Baking-Powder Biscuits

July 9, 1918 – Full diary entry:

“Had a field problem in the rain. Went up on the mountainside.

Bkg. Pwd. Biscuits for supper tonight.”

Sometimes Robert’s short diary entries make it difficult for me to find something extra to add. Today was not one of those times, because of course I was going to find out everything I could about baking-powder biscuits during the first world war.

Biscuits, US Army, 1910   

In the aftermath of the Spanish American War the US Army transitioned from being a small frontier force to one responsible for an ever-expanding global mission. The expansion and modernization of the US Army and its logistics is reflected in the cooking manuals of 1910 and afterwards. All biscuit ingredients were now scaled by weight, a small amount of sugar was added, and the fat content more than doubled. This version of the biscuit remained in use until 1935.

Yield: 4 servings (8 biscuits)
10.7 oz  flour

1.3 oz fat (lard preferred)

1 tsp  sugar

¾ tsp  salt

2 tsp baking powder

6.75 fl oz cold water or milk


1.      Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together and mix well.

2.      Work the fat into the mixture.

3.      Add the water and mix into a soft dough. Do not over-mix.

4.      Roll out about one-half inch thick.

5.      Cut out with a biscuit cutter and place in a baking pan, about ½-inch apart.

6.      Bake in a 400°F (205°C) oven for about 10 minutes. 

Where was Robert today? See the timeline.

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