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Southern biscuits better than any can!

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Picture of Southern biscuits better than any can!
I saw an instructable recently for sausage gravy and thought it was awesome except for the canned biscuits. It is so easy to make biscuits and they are a perfect substitute for so many other things: cobbler (add more sugar), pie crust (especially if you're no good at pie crust), pizza bottom, shortcake....And if you are, like I am, from the South (USA) you frown on things like canned biscuits- at least I do. They're OK, but if you have homemade, then you're spoiled.

So here goes my biscuit recipe-- but you'll have to understand up front, I don't measure much, just kinda know about how much you need. And I literally use my hands mostly to measure
But in the cookbook there is a recipe and this is close to what I do and of course I didn't start out without measuring, but used a recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. vegetable shortening
3/4 c. milk

 
 
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Step 1: Chill the flour

Picture of chill the flour

I started putting my flour in the freezer because I live in Houston, TX where it is hotter than h-e- double hockey sticks (my husband grew up in Boston, so this expression is his) and very humid. Today we're enjoying a relatively mild humid day with 50% humidity, so 97 degrees Fahrenheit is 102 degrees. And after discovering bugs one time too many in my flour, I started putting the flour in the freezer.

The benefit of this is when you're cutting in your fat it is that the flour is cold which is helpful for making well distributed fat molecules. Now if you live somewhere cold, you're probably not enamored with biscuits in the first place, but obviously you don't need to keep your flour in the freezer.

Fat-- use whatever you're comfortable with- butter (luscious!), shortening, or lard. And those are really the only choices of fat. Indulge and enjoy. 

Cutting in means that you distribute your fat among your flour. You can use a pastry cutter, a fork, two knives, or your hands. I started off with the pastry cutter and the two knives method and learned how visually this looks, then I began using my hands because it was one less thing to wash.



swu31 year ago
SO enjoyed this! And the comments!

Now I need to enjoy the biscuits!
artfulann (author)  swu31 year ago
Thanks!!
triumphman2 years ago
Jeremiah Johnson's mouth is watering!
jarikcbol2 years ago
man, now i want biscuits. Reminds me of the Cream biscuits my mom and I used to make. Basically the exact same recipe, but replace the 1/4c shortening and 3/4 cup of milk with 1 cup of fresh cream. (we had a milk cow) you could use heavy cream from the store though. Talk about slap-yo-momma good.
artfulann (author)  jarikcbol2 years ago
Thanks! Fresh cream from the cow! Don't hear that much anymore.
lfinley2 years ago
My mom made biscuits with her hands like this recipe. I always ended up with dough up to my elbows.
ttaylor102 years ago
I like to use the food processor to cut in the butter, then add the cold buttermilk and let the food processor until the dough away the sides.
I dig it! Just like mine, except I use salted butter instead of shortening. I'll have to try yours to see if there is a difference. If I was not making pizza tonight, this would be on the list!
jpkita2 years ago
I think you are missing the biggest thing that makes a southern biscuit. Do not use milk, BUTTERMILK is the way to go. I was born and raised in the south, and i don't eat biscuits, cornbread, or pancakes without buttermilk.
artfulann (author)  jpkita2 years ago
I'm sure you have your cornbread dipped in buttermilk? I agree, buttermilk is the way to go, but more people have milk in the fridge and I was trying to get a step removed from the "canned biscuit". I appreciate your comment.
astead3 years ago
FYI, what you've actually produced there is a scone. The Queen would confirm that statement if she read instructables but instead you'll just have to trust wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scone_(bread)
artfulann (author)  astead3 years ago
I'm not British- but I thought scones had egg and more sugar? Thanks for your comment though!
Ok, so they're usually made with egg and sugar but not always as I wouldn't put sugar in a savoury scone. But then we also have drop-scones or as you would call, pancakes. Cuisine is where our languages seemingly differ the greatest.
artfulann (author)  astead3 years ago
Thank you! I can now add another keyword to this: scone. And I know what you mean about cuisine names-- grits: polenta would be another example I guess.
But I say good food is good whatever the name or nationality.
thegreat583 years ago
I like the way you think, biscuits and gravy with pilsbury or bisquick mix is absurd, I'm a old fart who likes to bake, especially when I have my 4 year old granddaughter for a helper, it's a hoot. I once even emailed some hoity toity TV chefs and told them they didn't know how to cook seafood, they always add to much spice and junk. I'm from Canada, but there's sure nothing wrong with bein' a Georgia Cracker. PS the only thing I do different is put in a tad of bakeing soda as well, maybe an 1/8 tsp. Great Stuff.
pilsbury are more for people who have either no time or no skill, or no will to learn the skill of baking. Usually for people in cities who live in apartments...but home cooking is still valued everywhere.
artfulann (author)  theawesomeninja3 years ago
Thanks- even though I live in the 4th largest city in the US- I still think like someone who grew up on a farm.
sunshiine3 years ago
Very nice instructables! Makes my mouth water!
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