One cook remembered 500 whacks with an ax for company; 200 whacks for home. The modern food processor makes these almost forgotten biscuits fresh again as an appetizer biscuit filled with country ham or proscuitto.
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon each: sugar, baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, lard or butter, cut into sall pieces
1/3 cup each: milk, water or more as needed
Thin slices proscuitto or country ham, as desired
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor; set aside. Combine shortening and sugar in a bowl. Pulse in the shortening mixture until it resembles coarse meal; set aside.
Stir together the milk and water. With the processor running, slowly pour in the liquid though the feed tube. Process until dough is smooth and shiny, about 2 minutes, stopping as needed to scrape down the side of the bowl.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead several times. Cover; let stand about 3 minutes. Shape dough into small 1-inch balls with your hands. Place on a greased baking sheet. Press down lightly with your palm. Prick each biscuit 3 times with the tines of a fork. Bake until tan and firm, about 18 to 20 minutes.
To serve as an appetizer, cut each biscuit in half horizontally. Add a thin layer of country ham or proscuitto. Makes 4 to 5 dozen.