Southern Biscuits III - Mock Clabber Creme Fraiche Biscuits

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About: I'm a 49 year old Systems Architect living in the Midwestern United States. After travelling the world for 20 years as a consulting architect I became disabled, as a result, I am now embracing a Slow life. ...

This is the third Instructable in a series on Southern biscuit making. The first two are Southern Hand-Rolled Biscuits and Butter Topped Southern Biscuits. I hope you will take a look at them as well. These are mock clabber biscuits. Clabber is the result of unpasteurized milk turning sour. Back in the day, when milk was delivered to the door in bottles, it was not always possible to bring them in right away. The result was a layer of clabber on the top of the milk. Frugal cooks would save this and use it to make biscuits.

These days sour cream is often used to replace the clabber in biscuit recipes. For ours, we use creme fraiche, which is a little more tart than sour cream and a little closer to clabber in flavor. I hope you enjoy these rich and fluffy biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups White Lily flour, plus extra for dusting (White Lily is lighter than regular flour, perfect for biscuits)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 cup creme fraiche

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Step 1: Blend and Butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk well. Add butter and mix in using a "finger snapping" motion until no chunks of butter remain larger than a pea. If you shake the bowl, the large pieces will settle on top, so you can snap them again. If it takes longer than 5 minutes to mix in the butter, place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes so the butter will chill again.

Step 2: Dough Time

Make a hollow in the center of the flour and add the creme fraiche. Work it in from the center out until the dough is sticky enough to start pulling flour from the sides of the bowl.

Step 3: Roll and Bake

Place the dough on a well-floured pastry board and roll out to desired thickness. For a thick biscuit like those pictured, roll out to about 3/4-inch. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits, being careful not to twist the cutter (this can seal the edges).

Bake in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes. Brush melted butter on top to finish, if desired.

Enjoy!

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