Ok, so we all know I like to play with old recipes. I have been downloading e-books onto my Nook (www.nook.com) from Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) and I've found a storehouse of cookbooks dating back from the 1600's! Colour me happy happy happy. I read these things like novels.
There are loads of recipes just waiting to come back into fashion and I have decided that I am the one to do it. Now, that being said, there are a number of recipes that won't make the 'current' cut. I mean I'm all for 'offal' but when you start stewing heads and eyeballs, not many soccer moms are going to jump on the innards bandwagon. I know this to be true, most of them won't even try my Marmite. Anyway, I'm trying to keep my research relatively reasonable and BINGO, I found something cool.
Beaten biscuits. They don't date back to the 1600's by any stretch and were probably made pretty frequently and regularly in the 40's and 50's and maybe even 60's but I haven't heard of them lately and they're my new thing! I made a batch this morning and I'm currently eating them, in the name of research of course.
Here they are, take a look then we'll talk about how I got them here
These aren't as flaky by any stretch of the imagination of classic biscuits. They have a roll like quality. They are moist and pull apart in layers very much like those you find in a round can at the store. I like the fact they're not dry in your mouth at all and not too 'stodgy' either. They have a superior flavor which is the name of the game. I think I like them, very much. I think they'd be fantastic with a slice of ham inside or something else savory. I might make larger versions this weekend and use them in my killer biscuit sausage egg and cheese weekend sandwich.
I may add a little sugar next time and update you on whether that makes a massive change in them. I ate them with butter, warm, with butter and jam at room temp. I think these are worth a make. One of the nice things is you can take out all manner of frustration beating the dough with a rolling pin. After the week I've had, that was the most joyful part of the experiment.
Here's what I did:
1 cup a/p flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick margarine (4 Tbsp) (because all the old books SAY to use margarine and I think it works great)
1/4 cup + 2Tbsp milk
Mix dry ingredients, rub the margarine in until it's like sand and add the milk in one go. Mix with a fork and turn the dough onto a floured board. Knead until it's a soft dough barely not sticky anymore (how descriptive is that?) Don't add too much flour, we want this dough soft and easy to work with, too much flour and it'll be too firm to fold even after you've beaten it.
Beat the ball of dough with a rolling pin about 10 times, fold the dough in half and do it again. I did this about 10 times. Roll the dough about 1/4 inch and fold it in half. Cut the folded dough with a cutter, I used the smallest I have, so I got 14 mini beaten biscuits out of it. You can make them any size you want. I like smaller, you can justify eating more of them if they're tiny. By my math, 10 little ones equals one large one.
Lay them in a circle pattern on a greased cast iron pan. Bake at 400 until they're done, lightly brown, which today took 15 minutes.
Eat and let me know what you think!!