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Are beaten biscuits really biscuits? how do you make them?

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I've heard that beaten biscuits are even better than patted or rolled biscuits, but I've never knowlingly eaten them.
The folks I knew who extolled the merits of beaten biscuits are no longer on this earth but all remembered the time and amount of beating that preparation required.

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  1. Yes, they're really biscuits and a traditional accompaniment to thinly sliced country ham. I made them many years ago. No way would I have the stamina to do it now! They're called "beaten" because you beat the dough with something like a mallet (I used a rubber tipped big hammer). The dough gets nice and blistery after a long time. The outside is crunchy and the inside should be biscuity. I've heard that the dough can be "worked" in a food processor, or running it through a coarse setting of a meat grinder. You could google a recipe. It's probably something to be tried, at least once, just for the "fun" of it. I remember my right arm was pretty much out of commission for a few days, after the first time I made them.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Pat Hammond

      There also used to be an appliance (non-electric of course) called a biscuit break which would blister the dough for you and then there was the old tree stump and side of an axe. Closest thing I have found commercially and notice I said closest, not the real thing, were Common Crackers if you can even find those anymore.

      1. re: Candy

        Common Crackers are still available from The Vermont Country Store, though they don't have the tender interior a good beaten biscuit has.

        1. re: GVDub

          I know, but as I said they seem to be the closest commercially available similar product. Nothing like that is ever as good without the blood, sweat and tears.

        2. re: Candy

          The stump and axe method would work, I'm sure. Since I lived over another family, I took mine outside and beat it up on a board placed on the front walk. I've also used a cutting board placed on the floor (first floor apt.). It's a real adventure, if it doesn't kill you. :) And they are worth the effort.

          1. re: Candy

            Classic Joy of Cooking has a recipe for these. It says the beating process takes 1/2 hr or more.

            It also has a recipe for Ship's Biscuits, which it claims are a simpler version of Beaten Biscuits. In some parts of the country (and Canada) you can still buy 'pilot bread', for example Sailor Boy brand in Washington and Alaska, Diamond brand in Hawaii, Crown (Nabisco) in New England (?). These are more like robust saltines than baking powder biscuits.

            paulj