Sunday, January 3, 2016

Emilee's Southern Biscuits

Happy 2016, Y'all!  To celebrate this new year, I wanted to share with you a tried and true recipe that I have been perfecting over the past few years.  If there is one thing I know, it is that every culture has a few unique foods that is strictly theirs.  The Northeast have their clam chowder.  The Midwest have their meat and potatoes.  The West Coast have their fish tacos.  And we, in the Deep South, have our fried chicken, collard greens, grits, and biscuits.  Even though we may have different backgrounds, we all know that food is best when served with people that we love.

This Christmas season, Matt and I were not able to go to Mississippi, but thankfully, our dear families decided to come to us.  We had the pleasure of having Matt's mom and sister come before Christmas, and my parents visited after Christmas.  While each family was here, I made two recipes twice for them to try.  First, I made the Spaghetti ai di Mare from my previous blog post, and second, I made these Southern Biscuits.  They are always a hit with my sweet Naples family, as well.  I made them as a little Christmas happy before we all traveled for the holidays.  No matter what occasion it is, they are welcome addition to any meal.

Emilee's Southern Biscuits

Yes, that's right.  I put my mom to work when she came.  Have you ever tried bossing your mom around in the kitchen?  Yea, that's not a good idea unless you want to hear, "Girl, you're not too big for me to turn you over my knee."

Take 2 cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour, 3/4 teaspoons of salt, 4 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and sift into a large bowl.

If you do not have a sifter, whisk the flour until it is fluffy and everything is combined

Now, you can't make biscuits without butter, but this is a lot of butter.  I was making two batches of biscuits so I could freeze one batch.  For one batch of biscuits you need 4 TBSP of butter.  I like to cut them into small pieces before adding them to the flour.  It makes it easier to combine.

The butter needs to be cold for this recipe; not straight from the freezer, but definitely not softened.  Right out of the fridge is the best.  It makes the biscuits more flaky, which is bad in a friendship but so good in a biscuit. 

Work the butter into the flour until it is a crumbly mixture with flecks of butter throughout.  If you have a pastry cutter then this is the time to use it.  I haven't acquired one yet, but it is on my list of kitchen utensils to get.

Add 1/2 cup of milk

then add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

Stir everything together until just combined.  Please, please do not over mix the dough.  The more you mix the flour and the milk, the more the gluten tightens up creating a firm biscuit.  Although this can be the goal in making pizza dough, this is not the goal when making biscuits.  You want the biscuits to be soft and airy, not tough and chewy.

Take a cutting board and lightly flour it.  Dump the dough onto the cutting board and flatten it with your hands until the dough is uniformly 1 1/2 inches thick.  Take a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to create a biscuit shape.  If you do not have either of this, just use your knife and cut the dough into squares.  There is no rule against that!

Place each of the biscuits on a baking sheet.  I like my biscuits to have an edge in case I want to make a breakfast sandwich out of it.  But if you want the biscuits to be super soft, place the biscuits right next to each other with no space in between so all of the sides stay soft.

By this point, mom and I had switched places and she insisted on taking a picture of me cutting out the biscuits.  Thanks, mom...

The other half of the biscuit dough, I cut into circles and place in freezer bags.  When you are ready to bake them, just pop out however many you need and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Be still my heart!  I love these two more than I can say.  They were playing in the kitchen, anticipating some biscuits straight from of the oven.

Ooooooooooo.   Ahhhhhhhh.  Don't these lil guys look delicious?!?  They go great with honey, sausage gravy, or just plain!  I wanted to get a picture of us dressing up the biscuits the way we like them, but they were gone before I had the chance!  I guess it's a good problem to have.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

2 cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour (I use Sir Arthur)
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  In a large bowl, sift or whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.

Cut butter into small cubes and use your fingers to work the flour and butter together until it looks crumbly.  Add the milk and heavy cream.  Stir until the dough just comes together.  Do not over mix!

Lightly flour a large cutting board.  Dump dough onto the cutting board and use your hands to flatten the dough until it is about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Use a biscuit or round cookie cutter to cut out biscuit shapes.  Continue until all of the dough has been used.  This recipe usually makes about 8-10 biscuits depending on the size of your cutter.

Place the biscuits in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops have lightly browned.  If the biscuits are coming straight out of the freezer, it may take a few more minutes to bake.

No comments:

Post a Comment