Thursday, January 20, 2011

Homegrown Comfort: Biscuits





Spending my first college years in the south brought me to the realization that some hefty, seemingly fattening and all too glutinous foods can be delightfully scrumptious (I know that one is a no-brainer).  Being married to a southerner (who spent many years living with his father in Georgia), the cheer ensued from making such treats is what brings me the most joy.


The biscuit is a simple delight to make, but is slightly trickier than one would imagine.  Read on for some tips.


Ingredients:


2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup butter (most will tell you to use shortening, but say no!)
1 cup milk


First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  




In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, and then using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter (there is some odd rhyme going on there).  Finally, gradually stir in the milk with a spoon or fork, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  


Dump the dough out onto your countertop and knead it about 15 times.  I try to avoid over kneading as it hardens the dough and will ultimately make your biscuit tougher.




Once you're done kneading, pat your dough out.  It seems like it would be easiest to simply roll it out, but I find that the biscuit comes out way fluffier if you just pat it out with your fingers to about 1 inch in thickness.  The unevenness is also a perfectly good look for the biscuit.  


Once you patted the dough out to a large enough circle, using a large, round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out your biscuits.




Place them on an unbuttered cookie sheet and bake for about 13 minutes.


If you're a hardcore southerner, you would have some gravy waiting.  I had mine with some soup, which I preferred a lot more than a dollop of grease.


Bon appétit!


Photos by Sarah Alisdairi and Julian Close

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