I attempted every little thing when it got here to this basic Southern buttermilk biscuit recipe. I used lard, butter, vegetable shortening, and mixtures of all of them. I additionally tried baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt, self-rising flour, and all-purpose flour.
I’m a Yankee, in any case, and taking up the commemorated Southern buttermilk biscuit felt a little bit dangerous.
THE BEST BISCUITS? ASK A SOUTHERN CHEF
That’s why I enlisted my good friend Kurt, who’s from Georgia, to assist. I believed perhaps his mother would know a trick or two, nevertheless it seems his Southern mother makes biscuits from a can. She, like many mothers, resorted to the occasional shortcut to feed a household of massive, hungry males! I don’t blame her one bit!
All was not misplaced; nonetheless, he introduced my biscuit queries to his Southern brethren on Fb and advised me to “buckle up” as a result of we have been about to get a windstorm of responses. More true phrases had by no means been spoken.
All the beautiful Fb responses linked me to Kurt’s good friend, Kevin Clark, proprietor of the celebrated diner, House Grown, situated in Atlanta. One look at his breakfast menu, which boasts 15 biscuit dishes, and it was clear the person knew a factor or two about what it takes to make a correct Southern biscuit.
BISCUITS MADE WITH WHITE LILY FLOUR
Ultimately, the easy recipe made with flour, buttermilk, and vegetable shortening from the again of a bag of White Lily flour gained me over and that’s the recipe you see right here.
The actual fact is a few issues simply don’t have to be improved upon. If a recipe already exists on the earth that’s as simple as blinking and tastes scrumptious, then who am I to alter it? I’d quite have a good time it.
My objective with this submit is to elucidate how one can deal with the dough so that you get an ideal or close to excellent biscuits each time, and why it could be price the additional effort to search out a bag of White Lily Self-Rising Flour.
WHAT TOOLS DO YOU NEED TO MAKE BISCUITS?
A bowl, pastry cutter, fork, and biscuit cutter will do the job. But when your kitchen lacks an arsenal of instruments, simply press the dough into an 7-inch spherical that’s 1-inch thick utilizing your arms, then discover a glass in your cabinet that’s about Three-inches in diameter or bigger.
What’s simpler nonetheless is to type a rectangle out of the dough and reduce it into squares with a knife. Biscuits are humble meals. There isn’t any have to overthink them.
Whereas researching biscuits and assaulting my new Southern mates with questions, I stumbled upon a phrase beforehand unknown to my north-dwelling ears – cathead-sized-biscuits. Apparently, it’s not a correct biscuit if it’s not the dimensions of a cat’s head as soon as it’s baked. Who knew?!
By no means worry, these biscuits meet the requirement, however when you’d prefer to make them bigger be at liberty to make use of a Four-inch biscuit cutter.
WHAT IS THE BEST FLOUR FOR BISCUITS?
Self-rising flour, which has salt and baking powder already added, is the only option for making tender, nation gravy-worthy biscuits.
Southern cooks swear by White Lily, a model of self-rising flour that was initially primarily based within the South and milled from gentle purple winter wheat, which is often grown within the South. This flour has a superb texture and low protein content material, which supplies baked items a fluffy, gentle texture.
I can’t discover White Lily at my native grocery, so I order it on-line.
When you can’t discover White Lily flour, don’t fear—any type of self-rising flour will nonetheless make a very good biscuit; it simply gained’t be fairly as tender as a biscuit made with White Lily. In case you are a biscuit perfectionist otherwise you wish to give your new Southern neighbor a correct welcome basket, it’s price sourcing flour from White Lily.
Different manufacturers of self-rising flour aren’t fairly as superb as White Lily. I discovered throughout my checks dough made with White Lily was wetter, barely sticky and wanted much less time to bake.
If utilizing a model of flour aside from White Lily:
- Add an extra tablespoon of buttermilk to precisely hydrate the dough. It is going to be sticky.
- Bake for 15 minutes quite than the 12 minutes known as for on this recipe.
CAN YOU SUBSTITUTE ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR?
