Thursday, April 2, 2015

B is for Biscuits

I grew up in the Land of Biscuits where they were a frequent part of my family's meals.  However, I hadn't heard of Alabama biscuits until recently when I was visiting my hometown and talking with a friend, Jane. The conversation went through a maze something like this.

Jane started. "I went to high school in town just like Bee did. Did you know Sally was also from there? She's still with her husband even though she said that she would leave him as soon as the kids were grown. BTW, all of her kids have a good job except Winona has had some drinking problems. Anyway when I was a cook at the grade school, I used to work with Sally and she was our expert biscuit maker. She made Alabama biscuits every time we had spaghetti."

Me. "Were those the biscuits that were light and fluffy? I loved those things. How do you make them?"

Jane "I don't know. That was Sally's specialty. She started early in the morning to have them ready by lunch time. Did you know my brother-in-law was a chicken thief and knew Bee's father?" And Jane was off again.

I couldn't keep up with everything Jane was saying because I was thinking about those biscuits from my school days. After our talk, I did a quick Google search and found recipes everywhere for them. I chose one that looked like it had the right balance of ingredients (yeast, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, flour) to make ones like I remember and made them last night.

So how did they turn out? Pretty darn good--fluffy with a subtle sweet and salty taste. But some how, they were not quite as good as I remember them from the school lunch room. But when you go decades between tastings, I guess it's really hard to compare. However, I will be making them again. This is significant because I'm the person who usually doesn't use yeast unless there's a bread maker involved.

(BTW--My husband who didn't have history with them, thought they were pretty good. He had them for his bedtime snack and took them in his lunch today.)

Below is the recipe I used from Food.Com.

Alabama Biscuits
 Ingredients:
 2 1/2 cups all­ purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar 1 (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup water
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk

Directions:
1. Sift dry ingredients together.
2. Dissolve yeast in water; Add buttermilk and add in sifted ingredients mixing well. Knead 20 times and roll out 1/4" thick.
3. Cut with biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Butter biscuits with brush and stack in twos, let rise for 2 hours.
4. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until brown.

© 2015 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. http://www.food.com/298513



21 comments:

  1. Those look delicious. And they have yeast, interesting. I bet they were yummy, and disappeared fast!
    What do you do with the scraps of dough, leftover? Do you re-roll and cut more?

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    Replies
    1. I always bake all of the dough in one shape or another. Do you freeze it sometimes?

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    2. I have frozen biscuit dough before. It makes for really easy biscuits to go with dinner, or a biscuit crust on chicken or turkey pie.

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  2. I have a somewhat similar recipe for Angel Biscuits, which use both baking powder, soda, and yeast. They hang out in the fridge for about an hour before you cut and bake them. They are yummy--I recently bought White Lily flour and tried the biscuits with them, and they were the best biscuits I've ever made (White Lily has a lower gluten content than all-purpose flour). However, it doesn't work as well for other baked items, so I probably won't use it on a regular basis.

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    Replies
    1. Yeast usually likes gluten and warmth. So I'm curious how Angel Biscuits work with lower gluten and the fridge.

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  3. Now, I want to try these. :) Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. These are definitely a good comfort food. I had mine with butter and strawberry preserves. Yum.

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  4. OMG... they look delicious! But I totally know what you mean about those foods that we loved as kids - it's sooo hard to find anything that measures up! I often wonder if it's the foods themselves or if our memories just amplify the yumminess with time. :-)

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    Replies
    1. I think some things can never measure up to the past including food. But, oh, it's fun trying them again.

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  5. I am not sure where you grew up but that sounds like a Southern conversation. I am from Alabama and we eat a lot of biscuits. We call those Angel biscuits and they are more of a night time biscuit. Morning biscuits here are "Cat Head" biscuits that are neither yeasty nor sweet. And for the record they have to be made with either Martha White or White Lily flour or they just won't work.

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    Replies
    1. I left half of the conversation out for the sake of brevity. I am not familiar with morning and evening biscuits. Our biscuits were always the same--flour, Crisco, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sometimes buttermilk. And you know that biscuits sound very simple, but there is an art to making them. I've seen people who didn't grow up making them struggle to make a good biscuit. I'm familiar with Martha White flour, but don't know White Lily flour. Maybe it never made it as far north as WV where I grew up.

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  6. Ohh those look so good I wish my system could handle my eating them
    ��

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    Replies
    1. I wish I could give you just one. Maybe that wouldn't bother you too much.

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  7. Replies
    1. I don't remember biscuits being a big part of Cajun Country, but they would fit right in.

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  8. Replies
    1. They were tasty especially the layer of butter in the middle. Yum.

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  9. One of the key learnings from living in the deep South for a couple of years is that biscuits can be good for the soul. Especially warmed, with butter. And gravy. Or both.

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    Replies
    1. Both, butter and gravy. That could be good for the soul.

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  10. Not a thing in this world that makes me smile like a piping hot biscuit and a good hunk of bacon.

    Pam

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    Replies
    1. Or a piping hot biscuit and sausage gravy. Big smile here. :)

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What do you think?