Thursday, August 29, 2013

Maryland Beaten Biscuits

During my recent Holiday in Iowa I had the opportunity to read a very interesting book entitled "Frederick Douglas for Kids."  This American Hero lived from February 1818 to February 20, 1895.  The book contained many Children's Activities, which would give them first hand experience to see how people lived during the period of his life.  One activity was baking "Maryland Beaten Biscuits" much like were baked by slaves in Maryland.  Here is a series of pictures as I adhered to the recipe to bake these Biscuits.  The recipe will be included at the end of this post.
This is a hands on procedure

I had never baked biscuits in my life to this was a
totally new experience

Placing the dough on a well floured counter as
the directions indicated

Sprinkle flower over the dough in preparation for the
next step in baking the Beaten Biscuits

The recipe called for the use of the side of an
axe to beat the biscuits.  I used the bottom of a
cast iron frying pan.  I placed flour on the pan to
avoid any sticking

Take the opportunity to view the video later
to see me beating the biscuits

Of course some of the flour spilled on the floor.

Rolling the dough after it was beaten for thirty
minutes in 1 1/2 inch balls to place on the baking

Prior to baking puncture each biscuit with a folk

The recipe stated that the yield should be 18.  I
had 16 on the baking sheet

Placing some of the baked biscuits in a pan to transport
to My Bride's Mother.  We enjoyed the biscuits with a slice
of salt ham.

This is the video I mentioned earlier.  It is rather long, but I think you will enjoy my singing.  I composed a brief song to help while I beat the dough for one half hour.

The Recipe for Maryland Beaten Biscuits

4 cups flour
Dash of Salt
1 1/2 tablespoons of lard or vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cup of water

Mixing Bowl
Large Cutting Board
Meat tenderizer or mallet
Cookie Sheet

Place the flour and salt in the mixing bowl and stir together.  Cut in the Lard by pressing it into the flour with the fork.  Pour in the water and mix together by hand.

Put the lump of dough on a lightly floured cutting board.  Be sure to work on a sturdy surface such as a picnic table or sturdy countertop.  Hit the dough repeatedly with the flat side of the meat tenderizer for half an hour, folding it over when it gets thin.  Take turns with your family or friends.  

When you are finished, roll small pieces of dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet.  Prick the top of each ball with a fork.  Bake at 425 degrees for 26 minutes.  Makes 18 biscuits.

Note:  The dough was placed on a clean tree stump and pounded with the flat side of an ax for half an hour.  The more it was pounded, the lighter the biscuits would be.

Blog Post Editor Comments:  The biscuits tasted good.  We placed a slice of smoked and salted ham in each Biscuit.  My Bride, My Mother-in-Law and I enjoyed them the evening of March 28, 2013 for our Supper.  

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