When you don’t have self-rising flour readily available and the thought of working to the shop makes you’re feeling like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, you may substitute all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is normally a mix of exhausting and gentle wheat flours. It would nonetheless yield a good biscuit, however will probably be extra dense than biscuits made with self-rising flour.
Additionally, you will want so as to add your personal salt and leavening: For this recipe, you have to 2 tablespoons baking powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt. I do know it appears like so much. It’s not. Belief me.
WHAT FAT MAKES THE BEST BISCUITS?
My two prime fat for biscuits are chilly butter or room temperature natural vegetable shortening. Butter created a scrumptious, fluffy biscuit, nevertheless it didn’t rise fairly as excessive or create as many flaky layers as vegetable shortening. (I additionally tried lard and had excessive hopes, however the biscuits made with lard have been bland and pale.)
I do know biscuits aren’t well being meals (and neither is the gravy I bury them in), however I favor to not use hydrogenated fat in my cooking (right here’s why). All vegetable shortening from Spectrum Natural gave me the tallest, flakiest, and fluffiest biscuits, chilly unsalted candy cream butter was a detailed second.
Simply know you’ll make a fairly stable biscuit with both fats choice. When you prefer to throw warning to the wind, and your philosophy is YOLO then by all means use Crisco. It really works nice too.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST BISCUITS
When a recipe has so few substances, its success relies on the standard of the substances and the approach utilized in bringing them collectively. For fluffy biscuits, use low protein, self-rising flour, vegetable shortening or butter, and don’t overwork the dough.
- Slowly pour the buttermilk into the flour whereas tossing it along with a fork. The dough will look shaggy earlier than you knead it.
- Gently knead the dough 5 or 6 instances, simply to deliver it collectively. That’s all.
- Roll it out gently with a rolling pin or use your fingers to pat it right into a circle about an inch thick.
- After reducing the biscuits. Don’t knead the scraps once more or the biscuits might be powerful. Simply deliver the scraps collectively, type them right into a biscuit form and go together with a country look.
- The biscuits ought to be touching if you put them on the baking sheet. This helps them rise.
- The biscuits might be light-colored. The underside might be darker, nevertheless it shouldn’t be crisp or exhausting. The biscuit ought to be a slight simply barely golden colour on the highest and straightforward to tear in half.
- Brush the biscuits with butter whereas they’re nonetheless scorching
HOW TO EAT A BUTTERMILK BISCUIT
After making 40 batches of biscuits I can inform you with absolute certainty I really like them piping scorching straight from the oven, dripping with butter and honey. However I additionally love them smeared with strawberry jam or coated in nation gravy loaded with spicy pork sausage. Or reduce in half, unfold with butter, toasted and topped with an egg and cheese. Mainly, I simply love them.
HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE BISCUITS
Biscuits are greatest eaten the day you make them. They solely take minutes to drag collectively so simply plan on making them alongside together with your nation gravy within the morning.
That being mentioned, you’ll have a biscuit or two left over. Retailer them in an hermetic container in your countertop for as much as 5 days. Don’t retailer them within the fridge, or they’ll dry out.
You may also freeze them:
- To freeze unbaked biscuits: Place them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze. When the biscuits are frozen stable, place them in a zip-top bag labeled with cooking directions, and take away as a lot air as doable earlier than sealing it. They may maintain for as much as Three months. Bake them for 15 minutes as a substitute of 12.
- To freeze baked biscuits: Place the totally cooled biscuits in a single layer within the zip-top bag. Take away as a lot air as doable from the bag and freeze them for as much as Three months.
- To reheat baked biscuits from the freezer: Place them on baking sheet. Put the biscuits in a 250°F oven for 10 minutes in the event that they have been at room temperature and for 25 minutes if warming them from frozen.
The Knowledge of the Biscuit
Folks have been so excited to inform me what they liked about their very own model of Southern biscuits and the way they liked to eat them. I believed one one that commented on the Fb submit in search of biscuit steerage summed it up completely: “[A biscuit] ought to be robust sufficient to be dipped in honey or white gravy, and if instances are good, a chunk of nation ham caught within the center.”
Right here’s hoping instances are good.