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La Belle Cuisine
"...the fact remains that when a Southerner
reaches for a biscuit or a square
of cornbread, he usually reaches for two,
ever mindful of that oft-repeated
invitation to eat: 'Take two and butter 'em
while they're hot."
~ John T. Edge, in
A Gracious Plenty: Recipes and Recollections
from the American South
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Heritage of Southern Cooking:
An Inspired Tour of Southern Cuisine
Including Regional Specialties, Heirloom
Favorites, and Original Dishes
by Camille Glenn, 1986, Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
the true Southern biscuit – made with buttermilk, rolled not too
baked until golden brown. We like them with sausage [and
gravy!] and grits
for a leisurely breakfast or with fried chicken anytime.
They are a perennial
favorite for cocktail parties or receptions when cut
small and served piping hot, filled with sliced baked country ham. Now
can you think
of anything better? I
makes a crisper biscuit than vegetable shortening.
To make biscuits with a smooth top, the dough must be covered and
chilled, then kneaded lightly but well.
Overkneading biscuit dough brings out the gluten and toughens them.
Too much flour on the pastry board will toughen the biscuits. A pastry
helps prevent the need for extra flour.
Biscuits must be baked in a very hot oven or they will toughen.”
Makes 25 to 30
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons lard or solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk
1. Sift the dry ingredients into a roomy bowl. Cut in the
a pastry blender or fork until the mixture has the texture
corn meal. Add the buttermilk and mix with your hand, lightly but
thoroughly. Add a
little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Knead
minute. Wrap in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until well
least 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
3. Roll the dough out 1/2 inch thick on a lightly floured
surface or pastry cloth. (Always roll from the center out for tender, crisp
the dough into the desired size biscuits.
4. Place the biscuits on a dark baking sheet and bake until
10 to 12 minutes.
Cheese Biscuits: Work 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated
sharp Cheddar or Parmesan cheese into the dough before rolling it out 3/8
inch thick. Cut
into small biscuits and bake in a preheated 375- to 400-degree F
Serve with salad for luncheons, or for cocktails.
Rosemary Biscuits: A favorite. Work 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
crushed dried rosemary into the dough before rolling it out 1/2 inch thick.
2 1/4-inch biscuits. Serve with sausage, pork, or lamb.
as small biscuits served with smoked country sausage
wintertime hors d’oeuvre or a
Watercress Biscuits: Work 1/2 cup chopped watercress
lightly into the dough. Before rolling the dough out very thin. Cut into
Make sandwiches of the rounds, using more whole watercress
the filling. Press the biscuit halves together firmly to forma
with the inner layer of watercress. Bake in a preheated 450-degree F
oven. If the biscuits are baked at once, the watercress will remain bright
and green. My students’ favorite – mine, too. Delicious with
pheasant or quail.
Hearty Biscuits: Use 5 teaspoons baking powder. Roll
the dough out
1/2 inch or thicker, and bake in a preheated 450-degree F oven. This
ultimate tender and crisp biscuit is at its best when served with broiled
fried chicken, broiled or sautéed ham,
country ham, or
dough is left over, it is wiser to bake the biscuits and freeze them,
buttermilk dough will not keep over 10 to 12 hours."
The Ultimate Extra-Flaky Biscuit
Makes 25 to 30
1 recipe Southern Buttermilk Biscuit dough
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled
1. Make up the Southern Buttermilk Biscuit dough. Cover with
or foil and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 20 minutes.
2. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick on a
lightly floured surface. Dot with the cold butter.
3. Fold one-third of the dough over the center. Then fold
third over the top to make 3 layers.
4. Roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick. (The butter will smear
not worry, but be careful to keep the dough and the butter cold.)
5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
6. Cut the dough into biscuits. Place them on a dark baking
bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
"Biscuits bake faster and browner on a dark baking sheet.
If the butter leaks from the biscuit during baking, it was
cold throughout the process."
Featured Archives Recipes:
Angel "Biscuits" (Lee Bailey)
Parmesan Sesame Biscuits (Laurie Colwin)
Southern Biscuit Muffins (Craig Claiborne)
Sun-Dried Tomato Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
Three-Cheese Drop Biscuits
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Index - Breakfast Recipe Archives
Yummy Muffin Recipes
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