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La Belle Cuisine - More Bread Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith,"


Southern Buttermilk Biscuits



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Stonewall - Creators of Award Winning Jams, Mustards, and other Specialty Foods

"I recall hot breads as being an absolute requirement of my childhood...
My, those biscuits were good, steaming hot, fresh from the oven, with
a bit of butter."

~ Elizabeth Spencer

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"...the fact remains that when a Southerner reaches for a biscuit or a square
of cornbread,  he usually reaches for two, ever mindful of that oft-repeated
invitation to eat: 'Take two and butter 'em while they're hot."

~ John T. Edge, in A Gracious Plenty: Recipes and Recollections
from the American South


Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Heritage of Southern Cooking:
An Inspired Tour of Southern Cuisine
Including Regional Specialties, Heirloom
Favorites, and Original Dishes

by Camille Glenn, 1986, Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

“This is the true Southern biscuit – made with buttermilk, rolled not too
thick, and baked until golden brown. We like them with sausage [and
gravy!] and grits for a leisurely breakfast or with fried chicken anytime.
They are a perennial favorite for cocktail parties or receptions when cut
small and served piping hot, filled with sliced baked country ham. Now
can you think of anything better? I don’t believe you can.”

Making Biscuits

“Lard makes a crisper biscuit than vegetable shortening.
To make biscuits with a smooth top, the dough must be covered and
thoroughly chilled, then kneaded lightly but well.
Overkneading biscuit dough brings out the gluten and toughens them.
Too much flour on the pastry board will toughen the biscuits. A pastry
cloth helps prevent the need for extra flour.
Biscuits must be baked in a very hot oven or they will toughen.”

Makes 25 to 30 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons lard or solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Sift the dry ingredients into a roomy bowl. Cut in the shortening with
a pastry blender or fork until the mixture has the texture of coarse
corn meal. Add the buttermilk and mix with your hand, lightly but
thoroughly. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Knead
for 1 minute. Wrap in wax paper or foil and refrigerate until well
chilled, at least 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
3. Roll the dough out 1/2 inch thick on a lightly floured surface or pastry cloth. (Always roll from the center out for tender, crisp biscuits.) Cut
the dough into the desired size biscuits.
4. Place the biscuits on a dark baking sheet and bake until golden
brown, 10 to 12 minutes.


Cheese Biscuits:  Work 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated sharp Cheddar or Parmesan cheese into the dough before rolling it out 3/8 inch thick. Cut
into small biscuits and bake in a preheated 375- to 400-degree F oven.
Serve with salad for luncheons, or for cocktails.

Rosemary Biscuits:  A favorite. Work 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary into the dough before rolling it out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into
2- to 2 1/4-inch biscuits. Serve with sausage, pork, or lamb. Especially
delicious as small biscuits served with smoked country sausage for a
wintertime hors d’oeuvre or a Sunday brunch.

Watercress Biscuits:  Work 1/2 cup chopped watercress lightly into the dough. Before rolling the dough out very thin. Cut into 2-inch rounds.
Make sandwiches of the rounds, using more whole watercress leaves as
the filling. Press the biscuit halves together firmly to forma whole biscuit
with the inner layer of watercress. Bake in a preheated 450-degree F
oven. If the biscuits are baked at once, the watercress will remain bright
and green. My students’ favorite – mine, too. Delicious with chicken or
seafood salads, ham, veal, baked or broiled chicken, pheasant or quail.

Hearty Biscuits:  Use 5 teaspoons baking powder. Roll the dough out
1/2 inch or thicker, and bake in a preheated 450-degree F oven. This
ultimate tender and crisp biscuit is at its best when served with broiled
or fried chicken, broiled or sautéed ham, country ham, or chicken salad.

"If some dough is left over, it is wiser to bake the biscuits and freeze them,
as the buttermilk dough will not keep over 10 to 12 hours."


The Ultimate Extra-Flaky Biscuit

Makes 25 to 30 biscuits

1 recipe Southern Buttermilk Biscuit dough
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, chilled

1. Make up the Southern Buttermilk Biscuit dough. Cover with wax
paper or foil and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 20 minutes.
2. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Dot with the cold butter.
3. Fold one-third of the dough over the center. Then fold the remaining
third over the top to make 3 layers.
4. Roll out the dough 1/2 inch thick. (The butter will smear some. Do
not worry, but be careful to keep the dough and the butter cold.)
5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
6. Cut the dough into biscuits. Place them on a dark baking sheet and
bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

"Biscuits bake faster and browner on a dark baking sheet.
If the butter leaks from the biscuit during baking, it was
not kept sufficiently cold throughout the process."

Featured Archives Recipes:
Angel "Biscuits" (Lee Bailey)
Parmesan Sesame Biscuits (Laurie Colwin)
Southern Biscuit Muffins (Craig Claiborne)
Sun-Dried Tomato Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
Three-Cheese Drop Biscuits

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