Saturday, August 7, 2010

The BEST Biscuits...

OK, if there is one thing that is supposed to happen in a country kitchen, it is biscuits and gravy.  I have made dozens of recipes of biscuits and have gotten good reviews but I still wasn't happy.  You see I try to steer clear of all store bought, pre-packaged foods.  I am not saying I don't ever do just hurts when I do.  It's painful....very painful.  So, with all my attempts I have never achieved a biscuit that I truly thought was as good or better than store bought Pillsbury Grands.  I mean they have it all....they're light, flaky and buttery.  Yum!  Well, because I love all 6 of you that will read this, I have found it...THE recipe.  I should say that last week I tried a recipe for true beaten biscuits.  Apparently, back in the pioneer days (of which I am convinced I should I have lived), ladies would "beat" their biscuits when they didn't have leaving agents (baking soda/powder).  And apparently they truly beat with an ax even.  Pshaw!  And it wasn't like for 5 might be off and on all day.  Those ladies didn't need Pilates or P90X!  Because last week I thought I was going to meet my maker when attempting to beat my biscuit dough for a mere 15 minutes.  Sweat was pouring down my face, my forearms were burning like I had scalded them with hot water.  So, for my "rest" after the morning exercise regime in which I had just partaken, I sat at my computer and googled "beaten biscuits" which led me to a blog I had visited several months back and had forgotten about.  It is called The Homesick Texan.... you should go there.  Every recipe I have tried has been delish....she is a strong contender with Pioneer Woman I tell you.  She had a recipe that called for you to beat the biscuits only it was more on my 3 minutes.  I could do that....I had just proved it.  To wrap up this story and get to the recipe, I left the computer with stories of old wisping through my head and the one liner stuck in my head that beaten biscuits were more like crackers.  I went to my kitchen, pulled out the cookie sheet to find that my biscuits hadn't risen a'tall.  They looked similar to hockey pucks really.  I called to my husband that breakfast was ready (if you could call it that) and due to my waste not want not theory I served these disastrous concoctions to my family.  For whatever reason, I am sure out of politeness, they all complimented how good and different they were....I think they were really kissing up.    But yesterday morning, I tried the Homesick Texan version and, oh my stars, you would not have known they weren't straight from Pillsbury.  So, I made them again this morning (as my husband left before breakfast yesterday) and he said "*expletive* these are good..."  They're a keeper.  So, get ready and make some biscuits....

Two cups of flour 
1 tablespoon of baking powder 
1 teaspoon of sugar (can add more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter, cold (8 tablespoons)
3/4 cup of buttermilk, cream or half-and-half

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Cut the stick of butter into pieces, and work into the flour mixture with your hands or a pastry blender until it resembles pea-sized crumbs.
Add the liquid, mixing until a bit loose and sticky.
Pour dough out on a floured surface, and knead for a minute. Dough should be smooth and no longer wet. You can sprinkle more flour on the surface if you find it’s sticking.
Take dough into a ball, and hit it with a rolling pin, turning it and folding it in half every few whacks. Do this for a couple of minutes.
Roll out dough until it’s 1/4 of an inch thick, and then fold it in half.
Using a round cutter (can use a glass or a cup if don’t have a biscuit cutter) cut out your biscuits from folded dough.
Place on a greased baking sheet close together (so they rise up not out), and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Makes 10-12 biscuits.

I will post pictures later this weekend.  I am on my way out the door to the Pearl Bluegrass Jam...more about that later, too.