Day 29 out of 40
Tonight I was reading about cook, caterer and entrepreneur Annie “Knowles” Fisher and her “beaten biscuits” and how extraordinary she was (is). I am having trouble reading about her in the past tense as she is inspiring me right now thought Verna Laboy’s work to keep this black woman baker story alive. Fisher became famous with her dish of biscuits and ham. They were called “beaten” because before food processors and baking powder the biscuits were beaten for 15 minutes. Later she created her own tools as she scaled her business and became very wealthy.
“Fisher’s recipe included 1 quart of sifted flour, 1/3 cup of pure lard, 1/3 cup of butter, 1 cup of sweetened water, and salt to taste. Ingredients are mixed thoroughly and beaten for 15 minutes to make biscuits light and fluffy. Fisher said beating the biscuits was meant to, “put life into them.”
I will continue reading about Fisher and leave you with the sourdough biscuits I made for tonight’s dinner. I didn’t
Sourdough Whole Grain Biscuit
1 3/4 cup of whole grain flour (mixing with sifted flour makes a light biscuit. For variation use some cornmeal, rye, buckwheat or barley, is so delicious)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
1/2 cup of fat (I used butter)
3/4 cup of fermented flour or discard
2 tablespoon of milk kefir or yogurt
- Preheat oven to 450ºF.
- Combine flours and all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add diced cold butter and mix into flour with hands to make pea sized butter bits in the flour
- Add fermented flour (discard) with the milk kefir or yogurt and blend till mixed and dough comes together.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface, cut into 4 sections, flatten each section into a square, stack onto each other, flatten again, stack again.
- Flatten into a square and cut into squares or rounds.
- Tray of cut biscuits can be put into the freezer for 15 minutes to harden butter.
- Place on a parchment covered cookie sheet or cast iron skillet and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.