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Archive for January 6th, 2008

Okay, I know some of you will scoff at this next sentence but I warn you, I have tested it extensively. THE BRAND OF FLOUR YOU USE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD IN HOW YOUR BISCUITS TURN OUT. I am not even kidding you.

biscuits1a.jpg

Here are the flours I have tried (all self rising): Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Wondra, Martha White, Sunflower and White Lily. So far HANDS DOWN the winner is WHITE LILY. I will keep testing flours but this flour is amazing. Sounds crazy??? It isnt. I can research why it is different another time but just trust me on this. It is. It is a Southern made flour and who knows a biscuit better than someone in the South. Sorry all you happy Northerners, but you and I both know it’s true. And there are plenty of things y’all (how you like that y’all thrown in) make better than us. Maple Syrup. Vermont Common Crackers. Lobster Bisque. Crab Cakes. The list goes on and one. But when it comes to biscuits. Well we all know how this story ends. And if you truly want to make biscuits that will make you slap yo’ mama…well Southern Flour is a starting point. And LOTS of practice.

Notice the layers in the biscuits in the picture above. Did you think that was possible with homemade biscuits? Me neither!! But you see them. Here is a list of other necessary things for good biscuits…from my experience:

  1. Buttermilk – and I don’t mean add some lemon juice or vinegar to whole milk. I mean real thick creamy, Bulgarian style buttermilk.
  2. Heavy Cream – NOT canned milk, or half and half. REAL heavy cream.
  3. Brace yourselves. LARD. Yep. It makes a HUGE difference. And since I am not eating these biscuits every day and or 15-20 at a setting then I am not going to worry about a little lard. I have made biscuits with shortening, butter and the combination of both…NOT EVEN CLOSE. Biscuits made with lard are light and fluffy and tender and PERFECT!
  4. Southern Self Rising Flour, preferably White Lily (now if you simply cannot find this flour we can make arrangements for me to send you some – when my shop opens back up I will be selling a Biscuit Kit and it WILL contain White Lily Self Rising Flour)
  5. All purpose flour for your pastry cloth or board where you will cut your biscuits
  6. ANY recipe you use if you don’t use this one, that calls for sugar – OMIT it. You are NOT making cookies, you are making biscuits and biscuits are not supposed to be sweet. Unless you spread them with jam or jelly or syrup.
  7. Chill everything, lard, flour, milk…it being cold is very important.

Okay here is the recipe.

  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup lard chilled
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • all purpose flour for shaping biscuits
  • Melted butter for brushing tops after baking

Preheat oven to 475. Spray a pan with cooking spray. Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add lard and crumble with your fingers until it crumbles with no pieces bigger than a pea. Just rub the flour/lard between your fingers.

Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk and heavy cream all at once and mix with a fork until JUST MIXED. Do not over work. The dough will be very sticky, very wet…kinda like large curd cottage cheese.

Dust your hands with the all purpose flour and also your work surface…I use a pastry cloth. Turn out the dough onto the flour surface and work with it so it is just coated with a very light covering of flour. Pat it out…fold it over on itself from the right, turn a half a turn and pat out again…this gives you the layers. Pat out to a 8 inch by 6 inch rectangle and cut with a 2″ biscuit cutter – DO NOT TWIST the cutter. Cut straight down and lift up. Twisting will seal the edges and your layers will be gone! This should give you 10-12 biscuits…you can pat your scraps out once but no more. Re working will cause the dough to become tough.

Bake for 15 minutes more or less…watch them so they dont get too brown. Mine were so near perfect and then I over baked them maybe by a minute. So as soon as they are perfectly golden, take them out! Brush with butter and eat!!!

I know I dont need to say this but I am going to. Do not open your oven door to check them. Look thru the glass with the light on. Fast and hot is important in biscuit baking and opening the door cools off the oven and you dont want that!

Watch for my DVD’s later this year. NotQuiteJuneCleaver Makes Biscuits! NotQuiteJuneCleaver Bakes a Pie! You get the idea! Real LIVE tutorials!!!

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