Thursday, May 26, 2011
Simple Southern Biscuits
Toss out your canned biscuits (ew!) because biscuit making isn't that difficult. Really!
It's okay if you don't have buttermilk or White Lily flour. Seriously! You can make tasty, flaky biscuits with just regular ol' flour.
Now, it'd be nice to have self-rising flour on hand, but I never do. And, it'd be great to use buttermilk, but really... I find buying a jug of it is a waste since I don't use it enough.
So, regular all-purpose flour and regular milk will do (I use whole milk.)
To make your all-purpose flour into self-rising flour, you'll need to add a few things. For every cup of all-purpose flour, add 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Since this recipe requires two cups of self-rising flour, you'll need to use two cups of all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mmkay? Great.
2 cups self-rising flour (see note above if you do not have self-rising flour)
1/4 cup shortening. (I've used butter, but shortening really does work best, in my opinion.)
2/3 cup to 3/4 cup milk (or buttermilk)
Preheat oven to 500 F.
Combine flour and shortening. Using a pastry cutter, or a fork if you don't have one of those, mix the cut in the shortening until the flour forms small little crumb-like balls. This could take a few minutes if you are using a fork.
Slowly add milk- start with 2/3 cup, and mix by hand. If you think you need a bit more, add a splash here and there, and continue stirring until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Some people knead their dough on the counter, I knead mine in the bowl. I knead 2-3 times, then turn it onto a floured mat on my counter to roll it out. Roll out about 1/2 inch thick.
I use a small children's cup to cut out biscuit rounds. This makes them about two inches across, maybe a bit more. You don't have to have a biscuit or cookie cutter to do this task. Use whatever you have on hand.
Lay them on a greased cookie sheet- nearly touching, unless you want them to have crispy sides (in which case, space them out a bit more).
Bake 8-10 minutes (at 500F)... and enjoy!
I made a white gravy using bacon grease. Cook a couple slices of bacon in a pan and a couple tablespoons of butter. Add 2-3 TBSPs of flour to the grease and quickly stir in. Then add 2 cups of whole milk. Salt and pepper to taste (I also add a little garlic powder). Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. (If you don't keep stirring it, it will burn.) Allow it to boil for a bit (keep stirring) until it is at desired thickness.
There are various ways to make a white gravy- but this one is simple and quick. You could leave out the bacon and just use butter if that's all you have.
I made three batches of these biscuits which produced 28 biscuits for me. (But, I think I made them a bit thicker, which is how we like them.) They were flaky and delicious, and we had about a dozen leftover, which I am going to use for lunch- I'm making a chicken and dumplings sort of "soup" which I will pour over the biscuits (instead of using dumplings). You could also make chicken pot pie filling and pour it over the biscuits.