Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Big, Bad Biscuits

That clanging noise you hear in the background is my arteries slamming shut after making biscuits not once but twice this weekend. The kids had been bugging me for Nana's butter biscuits, buttery little hunks of deliciousness based on a recipe from my mom's 1956 Betty Crocker cookbook. These are biscuits made without shortening that are then rolled in melted butter and baked. The tops get golden but the bottoms actually fry a little bit in the leftover butter in the baking pan and are so greasily wonderful I could eat a whole pan full myself (hence the aforementioned artery thing). For some reason my offspring like to break them into pieces and dip them into tomato juice for consumption, which I would suggest you try before you dismiss it out of hand. It actually isn't bad.

So that was Saturday. Then Sunday we had our once in a while Southern fat-fest, better known as sausage gravy and biscuits. There weren't enough butter biscuits left over so I had to start all over again with the traditional baking powder version. I love to bake but it isn't often I do two batches in two days! I'm posting both recipes so you can compare and contrast. They are similar but just different enough that you might want to try both.

Butter Biscuits

6 tablespoons butter
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Put the butter into an 8x8 square baking pan and put in the oven until melted.

Mix the remaining ingredients together to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly then pat out to about 1/2 thickness.

Using a round cutter, cut 12 rounds. Coat the round in the melted butter and arrange in the pan.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until dark golden brown.

Traditional Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients together and, using a cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until the mix resembles cornmeal.

Add the buttermilk to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly then pat dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Cut with a round biscuit cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet or stoneware pan.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

1 comment:

Claire said...

It made me smile to think of your mom.

So much for the diet! I am going to bake these biscuits and remember meals gone by.

Now, are you willing to post the ham biscuit recipe...