Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Wife of a Southern Man: Biscuits

Growing up, I thought men lived for homemade cinnamon rolls topped with gooey, melt in your mouth caramel.  Imagine my surprise to meet Superman and learn that he didn't even know cinnamon rolls were suppose to have caramel on top, much less be made at home.  It didn't take me long however to discover that what Southern men live for is biscuits.    Like most of his ilk, my husband would eat biscuits with every meal.  Thankfully, biscuits are much quicker to whip up than cinnamon rolls are.  Although I had to call a halt and cut down on biscuit production when we started going through a pound of butter every week.  Can we say heart attack?

Perfect biscuits can be a bit elusive, but once the secret is mastered they can easily be added to almost any meal.  The true secret to biscuits is in the butter.  It must be BUTTER.  Not margarine or shortening or vegetable oil.  Only real, old fashioned, calorie laden butter works.

 Additionally, the butter must be cold.  Don't even think about warming it up to room temperature and creaming it into the dry ingredients.  Instead, use a sharp knife to cut the required butter into 1/8 inch cubes and crumble it into flour and leavening with clean, dry hands. 

Sissy's Southern Style Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold butter (cubed)
3/4 cup cold milk

Mix together dry ingredients in medium sized bowl.  Crumble in butter until well incorporated (the bowl will look like it is full of pea sized crumbs).  Add milk and knead in lightly to create dough. 

On a floured surface roll out dough into a sheet 1/2 inch thick and cut biscuits out with the mouth of a drinking glass.  For quicker biscuits, omit this step and shape dough into balls by hand then flatten to 1/2 disks.  Just keep in mind that these are what Superman calls "ugly biscuits," but they taste just as good. 

Place shaped biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  Once biscuits are panned, place them in  the refrigerator while the oven pre-heats to 475 degrees.  The cold dough produces light, flakey biscuits. 

Bake at 475 for 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve right away (with more butter of course). 

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As much work as I have put into my biscuit recipe, it is not perfect.  That market has long been cornered by Bojangles'.  If I can ever get my hands on their recipe, then I will claim to make perfect Southern style biscuits.  For now, I just make good biscuits. 

Baby's first meal out was at Bojangles': she slept, we ate.

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