Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 4 cups all-purpose flour

  2. 1 teaspoon salt

  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons lard -- or vegetable

  4. 1 3/4 cups water -- up to

  5. (The oldest and most famous biscuit recipe of the Chesapeake Bay region originated on the plantations of southern Maryland. The traditional preparation can be termed, at the very least, a culinary cardiovascular- aerobic exercise.

  6. Its execution is best described by Joanne Pritchett, whose great-great grandmother was a cook on a St. Mary's plantation: "Honey, every time I know I'm going to make these biscuits, I get myself good and mad. Normally I think about my sister-in-law, Darlene, who ran off with my husband right after Granny Pritchett's funeral. That was years ago, but it still galls me into making some of the tenderest biscuits around.")

  7. "It's very simple. I just sift the flour and salt together in a bowl. Some people, nowadays, like to use Crisco or something like that. But I believe in lard. It gives it that certain taste.

  8. "So then, I cut the lard into the flour with the tips of my fingers, working it real quick. During this step I make believe I'm putting out Darlene's eyes.

  9. "Then, little by little, I pour in the cold water, until I get a good stiff dough. Put it on a real solid table with flour. Now if your table is weak, honey, the legs'll fall right off. I've seen it happen!

  10. "Depending on my mood, I use an axe or a big old mallet. I make a ball out of the dough to look like Darlene's head and, baby, I let her have it. Use the flat side of the axe or mallet, and beat the hell out of the dough till it blisters good. Takes about half an hour, but honey, it makes them tender as butter.

  11. 425?F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot and put some liniment on your arm, or it'll be acting up the next day."

  12. Makes about 3 dozen biscuits


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