Thursday, May 14, 2015

BISCUITS - Sweet and Savory Recipes for the All-American Kitchen

Recently I was asked if I'd like to review this cookbook from my good foodie friend, Jackie, of Syrup and Biscuits. Well, let me tell you, I was thrilled to be asked, and I'll also admit right now "this Northern gal living in the South" has never made great biscuits. Oh I've made biscuits over the years, many times resulting in "hockey pucks" you could sling across the floor (just ask my family), but I had a really hard time making soft, flaky and delicious biscuits.

I've tried many, many recipes, and after 30+ years of not giving up, I could finally make a pretty decent biscuit, or at least one that was edible. I knew about using self-rising flour, super cold butter and buttermilk ... I didn't know about folding the dough over to create layers of flakiness ... until this cookbook. And, let's face it, if she could show me how to make light, fluffy, flaky, delicious biscuits, then I knew anyone would be able to master the art of biscuit making following her "tried and true" method.

The very beginning of the cookbook has a few pages of photos with detailed step-by-step directions to get you started making these layered, flaky biscuits. I followed it and they turned out great. Eureka! I got it! I finally had biscuit success ... my family thanks you Jackie!

Pat out the dough, then fold it over to create the layers

Pat the dough out to 1" thick and cut with biscuit cutter (see all those layers)

Yummy  layers of deliciousness

Buttermilk Biscuits (pg. 29)
2 cups soft winter wheat self-rising flour (make your own  self-rising flour by adding 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt to all-purpose flour)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
3/4-1 cup buttermilk 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and butter. Using your hands gently mix and crumble the butter with your fingers and thumb into the flour until it resembles course meal. With a wooden spoon, mix in the buttermilk; the dough will be wet and sticky.

Lay out a dish cloth on your counter-top and scoop out the biscuit dough. Dust top of dough with more flour and gently knead until the dough holds together, adding a bit more flour if necessary. 

Roll or pat dough out until 1/4" thick. Now fold the dough over from the right third of the dough toward the center, repeat with the left overlapping in the middle, then fold over the top and bottom. You should end up with a nice little envelope of layered goodness (see above photo).

Pat dough out to 1"-inch thick and cut out as many biscuits as you can. Gather up the scraps, stack them and gently push together and finish cutting the biscuits (I ended up with 9 biscuits). 

Brush tops with melted butter and bake 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

The "biscuit" fun doesn't stop with this cookbook! It continues with Hamburger Pot Pie, Chicken and Dumplings, Muscadine Jelly, Supreme Pizza Pull-Apart Bread, Strawberries and Cream Biscuits, Homemade Tomato Soup, Spinach Parmesan Scones, Compound Butters, Cheese Wafers and so much more!

To order your copy of this great cookbook: 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the cookbook to review. All opinions are my own.


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