This was an excellent lesson in understanding that you should never have a glass of wine and think you can bake at the same time. I became immediately spastic after the first sip of Pinot. Flinging flour everywhere. When I was finished with these bad boys, there was biscuit debris all over me, in every corner of the kitchen, and caked on the dog too. I’ve tried approximately ten different recipes over the year, and even with my vino in hand, this is the only version to cut the mustard.
I found that my butter biscuits were fantastic right out of the oven (and apparently more easily processed by the arteries), but if you do not intend to serve them right away, they can seize up into lead weapons of war. I finally gave into using shortening, and I am happy to say that it made all the difference. From what I understand, bakers in the south prefer to use shortening because it makes for a more stable product, particularly in the heat. These stood the test of time (cocktail hour), and were also forgiving of errors in the baking process. For example, if you forget to add the shortening in the beginning, you can add it at the end (not recommended).
This recipe is courtesy of friend’s mother in Georgia. In my cooking frenzy, I tried to cut the flour with the shortening in my food processor; however, I quickly realized that the food-pro can only handle three cups of flour at a time. It’s an 11-cup bowl, so you do the math, but it’s true. It helps to halve the recipe.
I served these tasty mounds of love with country ham, pickles and mustard, and others with pimento cheese and black olives (see previous post) at an event for wine bloggers a Weygandt Wines (www.weygandtwines.com) in Cleveland Park, DC.
This recipe makes approximately 35 small biscuits.
1 1/2 packages yeast
5 tablespoons warm water
5 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- Dissolve yeast in warm water. Sift dry ingredients together, then cut shortening into the flour mixture. Add buttermilk and yeast. Knead lightly but *do not let the dough rise*.
- Roll out and cut with a round biscuit cutter
- Put on a baking sheet touching each other (helps keep the biscuits moist)
- Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Brush with melted butter on top after baking.