After those Chicken and Dumplings I made the other night, I’ve been caught up in the spirit of the American South In fact, I’ve even been walking around the house tawkin’ in a suthern drawl. So, I was fixin’ to make something else from the deep south like fry up some okra or make a casserole or maybe sum’ sweet tea. I haven’t made biscuits in a month of Sundays so I figured I’d satisfy my hankerin’ for buttery, flaky biscuits. I may only be a bumpkin when it comes to Southern cuisine but, I reckon, after countless attempts over the past few years, I’ve got this recipe down pat.
If you haven’t mastered the art of making a perfectly flaky and fluffy biscuit, your attempts have likely yielded biscuits that are sitting on the fine divided line between a cracker and a scone. A good biscuit should have a significant crumb and be as tender as it is buttery. If you tend to produce biscuits that would get better use out of them as hockey pucks or doorstops, this recipe will go a long way in rectifying your past failed attempts. I’ve found that the key to the flaky biscuit is the combination of cake flour and all-purpose flour. Most recipes call for AP flour which will produce a biscuit with a heavier, denser crumb. The cake flour, on the other hand, will produce a tighter and finer crumb. Both of these are desirable qualities in a biscuit, and together they produce a biscuit with the right amount of both.
If you have a grasp of the science of baking like I do, you’re steps ahead of the crowd. Producing a tender biscuit requires you to handle the dough as little as possible so as not to overstimulate the gluten. I find that grating the butter on a cheese grater, allows you to quickly combine the butter with the flour without over-handling it. Some recipes call for you to run the flour and butter in a food processor, but apparently some Southern people consider that a cardinal sin, opting instead to use two forks or two knives or a whatchamadoodle (i.e. a ‘pastry blender’ if you want to get complicated with the terminology;). Other recipes call for eggs, but for fear that I’ll have to say two Hail Mary’s to atone for my indiscretion of using eggs in biscuits, I always keep eggs out of the biscuit mix.
Biscuit-making requires you to roll up your sleeves and really get into the process so a rolling pin has no place in this process. The ingredients are few, but the technique is key in this recipe. The biscuits bake up beautifully and your entire home will begin to fill with the delicious aroma of freshly baked biscuits. When they come out of the oven they are hotter than a goat’s butt in a pepper patch, so if you want them to be extra delicious, that’s the time to slather them with some more butter. And, Oooh, Lord have mercy, these are awfully deeeeeeelicious! Yes ma’am, they are granny-slappin’ good! And if you want biscuits that are gussied up, you can slice them and add homemade marmalade and you’re all set. I didn’t get a lick of work done after making these. I chose a good book, made a warm cup of tea to enjoy with my biscuit and curled up on the couch, as snug as a bug in a rug for the rest of the afternoon.
So, I figure my husband is tiring of my southern colloqualisms or “southern’isms”, and he’s afraid that I’ll want to go to a tractor pull or go four wheeling next, so I’ll quit while I’m ahead and veer away from Southern recipes after this one.
But go ahead and throw your hat in the ring – challenge yourself to forego the boxed Bisquick biscuits and try your hand at making the finest biscuits this side of the border. If I had my druthers, I’d be eating these all day long. Hope y’all enjoy these!
And don’t forget to scroll down to read my secrets to creating a perfectly flaky biscuit!