I have always had a love-hate relationship with biscuits. I love to eat them with butter and honey, but I hate making them because the kitchen always ends up looking like a flour factory, and I end up looking like I work in one — well-floured from head to toe. And God forbid any water gets on the floor, or I'd end up with a glue factory. Remember the homemade glue we made as kids with flour and water?
I've tried and tried making biscuits for years, and in all that time, they've only come out good one time — and that was 20 years ago. And get this — my husband doesn't even remember. A lot of good that did.
Never one to give up, I recently gave it another shot when a recipe from Tupelo Honey came across my email offering its famous biscuit recipe. My curiosity piqued, I gathered my flour, shortening, liquids and butter and started another biscuit production — take two.
Lo and behold, they came out perfectly — crisp on the bottom and fluffy in the middle. Try yours with a little butter and honey or homemade blueberry jam. Delicious.
Tupelo Honey Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk, divided
Heat the oven to 425 degrees, and position the oven rack slightly below the center of the oven. Lightly butter a round cake pan or cast-iron skillet.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and salt. Add the shortening, and snap the pieces of shortening with your fingers until they are no larger than peas. Make a well in the mixture, and pour in the cream and 2/3 cup of buttermilk. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, sweep in the flour and turn the dough until the dry ingredients are moistened and the dough resembles cottage cheese, adding enough of the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk to reach this consistency.
Sprinkle the rolling surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface, and sprinkle the top with flour. With floured hands, fold the dough in half and pat the dough into a 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick round, using additional flour as needed. Flour again if necessary, and fold the dough in half a second time. If the dough is still clumpy, repeat the folding process for a third time. Pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick round. Try not to overwork the dough. Dip a 2-inch biscuit cutter or glass into the flour, and cut out biscuits, ensuring you do not twist the cutter.
Place the biscuits in the pan, sides slightly touching. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light golden brown, rotating the pan 180 degrees after 6 minutes. Remove from the oven, and brush the biscuits with the melted butter before serving. Makes about 10 biscuits.
Email Anne Braly at firstname.lastname@example.org.