Recipe of the Week: Biscuit Throwdown

Hugh,

I saw the biscuit recipe posted on the blog, and I suppose for a survival situation it’d make do, but here’s a recipe that I developed, which has critical customers telling me these are the best biscuits they ever ate. I usually serve this with my scratch recipe sausage gravy. Anyway, here’s my biscuit recipe. (In Texas, biscuits either have to have buttermilk or sourdough in them to be considered authentic, but then Texans don’t put beans in their chili either. LOL)

Big Ben’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Everyone’s got a traditional biscuit recipe these days. The ingredients aren’t nearly as important as the handling of them. A laundry list of ingredients won’t keep them from being tough if the dough’s overworked. Stick with the basics, and learn how to get your hands dirty in the kitchen if you want decent biscuits.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk

Set buttermilk out to warm up a bit. Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Stir in buttermilk. Do not over mix or knead too much or biscuits will toughen. Roll out to ½ inch thickness and cut biscuits. Set in 12″ dutch oven or other pan and bake at 450 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Want an even fluffier, lighter biscuit? Substitute ¼ cup rice flour for an equivalent amount of the all purpose flour. – BSP

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HJL,

People work really hard at making biscuits. There are basically two kinds. One is the “Drop” biscuit where spoonfuls of biscuit dough are dropped onto a sheet pan creating good biscuits that are irregular in shape. They are good, but cut biscuits are better.

People tend to overwork biscuit dough, making the biscuits tough. Here is an alternate method. MB’s recipe, is a perfectly good recipe. The difference is in the handling.

Here is how I do it. I get flaky cut biscuits that are more than two inches tall.

First prepare a cutter. An empty can from tomato sauce or mushrooms works well. Cut the lid out and cut a couple of holes in the other end to let the air out while cutting. Take off the label if there is one and wash the can. You’ll want to save it.

After you get all the ingredients in the bowl mix with a spoon until the texture is consistent. Turn the dough out onto a floured board. Sprinkle a bit of flour on the dough and pat it with your hand until it is about 3/4″ thick. Fold it over half. Bakers will recognize this as the way puff pastry is made.

Pat out the dough again until it is about 3/4″ thick. Fold over and pat again for 7-10 times. Finally pat it to about an inch thick.

Cut the biscuits using the converted can. Stack them close together in a pan with sides like a cake pan. It might be wise to lightly grease the pan. If you don’t stack them close together the biscuits will get so tall they will fall over. The sides of the pan help her as well.

Bake at 400 to 425 degrees until the bottoms are browned nicely.

This method will make several great flaky biscuits that will hold a lot of butter or gravy. Don’t skimp on the baking powder. You don’t have to have a rolling pin. The process, once you master it, goes quickly. – SVP

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HJL Adds: Mrs. Latimer’s biscuits are second to none, and I wanted to post her recipe here. Sadly, she has informed me that she is working on a cookbook and her recipe’s are “hands off” until she publishes. I guess y’all will just have to wait. I’ll think of you though, whenever I’m eating them. She has allowed me to tell you that she doesn’t use double-acting baking powder. Whenever the recipe calls for baking powder, she substitutes a proportion of 1/3 baking soda plus 1/6 cream of tartar of whatever baking powder the recipe calls for. The second rising action of double-acting baking powder is related to the aluminum content, which she tries to eliminate from our diet. The only caveat is that you have less time from mixing to baking. That works out okay, because when you are feeding two hungry teenagers, you don’t waste time in the cooking.

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Do you have a favorite recipe that would be of interest to SurvivalBlogreaders? Please send it viae-mail. Thanks!

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