Published 10:35 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016
In the days before Baking Powder was available across the United States, the women of East Texas and other southern and western women literally beat air into the biscuits. This was done by over kneading the dough or the quicker method of beating the dough with a rolling pin. This air beaten into the dough would cause it to rise as it cooked. At this time a good cook would have been known for her light and fluffy biscuits. If you did not work enough air into the dough you would have something literally like a hockey puck. Some young brides who had not achieved the art of beating air into their biscuits became the targets of mean little boys who found entertainment in going through the trash heap and gathering up the disposed of biscuits and throwing them at the roof or the side of the house. Of course the noise and shouts of joy drew the attention of other housewives on that street and so it was a great embarrassment to the poor young bride. Often times one of these more experienced housewives would take the young bride “under their wing” and teach her, her own secret recipe for beaten biscuits.
Recipe for Beaten Biscuits –
Take two quarts sifted flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sweet lard, and one egg; make into a dough by adding one cup of sweet milk or water and stirring thoroughly. Pat out on floured dough board, and beat until dough blisters and cracks. Pull off two-inch squares of dough, roll with hands into balls, flatten and stick with a fork. Bake in “quick oven” (400° F.). It isn’t beating hard that makes the biscuits nice, but beating with a regular motion. Beating hard kills the dough!