The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Real Southern Biscuits

Sheryl's picture
Sheryl

Real Southern Biscuits

Hello all. 


Growing up in the rural South, the women in my family (tennessee and alabama) made biscuits unconsciously. Talking, doing ten things and all the while flour was flying and hands moving without measuring, no fancy equipment, the most rudimentary supplies and out of their ovens came the lightest, soft as a cloud biscuits, apparently without having to think about it. Today, a 'southern biscuit' is a cakey thing like this - foodies everywhere call this a 'southern biscuit' - 



- which is not what I (we) knew as a real Southern Biscuit. Maybe in places around the South that's a biscuit, but not in my experience. In my world a southern biscuit was identical to what you can get today at the Loveless Cafe - 



See the difference? The top 'biscuit' is crusty and crumbly. This bottom photo is soft, has a little chew to it, light as a cloud inside, the outside buttery and smooth instead of rough and crumbly. 


I should have paid attention as a young girl, and I did to pecan pies, apple pies, buttermilk cast iron fried chicken and collards and most especially to real Southern Corn Bread in a skillet, but the biscuit magic passed me by. Almost ten years now I've tried every recipe under the sun to duplicate the biscuits I remember that are exemplified by the Loveless biscuit above, but without success. I'm asking for help to understand the difference between these biscuits. I can make the top cakey, crumbly crunchy biscuit from 200 different recipes, but the bottom biscuit is eluding me. From White Lily flour to specialty flours from King Arthur to Bakewell Cream leaveners to all sorts of tricks and tips, they all turn out like #1. 


Does anyone know the real, definitive, actual difference and how to achieve it?


Once I found this Forum I hoped some pros can point me in the right direction. Thanks to all and I'm excited to see what your answers will be. Remember, I'm not here to debate the merits between biscuit styles, or to try more recipes for the top biscuit. I'm after the bottom biscuit. 


Thanks!  Sheryl

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I'm almost willing to bet that those cafe biscuits on the bottom are made with yeast. They look as much like a roll as they do a biscuit. Maybe that's what a biscuit-roll is. Seems like I've heard or seen that term before.


Anyway, maybe a recipe similar to the Angel Biscuits, that can be found online at kinarthur.com.

mama v's picture
mama v

I have the loveless cafe cookbook and in it Carol Faye says the oringinal recipe called for buttermilk and powdered milk and water, she took out the powdered milk, hope this helps!

shustring's picture
shustring

I could not find this website. i do agree ya, it does look like yeast. I made dinner rolls for a 4 * rest. and the recipe dates back to the 1700's. Even George Washington stayed there when it was a hotel. Has the outside kitchen and food is covered and carried over to the dining area. We made dinner "rolls".  I believe this same recipe would work for making those biscuits in the picture # 2 making them as biscuits and not rolls. 

 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Not that it matters now, but for possible future reference the address of King Arthur Flour's website is: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/

 

Ladimeemaw's picture
Ladimeemaw

I think she may well be describing sourdough biscuits made from a sour dough starter, as they look identical and taste the way she describes. they are an awesome biscuit.

alabubba's picture
alabubba

From watching the videos, it looks to me like its an "Oil Biscuit"


I will try making some of these tonight and let you know how they come out.


Looks like Self Rising flour. Oil, Milk. (she says buttermilk in the Throwdown w/BF)

kygin's picture
kygin

I'll agree on the yeast comment.  Try this one:


Angel Biscuits


This is the standard yeast biscuit recipe.  The dough keeps well in the refrigerator.  Just remember to punch it down occasionally or it will be out of the bowl and crawling across the shelf.


5 cups plain flour


3 teaspoon baking powder


1 teaspoon baking soda


1 teaspoon salt


3 Tablespoons sugar


3/4 cup margarine


2 cups buttermilk


1 pkg yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water


 Mix dry ingredients together.  Cut in margarine until well mixed.  Add buttermilk and dissolved yeast all at once.  Stir until all flour is moistened.  Store in container in refrigerator at least 2 hours before using.  (Better to wait one day.)  On floured board, roll out desired amount of dough and cut with 2 inch biscuit cutter.  Bake at 400 degrees (preferably on a preheated cast iron baker) for 12 minutes or until golden brown.




 


 

shustring's picture
shustring

you dont have to knead this at all ?? my husband remembered his grandmother doing that over and over. 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

A significant amount of kneading (or even overly aggressive mixing) is likely to lead to "tough" biscuits. Making biscuits "flaky" is serious business: in fact, some (not all) "all purpose" flour is actually different in southern states than in the rest of the country - less gluten for lighter biscuits.

The same flour may have been heavily kneaded for other things  ...but I suspect the memory of heavy kneading for making biscuits includes a lot of either misunderstanding or imagination.

shallots's picture
shallots

I have never made beaten biscuits, but I have a vague memory from childhood in Virginia of a cousin (of course) makeing that as a biscuit, and being told I was too young to make them.  Beaten take a lot of time and strength.

Second possibility comes from a friend from west Tennssee near the Alabama line whose Momma made rolls for a school cafeteria.  They have the Loveless look. They are unlike biscuits in that they take a whole morning to make and the are a dough, which rises, and THEN the yeast is added.  Of all the cafeteria foods made, there were never leftovers at her school when she made the rolls.

misaacka's picture
misaacka

Full disclosure:  I grew up in middle TN and have eaten at Loveless' Cafe, but it was long, long ago and, sadly, I don't remember the biscuits (I wasn't a biscuit fan back then, despite being a born Southerner).  I agree with mrfrost and KyGin, though:  those look like yeast biscuit/rolls to me, but they also remind me of the delectable sourdough biscuits my college roommate used to make. 


I'm guessing you want to be somewhere in between the traditional crusty, baking powder biscuit and the sourdough.  Beaten biscuits are an altogether different beastie, more cracker-like, from what I understand.


My mother says that my grandmother always saved back a piece of biscuit dough from each batch to use to start the next batch.  Folks back then were deeply familiar with fermentation and not afraid of it.  It would have been second nature to work with an ongoing culture, even as just a flavor enhancer.


Try starting out with a good Southern baking powder biscuit recipe, but keeping back a quarter of the dough as a starter for the next batch.  If you're not going to bake the next day, refrigerate it, but otherwise, just leave it on the counter overnight.  (If it were me, I'd leave it out for a day or two . . . or three . . . .)   And continue the process, just making the recipe as usual, but first mixing in the held-back dough with the liquids.  Give the dough a little while to rise before baking.  I'll bet you end up with something very Loveless-like, especially as the natural yeasts begin to establish themselves. 


Let us know what happens . . .

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

The most significant difference is hydration (new term for me since I've been learning yeast breads).  Gentleness is another key.  I do use oil, but the type of fat isn't as important as having a wet dough. The softness of the flour is important as well.


Buttermilk (just shy of a cup) is added to 2 cups of Southern self-rising flour (Martha White or White Lilly) along with 1/3 cup oil or crisco previously cut into the flour.  If using buttermilk, I add 1/2 tsp. of soda.  I stir this with a fork just until well mixed.


This mixture is wet enough to judge by sight or feel. This is dumped onto a thin layer of flour and is not really kneaded at all.  If more flour is needed, minimal kneading is used.  The dough must be soft.  The dough is patted out into a 1/2" to 3/4" thick, flat disk and cut into biscuits.  To get the finish on the Loveless Cafe biscuits, place a few tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet and coat the biscuit with oil and flip over.  Bake at 450F for 12 to 14 minutes until golden in color.

misaacka's picture
misaacka

Frequent Flyer, I love your recipe/technique.  There is a certain yeasty flavor, though, that's a part of what I think the OP is trying to capture.  I'm thinking of how your recipe might work combined with my grandmother's old-dough method.  Another way of getting the "Loveless" finish might be to brush the biscuits w/ melted butter (or other fat) before baking.

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I sure hate to admit it, but I think y'all are right.  I've been watching Carol Fay (my wife's middle name is Faye), the Biscuit Lady at the Loveless Cafe on clips from this site:  http://www.lovelesscafe.com/extras.html#recipes , and it's clear the recipe is not for sale (although a prank version is on the bottom of the web site).  Once the dough is made, it rises for about 30 minutes.  I think the recipe has yeast in it (Ya Think??).  Martha White flour is used (from Lebanon, TN I believe, just 50 miles down the road).


 Anyway, I made the biscuits below with the recipe I listed above:


KondiH's picture
KondiH

Just because she lets them rise for 30 minutes does not mean they have yeast in them. If you use baking powder and soda as many old biscuit recipes call for the acid in the buttermilk will cause them to rise before baking. 

Sheryl's picture
Sheryl

But ... Much as I'd like to agree, it can't be self-rising flours, because Carol Fay is working from a ten gallon food grade tub of prepared dough that sits around waiting for her to pull out a handful, knead, shape, roll and cut. And she works her dough a lot more than one would suspect. 


Any self rising flour has chemical leaveners. Those chemicals react to acids to release carbon dioxide which as an escaping gas causes the rise and supposedly softer texture of the finished product. I've never found this to be true. Chemical leaveners have almost always given the finished product a chemical taste, and the interior is far from puffy and light. A chemical biscuit has an altogether different texture than the Southern Biscuit in the second photo above. At least what I call fluffy and light ... having had biscuits from both genres. It's like the difference between an expertly created baguette in Paris - the interior is just different than the interior texture of other baguettes. 

In the videos I've seen of Carol Fay making biscuits, she's working from a stand-by prepared moderately high hydration dough. I've tried this a number of times with doughs made with varying amounts of chemical leaveners, and beyond a variable time limit, once the acids in buttermilk contact the chemical leaveners ... even with Double Acting (differing temperature reaction times) it's a non-starter. In other words ... flat. In order to sustain the chemical reaction, the dough must be used promptly or all the gases release and dissipate. 

She's definitely not using self-rising flour and almost certainly not using exclusively the usual suspects of baking powder and/or baking soda. There's something else going on here. 

From my thousands of hours and 200+ biscuit recipes, I'd have to venture that the Angel recipe above is my next attempt. I appreciate the Comments, and will take all under advisement. But if you watch Carol's video, you'll see how incredibly simple her technique is. There's no extra steps. And she's working from a stand-by dough. None of the extra steps advised here apply. 

Look at it this way ... she's almost certainly not using butter as her fat because butter browns and discolors as it reaches high temperatures. See top photo. Classic product from using butter. She's not using butter because of the steam released during high temps from the waters inherent in milk solids in non-clarified butters. She's almost certainly using lard, which does not discolor, is clear and produces no aftertaste in the finished product. 

It's a mystery. And to be fair, you'd have to taste the difference, know the mouth-feel of the difference in the interior crumb to understand the contrast between a cake-like biscuit interior that's usually accepted as a 'biscuit' and the soft as a cloud interior of the Southern Biscuit I'm trying to replicate. 

Frequent - lovely picture, and I love the cast iron pan. In my quest I acquired a Lodge cast iron biscuit pan some years ago and it works marvelously.  http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Logic-Pre-Seasoned-Drop-Biscuit/dp/B00063RX7O But what I need to put into it to bake is different than the self-rising flour recipes offered here. has to be. The product I'm after looks, feels and tastes different than buttermilk self-rising biscuits. 

It may be a picayune detail, but the top crust on the skillet biscuits above is indicative of self-rising flour biscuits as contrasted to the smooth top texture of the second photograph above. It make look like such a tiny detail but after making batches of biscuits steadily for a LONG time now in this quest, it's a difference I recognize. 

Maybe the Angel recipe is it.

I'll report back. Thanks all for your time and thoughts. 

 

megintn's picture
megintn

Last time we were in Nashville, we met a man that was born in Nashville and was in his 70's He claimed to know the secret ingredients...Martha White flour and lard.

kygin's picture
kygin

Forgive me, but I haven't thought about this one in years...the lyrics to the Martha White Flour commercial:


 


Now you bake right (uh-huh) with
Martha White (yes, ma'am)
Goodness gracious, good and light, Martha White.

For the finest biscuits, cakes and pies,
Get Martha White self-rising flour,
The one all purpose flour,
Martha White self-rising flour's
Got Hot Rise Plus.

ophelia72's picture
ophelia72

Did you ever find the perfect recipe for the Loveless Cafe style biscuits?  Please share it if you have it or something close to it. Thanks!

DebraWinfrey's picture
DebraWinfrey

I did a little sleuthing around the Loveless recently, and I am surprised that nobody thought to just ASK an oldtimet what is in the danged biscuits. Hint-it ain't yeast.

Look around the place where the biscuits are made--and yes, even though Carol Ellison is gone they are still making biscuits.

Notice first that a wet dough is plopped down onto the tabletop from a big white plastic bucket--the dough has been made up the night before.

If someone can post what EXACTLY they see in the Loveless kitchen, I'll spill the beans.

BTW: there is no yeast in the Loveless biscuits. There is also no oil.
And using canola oil is just plain wrong. I'm just sayin'.

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

Yup! All I see are the biscuit faeries hiding in the corner. So, the secret recipe includes magic!

Now, spill the beans please!

jbaudo's picture
jbaudo

I saw Carol Fay from the loveless cafe make these biscuits a few years ago on tv.  She was on Showdown with Bobby Flay.  The episode is on utube if you want to watch it.  I think her secret ingredient is cream of tarter but I could be wrong.  Also it could have been cornstarch.  This would lighten up the dough considerably. I have used cornstarch in cakes and gluten free baking for this very purpose with great success.  I also noticed from the video that her dough was REALLY wet.    Here is the link to the clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFCBVi2leZI

Sheryl's picture
Sheryl

Tartar may well be the answer.

KenK's picture
KenK

I realize that you are trying to find out how to make biscuits that come out the way you want them.  However; I would like to point out to readers from above the Mason Dixon line that "real" southern biscuits are made with baking powder and baking soda by 99.9% of Southern cooks.


 

Sheryl's picture
Sheryl

:-)

jbaudo's picture
jbaudo

I just watched the video from Good Morning America and she had flour and then four small bowls.  In one she had a white powder - probably the levening, then she had vegetable oil, and probably buttermilk and heavy cream in the others. She just dumps it all together and starts mixing.  This is nothing like any biscuits I have ever made but I think I will give it a try.  Her method and recipe(if you can call it that) is very unconventional which is why none of the recipes we have tried worked.  I say forget everything you have learned about making biscuits - don't measure, try to use some different ingredients (there is no butter or solid fat in these biscuits) and see how they turn out.  Just try to copy what she is doing in some of these videos.  I am feel inspired to make some biscuits for myself.

Sheryl's picture
Sheryl

I see that you see what I'm seeing. And I appreciate that. It's something quite different, yet somehow familiar.

jbaudo's picture
jbaudo

I just found this recipe posted in a forum on "discusscooking.com" by one of their cooks.  Instead of trying to paraphrase I will just copy and paste it.  I also want to add that I have made oil biscuits before and they are much lighter than the solid shortening ones.


they are OIL biscuits - been around a long time... if you read a few basic oil biscuit recipes you will see you use less oil than the milk, usually 1/3 cup oil to 2/3 cup milk...


2 c flour (the lily stuff may be better or not) (also loveless could be using self rising)
1 T baking powder (if self rising flour only 1 teaspoon)
½ t salt (if self rising- none)


1/3 c oil
2/3 c milk (loveless may be using buttermilk)
MOST important - When mixing and cutting handle VERY little
Watch her technique - very important..



for a few secret ingredients that people add - you can use a couple of things that add to light fluffiness and taste
¼ t cream tart
1 teaspoon to a Tablespoon cider vinegar (when added with the milk it's like using buttermilk - helps with the rising )
1t to T of sugar (I don't like sugar added but some do and maybe she does)
make a few batches different ways - they all are pretty quick and basic..
hope this gets you in the right direction while


 

Sheryl's picture
Sheryl

Thank you very much. This is inspiring. I was very hopeful the Pro-Crew here on Fresh Loaf would begin to point a different direction.

As to oil vs shortening, or lard ... I'd tend to agree after so many test batches under my belt, and I would agree less fats in the mix than milk. Fat, after all, along with egg proteins is what transform the flours of bread into cake dough. A cakey texture is altogether different than the Loveless biscuit. I was already working on less fat in the mix. And seeing a change in results.

Thank you.

Sheryl's picture
Sheryl

White Lily is no longer.

I know, I know ... you can still buy a package that 'says' White Lily, but its not. White Lily was famous for being milled in the same mill for over a hundred years, but it's closed now having been bought out by the JM Smuckers Company. And moved North.

It's such a travesty that words are not adequate. That was literally the best flour in America. Gone now. Corporatized.

deblacksmith's picture
deblacksmith

For a long time -- much of White Lily flour was not milled in Knoxville.  The old White Lily did in fact start and mill in Knoxville but well before their purchase by JM Smucker's much of their flour was contract milled in Ohio.  Now it all is.  Some cooks say they can tell the difference -- other say they can't.  


It is like the question of "Who or where are King Arthur's flours milled?"  Does it matter if they are the same from bag to bag?  -- By the way does anyone know who mills for King Arthur or that matter for Smucker's White Lily?  


Smucker's now owns companies that make most of the retail flour in Canada -- Robin Hood, Four Roses etc.  It would be interesting to see a detail listing of where and by who many flours including "house brands" are produced.


Deblacksmith

copyu's picture
copyu

I remember copying and writing-out the recipe for "Quick-stir Scones" by hand, half a life-time ago and the recipe is almost identical. [I believe the original 'biscuits' of America were derived from the UK, where Irish soda breads and Scots scones were 'born'.]


Normal scones used butter or lard, and the fat had to be rubbed into the flour, as in pastry making, but the "quick-stir" method used oil. I remember that there were MANY warnings about how to handle the ingredients...sifting the flour, salt and leavening chemicals together, for example. NEVER to mix the milk and oil together (yet one had to be poured gently on top of the other in a cup—they were added to the flour together...) temperatures of ingredients were also fairly critical...souring of the milk, if one had no buttermilk; mixing and shaping were also governed by rules of "minimal handling".


When made properly, these scones usually looked and tasted BETTER than the "traditionally" made ones. They needed much more thought, but less actual time and work.

jbaudo's picture
jbaudo

copyu,


Do you happen to have the "quick-stir scones" recipe anymore? Or do you know where I could find it?  I would love to give it a try.

copyu's picture
copyu

I found the recipe, but it's more like a 'mini-thesis' on self-raising flour and baking powder!


Still, here it is...I hope this helps.


Quick-Stir Scones


First, you need to obtain or create some self-raising flour.


Making S-R Flour: For scones, you’ll need ‘weak’ or ‘cake’ flour. To one pound [or 16 oz/450g] plain flour, add 1oz/25g baking powder.


To 1 cup plain flour add up to 1¼ teasp of baking powder. [NB: Some cooks suggest a half teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour. This may depend on the “freshness” of your ingredients.]


To make ‘baking powder’ • Place 3 teasp bicarbonate of soda and 4 teasp cream of tartar into a jar and shake them well together. Store in a cool place. Whichever combination you use, sift all the ingredients together 3-4 times, to make an even mix. Always store S-R flour and baking powder in air-tight containers.


The quantities above are only a rough guide. The amount of baking powder can vary according to the recipe and what else you have added to it. For example, 2 level teasp baking powder is generally enough when using ½ lb flour and 4oz fat. However, if you increase the amount of fat and also add eggs, which all help to make it rise, you only need 1½ teasp baking powder. So, follow your recipe closely!


Quick-Stir Scones


All ingredients should be at “room temperature” (70-76°F/ 21-25°C)


2 cups of self-raising flour


2/3 cup of buttermilk (or sour milk)


1/3 cup peanut oil (or similar)


1 teasp table salt or cooking salt


Sour milk: use fresh milk at, or near, the use-by-date and leave it out on a kitchen counter overnight, covered with plastic wrap. You may also add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar (up to 1 teasp) to fresh milk, at room temp, until it barely curdles.


Method:


Sift together the S-R flour (or the ingredients of SR flour) with 1 teasp salt into a bowl. Then pour 1/3 cup peanut oil on top of 2/3 cup buttermilk without blending the liquids. Add, at once, to the flour and stir with a knife, quickly, until the mixture cleans the sides of the bowl.


Place dough on a piece of waxed paper and knead very quickly, without additional flour, and press out to ¼ - ½ inch (6-12mm) thick by hand.


Cut the dough into rounds with an un-floured scone cutter or a medium-sized water glass.


Place onto ungreased scone trays (making sure to keep a good distance between the rounds of dough) and bake in a very hot oven at 450-475°F for 10-15 minutes, depending on size of scones.


Leftover dough should be patted together with a minimum of handling and formed into rounds as quickly as possible.


 


 


 

jbaudo's picture
jbaudo

Thanks so much for going to all the trouble to find the recipe.  I am definately going to try it this weekend for breakfast.  It sounds really easy.  I'll have to let you know how they come out.


 

copyu's picture
copyu

I hope they turn out well for you!


It so happens that it's our 'weekend' now and when I got up this morning, my wife was cutting-out some American-style biscuits for breakfast—the first time in months that she's made them. I'll have to show her the Quick-stir Scone method. It's been a long time since I've used that recipe.


Cheers

copyu's picture
copyu

...here at home, but it was over 30 years ago and I've moved house at least eleven times in that period, including interstate and overseas.


I do have a feeling that the original cook-book was in a cardboard box in storage for a long time—the mice got into one or two of my cartons. I'm not so hopeful, but a nephew and one of my brothers could have got the recipe from me...I'll see what I can do.


Cheers   

rolls's picture
rolls

for all you southerners, is there such a thing as choke bisicuits? read it ina novel once, lol. the biscuites were shaped by a choking action, sqeezing through joined thumb and index finger, rather than rolled out and cut into circles.


also, not sure if this helps but i usually use powdered milk when making scones, and notice a dramatic difference in texture, more lighter by heaps.

HeatherB's picture
HeatherB

I am from Tennessee.  My grandmother (who is now 102) used to make biscuits for me when I was little and I would call them Southern style.  I would not call the biscuits pictured from Loveless cafe biscuits that are true old fashioned style biscuits.  My grandmother's biscuits were not yeast roll looking and they were not fluffy fancy ones.  They had the most wonderful taste to them--that I have not yet been able to replicate nor have I had a biscuit that tasted like them since I was a child.  As a southerner by birth, I guess what I am trying to say is that there is no authoritative recipe for biscuits and I think it is silly to say that the top picture is not a biscuit or that the one (that I don't think looks much like one) from Loveless Cafe is not a biscuit...Families have different recipes and different regions have different recipes and that is what makes it interesting to taste different versions of biscuits.  If a biscuit is too fluffy, I admit that my personal opinion is that it is more of a roll but every one is entitled their opinion of what makes a good biscuit.  Let's not get stuck on there being only one TRUE type of Southern biscuit any more than there is one type of chocolate chip cookie. 

admclean's picture
admclean

I'm rather late to this thread, but I'm recently on a quest to reproduce my grandmother's and mother's "choked" biscuits. The secret ingredient in these light biscuits in a high quality lard. Lard was a staple of southern farms and used in almost everything! The high-lard hogs they raised are not the type of hogs commercially used now, so in order to get this lard you'll have to search for lard from heritage breed stock. Lard from these hogs is a lighter, less saturated fat than the lard commercially available now. Perhaps leaf lard (found online and in a few specialty stores) might do the trick. So, anyone's version of a "southern" biscuit today is, sadly, probably not going to taste like a biscuit from pre-1950's. I want to continue the tradition, though, so I'm on the search and trying hard :)


The term "choked" comes from the way the biscuits were formed. the dough was elongated into a tube shape (roll). The roll was then pinched between the thumb and index finger (or choked off). The pinched dough was then gently shaped into a round and placed, sides touching, into pans for baking. This produced a dome shaped biscuit with a chewy crust that extended to the bottom of the biscuit. The inside was as light as air! Melt in your mouth wonderful! I have never, ever, ever seen one of these in a restaurant and it's very hard to find anyone today who makes them like this. According to my mother, it was knowing the "feel" of the dough and not working it too much. I'm still working to perfect my "feel!" If anyone is interested, I'll start posting my experiments with lard, ratios, etc and final recipe. I'd also love to hear from anyone who remembers this type of biscuit and has had success with them or with experimenting with different types of lard.

Ladimeemaw's picture
Ladimeemaw

how funny, i grew up on "choke" biscuits but never heard them call ed that. my grandmother and mother made them as do i.' i toaught my children and am teaching my grandchildren to make them. to me it is just a biscuit and easier to make than rolling them out and less time consuming.

sam's picture
sam

 

The high-lard hogs they raised are not the type of hogs commercially used now, so in order to get this lard you'll have to search for lard from heritage breed stock. Lard from these hogs is a lighter, less saturated fat than the lard commercially available now.

 

Sorry I know this is an older thread, but I was curious about this type of lard, and after a bit of online researching -- I could be wrong but I think you are referring to Mangalitsa lard?   (from the Mangalitsa breed of hog) 

Not trying to advertise for someone else but I found this retailer who in theory ships rendered lard from the Mangalitsa breeds.   http://chefshop.com/Mangalitsa-Pig-Lard-P7268.aspx

A little bit expensive, but I'm thinking of trying out a batch.   I've never worked with lard before so I have no reference point for 'normal' lard but might as well try the best.  

There is a wikipedia article about Mangalitsa hogs here.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangalitsa

 

sam's picture
sam

This was from one of the wikipedia sources but I thought it was interesting enough to post it here.

http://woolypigs.com/_breeds.html

From most people I've ever talked to -- non-bakers, non-chefs -- the word "lard" has bad connotations to it.   Now I am questioning that.

Would be interesting to try a laminated dough with a good lard (if I am ever able to do it properly, my first attempt with plain butter was a bit of a miserable failure :) ).    

bambiesue's picture
bambiesue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR3-573BlYs&feature=related


 


She says she lets the dough rise about 30 min.


 

alabubba's picture
alabubba

Carol Fay passed away on April 5, 2010

bambiesue's picture
bambiesue

Sooo im guessing the biscuit recipe twicks went with her...what a shame...on both counts. My she RIP


 


 


 


 

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I would be willing to bet that her boss at the Loveless Cafe had the recipe. I think I read that somewhere.


That doesn't mean that were going to get it any time soon.


 

bambiesue's picture
bambiesue

Oh Ya they will never release it out of respect for Carole Fay. But thats ok.

Urchina's picture
Urchina

After watching the Carol Fay videos (down the rabbit hole I went!) and looking up oil biscuit recipes (what a great way to spend an evening!), here's my guess:


 


Self-rising flour (I found a press release from Martha White saying that's what the Carol Fay used). 


Cream of tartar (called for in nearly all of the oil biscuit recipes I found). I betcha this is the white powder that shows up in the clips. 


Buttermilk. The owner of the Loveless Cafe said this was one of the things they used in their biscuits. 


Water


Oil -- canola? 


 


Once the biscuits are cut and panned with sides touching, the tops are brushed with melted butter. They bake for 10 minutes (per a Travel Channel clip with Carol Fay) and once they come out of the oven are immediately brushed with melted butter again.  Presumably high oven temperatures are involved. I'm guessing 425 - 450?


 


On one of the video clips, Carol Fay said there was something in the original recipe that she took out. My guess is lard or sugar. Sugar would tenderize the crumb and make it less bread-y, wouldn't it? Taking it out might let the biscuits have a bit more of a chew. Lard would make the biscuit flaky. Substituting oil is going to give richness without flakiness. 


 


Sheryl, how's the quest going? I'm going to try some of these biscuits tomorrow, I think, and see how they go. 

Urchina's picture
Urchina

I dreamed about biscuits last night, and this morning as I was waking up realized that the white powder Carol Fay put in the flour was too much to be just cream of tartar (I think -- egads, that would be a LOT if it was). So it had to be something else...


 


Possibly dried milk. Or/and


Instant mashed potatoes? (this was the potential epiphany). 


 


I use instant mashed potatoes in the Bernard Clayton's Lenora's Yeast Rolls Recipe, and they turn out buttery, soft, with a bit of chew. Too much could make the biscuit lodgy, but a bit might add a good flavor and some real softness. 


 


I think I'll try today.....

alabubba's picture
alabubba

A couple of points.


I think they have to be oil biscuits. I think that's a given, She never talks about cutting in the fat, and you can clearly see her put the oil in.


Second I think they are yeast biscuits (angel biscuits)


Third, When she made them at the restaurant, they were made up in huge batches that would be stored in big plastic buckets. (to rise?) she would pull out some, work it a minute, roll, cut, put on a pan, then put the pan aside (second rise)


Lastly the consistency is more roll like than biscuit.


I found this recipe a while back but have yet to try it.


http://www.ifood.tv/recipe/easy-german-biscuits


allan

bambiesue's picture
bambiesue

on the Ellen vido. she said she lets them rise about an half our. Im thinking it is cornstarch she put in,cause it was at lest a 1/4 cup. also it looks like milk. cause if u drink buttermilk,it has a bit. and ellen didnt flinch when she tasted it. it also could be hevey cream with water. You know..also it could be seltser water .and not water

Urchina's picture
Urchina

I'm going to try the Angel Biscuit recipe, too. The ones I looked up looked more like the top biscuit at the head of this forum, and less like the Loveless Cafe biscuit. 


 


Also, the flour used probably matters, no? I'd heard that Southern flour (even AP) has lower protein content than Northern flour -- 7.5 - 9% for Southern versus 11% or so for Northern. I'm thinking that cake flour or pastry flour might be necessary to get the right consistency unless you can get your hands on some White Lilly or Martha White. 


 


 

bambiesue's picture
bambiesue

I agree. I thought cake flour too

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

Most biscuit recipes call for 2 cups of AP flour, preferably a soft Souther flour like White Lily or Martha White. I use 1-1/2 cups White Lily plus 1/2 cup cake flour. The cake flour makes a huge difference in the texture.


The recipes usually call for 2/3 to 3/4 cup of buttermilk or milk, and I have found that the 3/4 cup of buttermilk works better. It's a little wetter and messier for a minute before patting or rolling out, but the biscuits are better.


I haven't made angel biscuits in awhile, but the photograph doesn't quite look like angel biscuits. Similar, but not quite the same. I'll have to make some to compare.


Pardon me while I contemplate wolfing down a plate of hot, buttered angel biscuits with a tall glass of iced tea.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I'm going to post an alternate link to that recipe here because I've gotten a virus going to that site (ifood.tv) TWICE now.  In fact my laptop has been bricked for over a month because of malware from that site. I don't want to risk going back there again.


 


 

alabubba's picture
alabubba

What about corn starch, or rice flour. Both will interfere with gluten development and give a softer crumb?

Amori's picture
Amori

My aunt said she used Bourbon for extra 'puff' [her term] she also said cake flour was mixed in it along with confectioner's sugar and melted lard. Funny thing is, I can't give credit to any of the videos, milk with Ellen, buttermilk @the morning show.....she was cute as a peach, too bad she didn't planned/ shared her legacy. 

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

Did your aunt drink the bourbon or add it to the biscuit dough? :-)

Amori's picture
Amori

Both[while doing the books] lol

bellasera973's picture
bellasera973

Ok I went to the loveless website and watched all of the clips...


 


1.) When she was on Conan, she named off all of the ingredients... she said "flour" and "baking powder" and "baking soda" and "milk" and "oil"... she didnt mention anything about letting it rise. she rolled and cut them right there.


2.) on Ellen she obviously had milk and oil, but then she had a giant bowl of cloudy water (that Ellen joked and said was Gin).. and she spoke of letting the dough rise for about 1/2 hour. No baking powder, or baking soda were talked about.


3.) on an interview she did with a CBS Harry Smith, it looked like she had a TINY bowl of milk, TINY oil, and then TINY bowl of what appeared to be some kind of water...again, she rolled and cut them right there. and again, no baking soda/baking powder talk.


Soo.. we know DEFINITELY that there is milk and oil.


The cloudy water could be yeast? Or any other ideas?


 

Oaktree's picture
Oaktree

Wild guess. Could the liquid be potato water? Should be lots of that in a cafe.....

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

And Ellen is probably mistaking the smell of Vodka, not Gin.

alabubba's picture
alabubba

If you have ever been to the restaurant, she takes big blobs of dough from plastic buckets, No telling when they were mixed, and rolls out the dough, cuts, puts them on a baking sheet, puts the baking sheet in a rack and repeats.


I also read that what made her biscuits so special was what she took out of the recipe?!


The closest I have come is the German biscuit recipe I posted above.


Next time I will eliminate the buttermilk, and baking soda. and see if those are what she took out.

Amori's picture
Amori

No buttermilk in the fridge and zero chances of getting White Lily locally. Played with a miniature Chivas Rigal, Cake Flour + lower prot AP flour in the pantry [gold medal] and Half and Half that was expiring next day:


f-1[1].jpg


 

Amori's picture
Amori

A little larger than planned:


e[1].jpg

Amori's picture
Amori

Hard to slice, on the tender side:


 


 

Amori's picture
Amori

Same recipe, a bit more flour and low fat buttermilk:


DSCF6879.JPG

bellasera973's picture
bellasera973

is there yeast in them? what are the ratios?

bellasera973's picture
bellasera973

what recipe did you use to make those?

Amori's picture
Amori

-

Barbarainnc's picture
Barbarainnc

The Loveless Cafe won an award for having the best Biscuits with Country Ham. Here are some secrets they shared:


They used White Lily flour.  (I assuming self-rising??)  I read in another article, that they used Martha White Self-Rising Flour.


They use real buttermilk.


They use melted lard.


The dough is made the day ahead and set a day, roll out by hand.


Butter them before and after baking.


Bake about 15 min. or so.


They make 5 to 6 THOUSAND Biscuits a day!!!


**********************************


I still think it is a Angel Biscuit.  Some Angel Biscuits are baked after cutting them out, and some recipes let them rise before baking.


 Some where I read Carol let them set 30 minutes before baking.  On the FN clip, you can see pans of biscuits setting next to the oven in a big rack, getting ready to be baked.

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

I'm beginning to think they are angel biscuits also. Angel biscuit dough can be stored in the refrigerator up to six days, and some recipes suggest the dough be refrigerated at least four hours before use. Some say to let rise before baking, but others say do not let rise.


I tried four hours of refrigeration and let them rise in the pan about 30 minutes. Wow. Really tall biscuits, but I may have rolled them out over 1/2 inch thick. No refrigeration with the next batch I tried. They were immediately rolled out to 1/2 inch thick, placed in pans, and baked. Tasty but little or no rise. Need to try:
1. No refrigeration, roll out, allow to rise in pan.
2. Refrigeration, roll out, bake immediately.
3. Refrigeration, roll out, allow to rise before baking.


I've seen rise time in the pan from 30 minutes to two hours. Kitchen warmth and common sense will have to dictate here.


In either a video or in an article she stated she left something out from the original recipe. It could be that she left out the step of cutting in lard/Crisco and mixed in melted lard/Crisco or vegetable oil instead.


Her secret ingredient could well be yeast. It could be hidden in the flour or buttermilk for TV shows, or she could have just left it out for the mixing demonstration in shows. I think active dry yeast can be used in a similar manner as rapid-rise or instant yeast by mixing it in with the dry ingredients. It can start working while in the refrigerator. With the amount she would use daily, there would be no need to test/proof the active dry yeast for each batch of biscuits. Testing/proofing daily or with each new container might be sufficient.


In one demonstration I saw, she kneaded the dough briefly after mixing the ingredients. Though not an expert, I have never seen biscuit dough come together that quickly and smoothly before. It could be because of the use of oil instead of a shortening, or yeast is hiding in there somewhere!

Shadowcat's picture
Shadowcat

I saw a vide of an older lady showing her grandaughter, I believe, how to make what you just described, a choked biscuit.  Here is the link for you and all interested.  It was on YouTube, in case the link does not work.  "Monk's Biscuits, with Thelma Holley and Holley Proctor Malia."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwf_IYCqeHk&feature=player_embedded

Crystal Eastman's picture
Crystal Eastman

At 10 yrs. old I could make the same biscuits my grandmother made, however lack of practice has robbed me of that talent just now.  I do remember she used her hands, scooped up a dollop of lard and put into the center of a well of self rising (only self-rising) flour, a pinch of baking soda, and added butter milk about halfway up the shortnening.  Then she squeezed the mixture, making a half circle with her hand and the motion worked in flour from the sides till the dough was still very soft but manageable.  She rolled it out of the flour pan, patted to thickness, cut the buiscuits and put them touching in a low-sided greased pan: then she took a spoon, dipped the back into bacon drippings, and slid it across top of each biscuit before putting them into the oven.  They were light, bready but not heavy, and certainly not crumbly.  I remember you could actually drag a half biscuit across syrup and it wouldn't tear apart on you.  They were the best!!!

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

..who made them the same way.  Lard and buttermilk (they say) makes great biscuits and self-rising flour makes it easy.


FF

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

When first learning to make biscuits, only self-rising flour gave me good results. This was over a period of time, so my errors could possibly have been the age of the baking powder, but not always. Now it does not matter. Both regular and self-rising work the same for me, but I use AP White Lily (soft southern) flour so I can add a little cake flour to the mix.


I've tried lard when using the cake flour mix, and it was too much, so I know to use either some cake flour or lard. I'd rather not use lard, but it is not that big of a deal since I only make biscuits every month or two or three.


Buttermilk, of course.


I'm off to bake up a mess of biscuits ... with Cheddar cheese and some cayenne pepper added. Maybe I'll melt some butter with a dash of garlic powder to brush over the biscuits when they come out of the oven. Yum.

gen6tex's picture
gen6tex

Yes! Some sort of shortening/lard, flour, baking soda and buttermilk squeezed through fingers; soft moist dough; patted gently, never kneaded or rolled out with extra flour. Was your grandmother from Texas?

Crystal Eastman's picture
Crystal Eastman

My main reason for always using self-rising flour whenever I can, is because I can taste the baking powder in what I make with plain flour.  It has a bitter taste and I don't like it.  Also the self-rising has the perfect amount of salt.  I prefer it to use when making piecrust also.

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

If I made biscuits more often, I would use self-rising flour. It is definitely easier to use. Sadly, I might go six months to a year without making biscuits, so the self-rising flour might be old before I use it again. It is just easier for me to keep a small amount of White Lily flour and cake flour on hand for when the urge strikes. I use KA flours for bread baking.


I don't bake pies because I will not rest until a pie, or cake, is completely gone. Some people cannot be trusted around sweets. At least I would get exercise going to and from the kitchen for each slice.

whosinthekitchen's picture
whosinthekitchen

Only stir the batter enough to wet the ingredients,


have the pan with hot oil (butter), flip the biscuit in the hot oil so the top gets some, pace in a hot oven.


 


Some like to bake them on a sheet  not touching, my family prefers them to be in a sided pan so they rise taller.


 


If there is no buttermilk in the fridge, add a bit of vinegar to themilk before adding it to the bowl.  I actully like this better since the buttermilk in the stores isn't real buttermilk.... and it gets further and further from the real thing each time I buy it,it seems.  Oh, how I miss the BIG OLD Jersey COW from the childhood farm.... now that was milk butter, and buttermilk like none other.


 


There isnothing like that fabulous signature southern bicuit.... I have added 2 cups of shredded cheese and paprika to the biscuits for parties.... I make them about 1.5 in in diameter... Popping good

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Errrr . . . our Jersey cows were always on the smallish side.  In fact modern Jerseys are noticeably larger than the Jerseys of my youth.  They probably looked huge to you because you were little, LOL!


I remember my dad talking about working a livestock sale for the first time with his dad.  He said they were letting the bulls into the ring for the auction one at a time.  People were hanging off the sides of the chute to get an early look.  Then the cry of "JERSEY BULL!  JERSEY BULL!" went up, and every body scrambled off and away.  My dad said he had no idea what was going on, but he followed his dad's lead.


Then the bull came running down the chute, banging from side to side and bellowing like a mad thing.


Jersey cows.  Sweetest things you could ever hope to milk.


Jersey bulls.  Meaner 'n a snake and smart as a whips - making them dangerous as he!!


 

ssor's picture
ssor

asking for a "Real Southern Biscuit " recipe is rather like asking for a "Real Texas Chili" recipe. My sister in law made biscuits in the flour bin with a handful of lard, self rising flour and buttermilk. No measuring, no rolling, She worked the lard into the flour added some buttermilk and started putting biscuits into a pan.

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

The following is excerpted from:


"Understanding Baking The Art and Science of Baking", THIRD EDITION, Joseph Amendola & Nicole Rees, page 7...,



"Generally, soft wheats have a high starch yield on milling and a low
protein content. They are grown in areas of high rainfall and lower soil fertility, primarily east of the Mississippi River. Low-protein southern flours are deployed to their best advantage in their growing region's specialties-biscuits, pies, and cakes where tenderness is prized over strength. Beyond wheat's given genetic quotient of hardness or softness, environmental conditions determine the hardness of any given crop. Not only the overall protein content but also the quality and specific amounts of each protein present can be affected by seasonal variations."



Death of White Lilly flour has caused a major pertebation of the biscuit force South of the Mason Dixon Line and other sundry places where biscuit afficionado's reside.


Becoming a national catastrophe, the story was covered by none other than the New York Times in June of 2008. The story can be read here:


http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/dining/18flour.html


The question remains; "Is there a viable replacement for White Lilly Flour?"


Bien Cordialement, Wild-Yeast

DebraWinfrey's picture
DebraWinfrey

So true about the buttermilk--I thought it was just me! What the heck is that stuff that is sold as buttermilk? Something tells me that if I look hard enough, I can probably find the real stuff at Whole Foods or at our big weekend farmer's market...

nc_notary's picture
nc_notary

I am new to this site and already LOVE it!  Right now I am reminded of the years past when my mother made the BEST homemade biscuits you could ever taste.  Self Rising flour, buttermilk and lard, then she eventually switched to Crisco shortening and finally she broke down and used Crisco Vegetable oil.  As disheartening as that may sound, her biscuits ALWAYS tasted the same no matter which she used.  Never measuring, and always rolling each one by hand.   Mmmmmmmm....

Amori's picture
Amori

Sorry for the late reply.

The recipe was given to me via phone =-D  keep in mind that aunt G is 92. She said if you can't find cornstarch you can probably use cake flour [other way around?!]


Yeast Biscuit take II

1 1/

ssor's picture
ssor

rearrange the baking in the oven. I must be the luckiest man around because I can bake six 4x8 loaves or three double crust pies in my oven without shifting them about and still get uniform browning. It is a forty year old Tappen gas range.

mattfunk's picture
mattfunk

Interesting thread -- I'm going to give the Angel Biscuits a try.  If the Loveless recipe used oil, what about substituting grapeseed or sunflower oil for the margerine?  Also, would this recipe call for single or double acting baking powder?  Cheers!

mattfunk's picture
mattfunk


Dough is gestating in the fridge at the moment -- I've modified as follows:


 


INGREDIENTS


5 cups of sifted AP flour


3 tsp double-acting baking powder


1 tsp baking soda


1 tsp sea salt


6 Tbsp powdered sugar


3/4 cup grapeseed oil


2 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice


2 short cups (less 2 Tbsp) organic milk, room temperature


2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm Evian water (five minutes)


 


RECIPE


1.  Whisk dry ingredients.  


2.  Cut in grapeseed oil until well mixed.  


3.  Add liquid ingredients at once, and stir until just until all flour is moistened, preferably in less than 1 minute.  


4.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.


5.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board, knead lightly (less than 30 seconds), roll out to 1/2 inch thickness, and cut with 2 inch biscuit cutter (press straight down, no twisting).


6.  Bake at 450 degrees on preheated cast iron griddle for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.


7.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


8.  Brush tops with melted butter.


9.  Serve warm with butter, honey, and molasses.


 

rando's picture
rando

Hey, matt,


 


glad I found this site!  I have been trying to make a biscuit like the Loveless.


 


How did this work?  I just made a "regular" angelbiscuit recipe and did not rise as much as the loveless picture, although the tops look similar. pretty tasteless.


 


Rando

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I think about the only "secret" that hasn't been revealed(besides exact method) is yeast(if that is the case). Don't think they will ever tell that.


You know, none of the other images of the Loveless biscuits, really look as "roll like" as the purported "true southern biscuits" in the op.


Sorry for the out of sync audio. Haven't figured that issue out on my youtube uploads. Well that and the high def uploads. Wish I was able to do that to show clearer images of the biscuits.


 


bambiesue's picture
bambiesue

Can u repost tge vido of the melter lard ingr. I cant seem to see it Thanks

michinson's picture
michinson

I've just stumbled onto this thread, and what fun it is!  I do think that some of the images above are of angel biscuits, which I think of as a comination of roll and biscuit, but they're absolutely delicious no matter how they're classified.  I'm in Nashville, but have never been to Loveless, somehow.  


Anyway, there was a biscuit article in our Tennessean on March 30th, "Biscuit-making a rite of passage in South," which I've saved because it had three distinct biscuit recipes. One was for Miss Daisy King's Angel Biscuits.  Next, Tammy Algood's buttermilk biscuits, calling for veg. shortening or lard (I'd definitely use lard), and third, which I want to recommend to you all, is Phila Hach's cream biscuits. They're ridiculously simple things to make, but WOW.  Miss Phila says when she's cooking for four people, she's most likely to make buttermilk biscuits; if she's cooking for 400, cream biscuits.


I made my own self-rising flour after googling what makes it self-rising.  I also substituted half-and-half for the whipping cream because: a, I had some; and b, it cut the fat A LOT.  I haven't tried them with the whipping cream yet, but the half-and-half ones were wonderful.  So without further ado, Phila Hach's cream biscuits:


2 cups self-rising flour


1 cup  whole whipping cream


2 teaspoons baking powder


___________________________


1. Preheat oven to 450.  Lightly grease a baking pan, set aside.


2. Mix ingredients in a bowl until just combined. Turn dough out on floured service [sic] (ah, the editing that goes on these days) and fold just 10 times.  Cut using a small (about 2-inch) biscuit cutter and transfer to baking pan.  Bake about 10 minutes.


Recipe from Phila Hach of Hachland Hill Vineyard in Joelton.


 


These were divine straight from the oven.  As leftovers, they were wonderful if heated a bit, and they also made the think they'd be a lovely biscuit for strawberry shortcake.

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

Thanks for the recipe. I've heard and read about cream biscuits but have never tried them. I should because they are supposed to be easy, quick, and delicious.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

If you watch a bunch of videos on making good southern biscuits (almost doesn't matter as to ingredients) the most noticeable thing is how they handle the dough. Fingertips,folding gently and light pushing but not circular mixing or beating.


 My mom always made light and feathery biscuits.I remember making biscuits side-by-side with my mom in an attempt to master the technique.Our biscuits were northern "Baking Powder Biscuits" and just had baking powder, APflour,vegetable shortening,salt and milk. Crisco was the shortening of the day.Sift together the dry ingredients,cut in shortening,add milk,mix,roll,cut,bake. Simple. Her biscuits were always delectable. No matter what I did, my biscuits always turned out like hockey pucks.She even had one varnished and displayed as a joke.Did I mention they were hard? Even making them side-by-side and step-by-step, mine still turned out like pucks and hers were light and feathery.She was puzzled and didn't understand what I did differently. 


Looking at these videos, I believe the mixing technique is the crucial "ingredient".Now I know.Back then, I was an enthusiastic mixer/kneader and she always had a delicate touch.Now that I'm older and wiser,I can make good angel biscuits but I should try my hand (a lighter hand) at her Baking Powder Biscuits again.I may master them, yet. But first let me check my dental insurance.

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

Although fairly useless in the kitchen, I can make light biscuits. Avoiding the mixing/kneading works for me. My tricks:


- Use 1/2 cup cake flour with 1-1/2 cups White Lily flour.. If using KA flour, consider using 1 cup with 1 cup cake flour. White Lily flour is not the soft flour of the past, so the addition of cake flour gives me a softer flour.


- Always sift flour(s) with other dry ingredients. Using a fork or a whisk to stir the dry ingredients will help distribute the added ingredients more without harming the effect of sifting.


- The recipe will call for 2/3 to 3/4 cup milk/buttermilk. Use 3/4 cup.


- After the milk is added, toss gently with a fork. Think pie-crust gentle. Just enough to moisten the ingredients.


- My lightly floured surface is more medium floured. Enough so the dough won't have a chance of sticking.


- After dumping the dough onto the floured surface, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Enough so that floured hands will not stick.


- Pat or roll out dough. Sometimes I will fold over once, but I never knead. I'm using flour to avoid and control the sticky dough, but I do not want it added to the interior of the dough. Shift dough over surface to make sure it is not sticking.


I'm slow, and I can see the texture of the dough has changed by the time I cut the biscuits. A faster person might do some clean-up for a minute or two before cutting the biscuits.


When adding a cup of grated cheese and a dash or two of cayenne pepper to the biscuits, I add up to a cup of milk/buttermilk.


I use Clabber Girl baking powder. It either makes a difference, or I switched to that brand when I was getting better at making biscuits.

rando's picture
rando

OK, on that "America's best" video, the biscuits don't look half as tall as they appear in the first Loveless pic.  I got some lard, I'm gonna try that.

rando's picture
rando

OK, I baked some angel biscuits with lard (melted).  they look similar to the Loveless but I didn't let them rise enough.  texture and taste are amazing.  used buttermilk.  I'm satisfied with these!

audra36274's picture
audra36274

  We're right in the middle of Alabama, and if your biscuit looks like the #2, it has yeast in it. Period. If you will look up Paula Deen, in one of her biscuit recipes she admits it an there sits yeast pretty as you please.

rando's picture
rando

Lard and buttermilk I think are the flavor secrets.  all I want now is a little more lift and I have a great biscuit that looks like the loveless and that I love the taste of, which is what I'm really after.  How do I get more lift?  Baking powder?  rising time?  soda water? 

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

When I switched to Clabber Girl baking powder, I got more lift. As I said earlier, though, it could be that I was getting better at making biscuits at the time I switched.


A quart or half-gallon of buttermilk lasts long enough for me to make biscuits, cornbread, and waffles. These are stored in the freezer, but for some reason the waffles disappear the fastest. *wink-wink*

rando's picture
rando

thanks, grey,  I will try that baking powder.  I think I am getting the hang of it, making biscuits.  i barely even mix the dough, pour it out onto the counter, use flour to shape and pat it, and cut the biscuits out.  they are almost liquid they are so moist.

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

My dough is moist and sticky, but not that moist. Using enough flour on the work surface and on top of the dough protects my hands or rolling pin from sticking to the dough.


Since my reaction to sticky dough is "Ewwwww", I should not be playing with dough. I have learned over time not to use too much flour. With biscuits the added flour is on the outside of the doughwhile keeping the interior moist. With bread dough I've learned to knead in only enough to get somewhere in the tacky stage. When I first started with bread dough, I would knead in additional flour beyond the tacky stage because of my Ewwwww factor.

rando's picture
rando

OK, maybe I exaggerated a LITTLE.  it's really,really moist, though.  I had to keep myself from adding more flour to it.  Here's what I did, it's an angel biscuit recipes altered a little.


Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon white sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup lard, melted 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C) 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast 3/4 cup warm buttermilk (105 to 115 degrees F)
Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. set aside.
2. Place warm water in warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast, stir until dissolved. Add yeast mixture and warm buttermilk to dry ingredients, blend well.
3. Remove dough to floured surface. form into ball. Roll dough to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut into 2-1/2 inch biscuits. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 to 45 minutes.
4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until done.

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I've been following this post and I'd really like to try my hand at making biscuits instead of hockey pucks. I figured out bread and sourdough, I ought to be able to figure out biscuits. I suspect I need to break some bad habits and develop a light touch. Practice should make perfect.


So please post your final recipe when you get there.


Thank you!

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

I once read that the only way to make good biscuits was to practice. That works to some degree, but a thread like this one does offer useful tips and ideas.


If you sift your dry ingredients together and mix them more with a fork or whixk, the milk/buttermilk only needs to get the dry ingredients wet. You've already done all the mixing needed.


My tries with lard were too soft, like melted biscuits, because I also used a little cake flour with the White Lily flour. I think they would have been perfect without the cake flour. I use Crisco because I use it for other things. If I baked more, I would also keep lard around for biscuits and pie dough.

ssor's picture
ssor

The most important part about making biscuits is to remember that biscuits and muffins are QUICK breads. you are not supposed to spend very much time making them. I rub the cold fat into the flour add the milk stir it with a tablr kife until it is moistened dump it out squeese it into a lump flatten it dust the table with flour fold the dough  and flatten again and cut the rounds. the piece that are left between the round are slid together and and pressed into contact and cut into more rounds. Don't mess around get them done and in the oven or they won't be done when supper is ready.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

But evidently, that is not the way these(Loveless') are made.


At least not from what they are telling, and what is suspected(yeast).


Seems to me, this thread is getting off track. Originally started off seeking a particular style of biscuit(roll like) that was thought to be different from the typical(even if ideal) baking powder/soda biscuit.


But again, the Loveless biscuits are pretty obviously not of the typical quickbread/biscuit variety.


Could be all "smoke and mirrors" though.

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

I agree with many that those are yeast biscuits, not "Southern biscuits". With only the photograph and the videos to go by, there are too many things pointing to yeast biscuits. The biggest giveaway that at the restaurant the dough is kept in the refrigerator, and the dough looks more like bread dough than biscuit dough.


Angel, Magic, or Bride's biscuits. The recipes are all similar and contain yeast. Most say the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.

ssor's picture
ssor

With baking powder leaven you must not waste time getting biscuits into the oven because some of the active ingredient starts to do its thing as soon as it gets wet. Double acting baking powder compensates for this by having a heat activated component. But if you make baking powder biscuits and then start supper and wait until supper is almost ready to start baking the biscuits you will be disppointed. There are as I said early in this discussion as many ways to make biscuits as there are chili recipes and everyone believes that they have the true way.

oko's picture
oko

hey... so reading through everyone's comments about what people discuss were in carol fay's recipe.... I found a recipe online that lists pretty much all the ingredients that were discussed. Please give props to the owner of this blog if you guys like the recipe. The recipe is at: http://www.abusynest.com/2011/03/yeast-biscuits.html    Enjoy!  Btw, just curious... since Carol Fay has now passed away (Rest her soul), does anyone know who is making the biscuits at Loveless Cafe, and if the same recipe is being used?

DebraWinfrey's picture
DebraWinfrey

There is a baker, looks like on every shift, that does the biscuits now. They are not quite the same biscuits --even the Loveless can't make their biscuits anymore.

There are folks working at the Loveless that know exactly what goes into the biscuits--the problem is, as Carol Fay told Ellen Degeneres, " it's me"...no matter how many biscuits you make, they will not match Carol's to a T.

Make a donation to the foundation that the owners started on behalf of Carol.....if you liked her biscuits, it would be a fitting way to honor one of the nicest people you never met from that part of the world.

Debra "take two and butter 'em while they're hot" Winfrey

bambiesue's picture
bambiesue

In one interview on Taste of America  she said it is in the mix.  the biscuit mix is sold on line at Loveless .com. Dont know if it is the excat mix tho. gonna buy it and see.

Kelila's picture
Kelila

I just had a biscuit bake off and made six different batches of biscuits.  My angle buiscuits turned out well, but just a tad on the yeasty side.  All turned out well but just not quite what I was looking for. 

I am really keen to get a biscuit to turn out like Frequent Flyer's (pictured above), but when I tried that recipe I got something notably drier and crustier than what is pictured.  I used a Presto self rising cake flour, which I have very little experience with.  Any other pointers?

RuthieG's picture
RuthieG

I'm really a southern girl (born in MS) and into a family where the women made biscuits every day of their adult lives.  My Aunt had a wonderful biscuit that was just a little different.  She made the biscuit in a big wooden bowl and it went into the fridge overnight with the dough ready for the next morning.  Looking back, I believe that was sourdough biscuits that she was making although I don't recall ever seeing any sourdough mix or jars etc.  I really loved her biscuits.

 

One other comment I wanted to make also has to do with the cream biscuits...there is another recipe that I don't recall seeing anyone mention and it is Mayonnaise Biscuits.  Obviously Mayonnaise is used for the fat.........I don't have the recipe in front of me but it's like 2 cups of Self Rising flour, 3 T Real Mayonnaise, 1/2 Cup of Milk.  You can even add grated cheddar to that and make Cheddar biscuits.   Now I have made them and they were pretty tasty but here in my house, we eat real southern baking powder biscuits made with shortening /lard and buttermilk.......We also eat homemade jam or jelly or molasses with a little butter mashed into the molasses.

whosinthekitchen's picture
whosinthekitchen

Hey Ruthie G.      I hear ya...

Mash that butter with the molasses and sop it all up with that thar biscuit!

Making biscuits once I left home proved to be a conundrum.  I had seen my mom do it millions of times; it didn't look difficult but mine were not at all like hers.... 

Home from college, I told mom I wanted to make a batch side by side with her.  We did... and viola! Success.  Back at college.... nothing but disappointment.  I did just what Mom did, I was sure of it.  I got her on the phone  to ask a million questions.  she stopped me with, "What kind of flour do you use and what ind of baking soda are you using?"

Well. to save space and time, I wasn't using Martha White Four or Clabber Girl baking soda.  (Mom's choices)

The other detail is Mom mixed just till dry ingredients were moistened and then she did let the cut biscuits rise a bit before placing them into a properly heated oven.  She always baked hers in a pyrex pie dish and part of the lift came from being a tad crowded in the pan.  I still make her biscuits today.... Martha White isn't always available.... Kng Arthur Flour is what I use as I also make yeast breads.  Buttermilk is ABSOLUTELY necessary if your making SOUTHERN Biscuits.

I have a recipe for Angel biscuits that does call for yeast.  They are tasty but not like mom's.  Mom's are always my goal.

It has been 24 years since I had biscuits baked by mom.  This thread has been like a visit with her.  Thanks ya'll!

 

 

 

bambiesue's picture
bambiesue

I just saw on paula Deen food net work site,that  Carole faye  is going to be on her Best Dishes show. It was carole Fayes last interview. Its called southern soul. Its a repeat show.

July 7th at 5:30 PM et/PT

july 14th  at 12:00 pm

http://kaleidoscope-media.net/articles/press-release/carol-fay-ellison-appear-food-networks-best-dishes-paula-deen-220
http://www.foodnetwork.com/paulas-best-dishes/southern-soul/index.html

 

DebraWinfrey's picture
DebraWinfrey

Faeries!? Cute, but no cigar. You might have missed the one thing in that kitchen that makes all the difference...,

BTW: It IS self-rising flour. If you can't get Southern soft wheat flour, your recipe will not be as finely crumbed as the Loveless type.

DebraWinfrey's picture
DebraWinfrey

More hints for you biscuitophiles:

It isn't just any oil; it is very high quality melted LARD

They use Martha White self-rising flour...a commercial mix that is probably a little different than what I get when I go down South

Refrigerated storage is not essential to the recipe, but one other piece of kitchen equipment is

The secret ingredient that Carol Faye Ellison eliminated was powdered milk

They use buttermilk

The mix that they sell in Hams and Jams IS NOT what they use in the restaurant, although you can still make good biscuits from it ( add a little fat and buttermilk)

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

Could it be that the secret ingredient is aluminum-based, double-acting baking powder? Even though she uses self-rising flour, the addition of an aluminum-based baking powder would allow her to refrigerate the dough overnight. It might also explain the 30-minute-risen dough she used on talk shows.

If I use an aluminum-based baking powder, I get a better rise to my biscuits. The next time I bake biscuits, I'll increase the baking powder slightly, then hold part of the dough back and toss it in the refrigerator for baking the next day. I have seen recipes that call for more baking powder than I normally use.

I've tried cold lard cut into the flour mixture, and the texture was different than with Crisco. Do I want to experiment with melted lard? Maybe I'll pick up some self-rising flour and some lard to play around with. Maybe melted Crisco will do the trick.

greydoodles's picture
greydoodles

Using the White Lily flour recipe, I tried a non-scientific experiment. White Lily is a soft-wheat flour like Martha White. 1-1/2 cups regular AP flour plus 1/2 cup cake flour will give you a softer biscuit flour if you cannot get White Lily or Martha White.

2 cups White Lily AP flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (used aluminum-based Clabber Girl)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening (used Crisco from the fridge)
2/3 to 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk (used 3/4 cup buttermilk)
(added 1/4 teaspoon baking soda because of the buttermilk)

Bake 8-10 minutes at 500 degrees F.

I normally use 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, but I was after the effectiveness of the baking powder left overnight. I normally add about 1 teaspoon sugar, but I left it out this time. Grandmother added a touch of sugar to a lot of things "to bring out the flavor", but it was never considered part of a recipe.

Melted butter was brushed over the biscuits before and after baking. The butter before baking gives a smoother top. Before, I only brushed it on after baking.

Bad me decided to try mixing the biscuits in my food processor for the first. I normally cut in the shortening. The dough was smoother than my cut-in dough. Maybe I let the processor run too long while I was adding the buttermilk. I did not knead the dough.

I put some of the dough in a glass bowl in the refrigerator for use today.

Tender, cake-like biscuits last night. Pretty, smooth tops. Was the cake-like effect because of the amount of baking powder or the food processor? Doesn't matter, I was more interested in the refrigerated dough. I think I could taste the baking powder since it was more than I usually use. My taste buds are off this week, so who knows. Also, I haven't baked biscuits in five or six months, and I haven't baked plain biscuits in a year or two. My preferred additions are Cheddar cheese and cayenne pepper.

Today's biscuits rose the same amount if not more. I left them on the counter about 30 minutes before putting them in the oven, but they were still cool from refrigeration. The taste was the same to me.

Many biscuits were sacrificed for this experiment. There is only one left, and I need to prepare more iced-tea.

Conclusion: aluminum-based, double-acting baking powder will be effective in biscuit dough that is refrigerated overnight.

BiscuitBill's picture
BiscuitBill

This thread was originally created by Sheryl to search for biscuits like the Loveless Cafe biscuits.  I think so far all we know for sure is:

1. On the Ellen show, Carol Faye definitely said that she lets the dough rise for about 30 minutes.  This seems to certainly imply that she used yeast.

2. She had a large bowl of flour and did not cut in any kind of solid shortening (i.e. lard, crisco, or butter) but it did appear that she poured in a small bowl of oil.

3. She also added a small bowl of something that looked like flour?   I suppose it could have been corn starch or cake flour, and could have also contained baking powder and baking soda, if she was using 'all purpose flour'.  If she was using self-rising flour then, of course, baking powder would not have been required.

4. I would guess that the white liquid that Ellen poured in, was milk, because she did not make any facial expressions when she tasted it.

5. I have no idea what the larger bowl of cloudy-water looking liquid was.   Any ideas???

6. She puts the biscuits close enough together in the baking pan to make them rise up, instead of spreading out flat.

Come on folks, we have a lot of people here working on duplicating these biscuits.  Lets stick with it until one of us gets it right and passes the successful recipe on to all of the other biscuit lovers.   You know the old saying "If you put enough monkeys in a kitchen, in front of enough ingredients, sooner or later, one of them will make a Loveless Cafe biscuit"  (At least I think thats what the old saying is).

     

Barbarainnc's picture
Barbarainnc

The cloudly liquid could be yeast dissolved in water. Ellen said it smelled like "Gin".

The clear liquid could be melted lard.

kellymcneal's picture
kellymcneal

All right.  I stumbled onto this because I was looking to see if I could find a biscuit recipe like my mammaws.  I don't know anything about the Loveless Cafe Biscuit, but my mammaw's biscuits look pretty similar.  Mammaw did not put the shortening in the biscuit dough.  The shortening went in the pan in the oven to be heated to just almost smoking hot while she worked the biscuits. (as far as I know, she always used Crisco)  To make the biscuits, she sifted together flour, salt, and absolutely fresh baking powder in a bowl.  (whoever suggested that fresh baking powder is imperative for good biscuits was dead right) She made a well in the dry ingredients and worked the buttermilk in with her hands to make a slightly sticky dough that just pulls away from the bowl.  Then Mammaw would scoop up a little flour in her hand and pinch each biscuit off and roll in her hands.   I can't quite get the hang of that, so I mix mine with a fork unti the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and then turn it  out on a well floured surface and work in just enough extra flour to be able to pat the dough into a circle and then I cut the biscuits with a juice glass.  then you "sop" the biscuits very briefly in the hot shortening and bake in a hot oven.   You get a smooth top, tender inside, and crispy bottom when you make biscuits this way and I have never found anywhere a recipe that replicates it.  Learned to make these by standing in the kitchen watching her when I was a little girl.  She never measured anything, and neither do I, but the general proportions are 2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and approx. 1/2 cup m/more or less buttermilk for every 2 cups of flour.  I bake mine in a 12 inch cast iron skillet in a 425 degree oven -- usually use approx 1.5 tablespoon crisco in that.

michinson's picture
michinson

Those sound terrific!  I'm definitely going to give your formula a whirl.  And using just 1.5 tablespoons of crisco (I may try lard) substantially cuts the fat.  It's definitely worth a go.  Thank you for posting it!  ~~Michelle in TN  

emberpatch's picture
emberpatch

My mother in law makes biscuits that turn out the way you are wanting. She uses 3 ingredients only. She measures nothing, just throws it all in a bowl and mixes. Then she grabs a pinch right from the bowl, rolls it up and plops them in a pan and into the oven. I have asked her what she uses and her answer is always the same. "You just get a little flour, some crisco and milk" said in an are you that stupid kind of tone. At least I think. She speaks like that guy you can't understand on King of the Hill. Her flour is always in a big tin, so I haven't been able to find out which kind. I am not sure she is even aware there is all purpose or self rising, its all the same to her. She also buys whatever is the cheapest so no brand loyalty. She will also use spoiled milk. Once it spoils she calls it buttermilk. (I have no clue, it kind of grosses me out) I have tried and tried to get her results and I never get the soft roll like biscuit. I am about to have to break down and spend time with my in laws just to steal her biscuit recipe.

ssor's picture
ssor

my sister in law made biscuits when she first married. She had a flour bin and a lard can and a jug of milk and an iron skillet. She would take up a handful of lard and work it in the flour until it "felt " right then she would add some milk. she mixed this, still in the flour bin and then started bringing out biscuits. It was all done with just one hand. 

I measure somewhat roughly and mix with a fork and pat them out smooth, fold the dough twice and cut them with an old tin plate biscuit cutter. 

bobinthebul's picture
bobinthebul

I happened on this thread in a search for a good biscuit recipe. My mom's from the south, and like everyone else, would always say the important thing was not to mess with the dough too much. But it does seem that not messing with the dough takes practice! I don't think mom's actually made a biscuit since the 1980s (she started using pillbury in the can...bleah), but these biscuits look more like my mom's than anything else I've seen here so far. Very high-rise. My own first attempts looked more like the first picture in the thread. I remember something they called "biscuits" in my school cafeteria that were probably yeast-raised. They looked more like the Loveless one - the smooth, "taut" top that shows that the dough has raised.

The tip about less fat being better than more is good to know.

As for the secret ingredients - I agree that the white powder in the bowl couldn't be cream of tartar, that much would make the biscuits inedible. So corn or another starch could be the thing. Here we get wheat starch, I'll try it. On the Ellen clip there was probably melted shortening or lard (Ellen asked, "do I want to drink this?" and she said "probably not!") Cream of tartar is acid, a little vinegar might do the same thing. Here in Turkey they add a little vinegar to doughs for making yufka (phyllo) when they want the result to be lighter.

BostonNicholas's picture
BostonNicholas

Hi and where in Turkey are you living. Recently returned from Keşan helping husband and wife open a small cafe, doner shop. Introduced some of our Amercan style goodies, and taught them how to make Tacos for a bowl salad..sold like hot cakes..  You are absolutely correct about the biscuit making. Lard has gotten a bad rap and the awful synthetic butter is even worse... my mom used to say the same thing...don't handle the dough too much just bring it together..bravo to our parents. Yes making Yufka is a trick indeed and the vinegar is the trick...along with lots of melted butter between the leaves when building the baklava or boerek...for baking... be nice to hear from you... Earle

bobinthebul's picture
bobinthebul

Hi back, I'm living in Istanbul, Anadoluhisarı to be exact. And yourself? Not much lard to be had here... I'm going stateside for a month in October/November, and if I had a bit of extra weight allowance, I know for sure what I'd be bringing back! ;)

 

appalachian gal's picture
appalachian gal

I too regret not learning from my grandmother knee. However,  this is what i remember.... she used self rising flour....she put it in a small pan with the flour up the sides and about 3 inches worth on the bottom with a large well in the middle.  I believe she may have added a few ingredients...extra baking powder maybe some sugar...or she may have added when she did not have self rising flour ..... memory is unclear about this part.  she then added the buttermilk.....she did not cut lard into the flour.   She quickly with just as few  stirs as possible mixed the buttermilk and some flour (not much),  She then pulled the hot cast iron baking pan out of the oven and poured 3/4  of the grease from the hot iron pan  on top of the batter inwhich she had mixed only a very little flour  (if she had too much grease ...she just dumped some of it back in the grease jar). She finished by adding flour from the well by lightly scraping the sides until the consistency was what she was looking for.  Grandma then dumped it on the counter(enamel) where she had put a handful of flour then Grandma would sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and gently shaped the dough... she lightly pressed it out with her hands, she did not use a roller.  She took the biscuit cutter and cut out the biscuits...she had hot grease left in the pan...she dipped the biscuit into the grease and then turned it over and put it in the pan thus each side was coated. Grandma would tilt the cast iron pan to make dipping easier.  She did this with each one.  The pan was always full. I believe she said you must always have a full pan....you cannot have spaces.  She then popped the iron pan back into the oven.   

Now I will explain the cast iron pan.....it looked like an oval skillet but with much lower sides (about 1 inch) and curved handles on each side.  She put the grease (she always used lard) in the iron pan before she started the biscuits.  By the time she finished the biscuits and was ready for the grease...it was just correctly hot....sometimes if i distracted her....and the pan was too hot she would let it set for a little while before using the grease. The grease would be hot but not smoking and not so you could smell it either.   Start to finish was less than 10 minutes.  She then put the flour pan back in the cupboard (she had a hoosier cupboard)  under the sifter.  She generally would get two or three biscuits makings before she had to add flour.   She always said the secret to light biscuits was not to handle them too much. The cast iron pan held about 10-12 biscuits.  I am now retired....I am going to play with this and try to make Grandma's biscuits. She was known all over the county for her biscuits.  Men would beg and pay for the biscuits grandma made.  Grandpa worked in the oil fields, he was very proud of Grandma. If anyone figures this out would love to know.

Added 12-12  Have talked to older relatives from the family that are left.  They have said the lard used in the family was leaf lard.   It is the lard around the kidneys and stomach of a hog  and has special qualities....one it has little smell.  The "leaf" lard was rendered in the kitchen and kept for pie crust and biscuits.  The rest of the lard was rendered in large iron kettles outside and used for other uses.

Also thanks to those who have repied to this text for their information

Antilope's picture
Antilope

 

If you want really light and fluffy and tender southern biscuits, lookup Shirley Corriher's Touch of Grace Biscuits. She appeared as the food scientist on Alton Brown's "Good Eat's" show. She has written the books, "Bakewise" and "Cookwise".

The biscuits use a very wet dough, basically a drop biscuit that you dust with flour and bake in a cake pan. The really wet dough releases more steam during baking, making a light and fluffy biscuit. The flour dusting prevents the hard outside usual for drop biscuits. An ice cream scoop is used to place a scoop of wet dough in dry flour. The dusted dough balls are then packed closely together in a cake pan. They have no where to rise but up. This makes the best, most tender biscuit I have ever eaten.

The recipe is on the New York Times website.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/dining/181frex.html?_r=0

On YouTube, Shirley Corriher demonstrates the recipe technique. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7baqgejDqfU

I didn't have access to White Lily self rising flour, so I used half cake flour and half all-purpose flour to create a low protein flour along with baking powder and salt as a substitute. The recipe in the photos above was made with this substitute.

.
I made a few changes to the original recipe to tweak it to my liking.
.
Shirley Corriher's original recipe used White Lily Self Rising flour, which is not readily available in some areas of the U.S. The soft wheat grown in the Southern U.S. is what makes up White Lily Self Rising flour. Soft Southern wheat (a low protein flour) is one of the secrets of the tender Southern biscuits.
.
I substituted cake flour in this recipe adaptation to replace the soft Southern flour. Soft Southern flour and cake flour are both low protein / gluten flours. Using cake flour also results in a light, tender biscuit. But, using all cake flour would result in cakey biscuit without much taste, so all-purpose flour is also blended in for a better structure and flavor.
.
Since we are not using self-rising flour, I have also added baking powder, more salt and cream of tartar to the recipe. The Baking Soda promotes browning. The original recipe seemed a little too sweet, so I halved the sugar.
.
Finally, the original recipe dropped the wet dough into plain all-purpose flour. I thought that resulted in a bland tasting biscuit. I adapted the recipe to use all-purpose flour seasoned with sugar and salt, instead. I think this results in a more tasty biscuit. This flour is reserved before the baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar is added. Doing this prevents a bitter taste in the finished biscuits.
.
Here is my adaptation for "Touch of Grace Biscuits".
.
If you like flakey biscuits, this recipe is not for you.
.
If you like light, fluffy, tender biscuits, please give the original recipe or this adaptation a try. You won't be disappointed.
.
TOUCH OF GRACE BISCUITS MADE WITH CAKE FLOUR AND ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
.
Makes about 12 to 14 light fluffy biscuits in a 9-inch cake pan or cast iron skillet.
.
Ingredients:
.
1 1/2 cups (185g) cake flour (1 c. cake flour & 2 c. a.p. flour also works well).
1 1/2 cups (185g) all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons (25g) White Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon (6g) Table Salt
1 Tablespoon (10.5g) Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon (5.2g) cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon (1.3g) Baking Soda
4 Tablespoons (50g) Vegetable Shortening or Butter
1 2/3 cups (400g) Buttermilk, as needed
1/2 cup (65g) Reserved Flour Mixture, from above
2 Tablespoons (30g) Butter, melted
.
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Adjust the oven shelf to the middle position. Spray 9-inch cake pan or cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray.
.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt. Remove 1/2 cup of flour mixture and reserve for later in a small mixing bowl.
.
3. Sift the baking powder, baking soda and cream of tartar into the 2 1/2 cups of flour mixture remaining in the large mixing bowl. Work shortening into the flour mixture in the large mixing bowl, with your fingers or use a pastry cutter, whisk, or dinner fork until there are no lumps of shortening larger than a pea remaining.
.
4. Gently stir in enough buttermilk so the dough resembles wet cottage cheese, about 1-1/2 to 1-2/3 cups of buttermilk. Stir until there are no dry spots of flour left. A dinner fork works well for this.
.
5. Using a cookie scoop, ice cream scoop, 1/4 cup measuring cup or 2 spoons, drop a 1/4-cup size portion of the wet dough into the bowl of reserved dry flour. Using your fingers, sprinkle some of the dry flour on top of the wet dough ball until it is coated in dry flour. Pick up the coated dough ball, shake off excess flour and place in the greased cake pan, along the outside edge. (If the dough ball falls apart, it is too wet, add more flour to the batter.) Continue adding the flour coated biscuit dough around the edge of the cake pan, pressed up against each other. After the uncooked biscuits ring the edge of the cake pan, fill in the middle with the remaining flour coated balls of biscuit dough. The filled cake pan should have little or no gaps between the uncooked biscuits.
.
6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees F until biscuits are lightly browned on the outside and interior of a biscuit reaches 195 to 200 degrees F, about 25 minutes. Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. Cut biscuits apart and serve warm.
.
Yield: 12 to 14 biscuits.

-----

For a real treat, serve Bacon Gravy over the Touch of Grace Biscuits.

 

Bacon Gravy

Makes about 3 1/2 cups of gravy.

1 (12-oz) package of Bacon, uncooked
1/4 cup Bacon Drippings, reserved from above bacon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (14-oz) can of Evaporated Milk
1 2/3 cups Water (empty evaported milk can is 1 2/3 cups)
1/2 tsp Onion Powder (optional)
1/4 tsp Seasoning Salt - I use Lawry's
1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
6 slices Cooked Crispy Bacon, crumbled, reserved from above bacon
1 Tbsp Butter

Cook bacon in a large skillet (I use cast iron) until crispy.

Remove bacon from skillet. Crumble 6 slices of bacon for use in bacon gravy, set aside.
Reserve remainder of bacon to serve whole.

Drain and measure bacon drippings. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon drippings for this recipe.
Store remainder of bacon drippings in covered container in the fridge. If necessary, add
enough cooking oil to bacon drippings to make 1/4 cup.

Add the 1/4 cup of bacon drippings back to the skillet and heat to medium high.
While stirring, sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over hot bacon drippings. Stir out any lumps until
mixture is smooth. Cook the bubbling mixture and stir constantly for 2 or 3 minutes, to
slightly brown the flour.

In a 4-cup bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, water, onion powder, seasoning salt and
ground black pepper. Mix well.

When the flour and bacon drippings have slightly browned, add milk mixture slowly and whisk
together, stir out any lumps. Heat until bubbling. