flood in 1975. If anyone knows how to unstuck pages without destroying them I’d like to know about it.
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