Edna Lewis-inspired Ham Biscuits

by Chef

Serves: 1 1/2 dozen


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup country ham, minced fine
  • 2/3 cup lard
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together sifted flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add lard and blend with your fingertips until mixture has become the texture of corn meal. Add milk all at once and scatter it all over the dough. Add minced ham. Stir vigorously with a heavy-duty wooden spoon. The dough will be very soft in the beginning, but will stiffen in 2-3 minutes. Continue to stir a few minutes longer.

After dough has stiffened, scrape from the sides of the bowl and create a ball. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out biscuit dough. Dip hands into flour and flatten dough by hand. Form a round cake and knead for a minute by folding the outer edges of the dough into the center of the circle. As you fold, overlap the dough ends. Turn the folded-in side face down. Lightly dust with more flour and use a rolling pin to roll dough ½-inch thick. Dust biscuit cutter with flour. Make cuts straight down; do not wriggle the cutter. Cut as close together as possible. Use a heavy-duty cookie sheet or baking pan and bake at 450 degrees for 13 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 3-4 minutes. Serve hot.