Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Best Biscuits

This is my favorite biscuit recipe because it is a very large batch that is also very versatile, and the only one that I have managed to get to work right to make light fluffy biscuits that rise when you cook them. It comes from a Bed and Breakfast in St. Joseph Louisiana that was shared in a cookbook by Chef John Folse; a cookbook that has become somewhat of a cooking bible to me. It is my go to book to use as a base for many of my recipes. I typically do not usually follow recipe directions, but this book gives me a good starting point.

Angel Biscuits
5 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1 package of yeast(dissolved in 4 tbsp warm water)
2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix flour, sugar baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add shortening and mix until the flour mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add dissolved yeast and buttermilk and mix until the dough forms a ball. Roll out dough to 1/2inch -3/4 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut out biscuits, continue rolling and cutting until all the dough is used up. Brush with butter and place on a baking sheet and cook for 12-15 minutes. The dough can be made a few days in advance. And baked when needed.

Also, you can bake until just slightly underdone and freezing for later by warming them in a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes.

Okay, so my adjustments to the recipe:
Sometimes I will substitute whole wheat flour for some of the recipe, or wheat germ. I use 3 cups of whole wheat or 1 cup of wheat germ for substitution.

Instead of shortening, use butter or lard. Better flavor and more natural.

The recipe says to use a pastry blender...I have found that the flour mixture can be combined better using your hands that way you get a feel for the texture you are looking for; it is messy, but kind of fun. Just make sure you have washed your hands. :)

Regular milk is okay, Buttermilk is good, but 1/2 and 1/2, or whipping cream make a richer batter.

I like adding nutritional yeast for flavor...1/4 to 1/3 cup works well. Not at all necessary.

The Fall holiday shapes were used just because the cookie cutters just happened to be on the cabinet....It made breakfast fun.

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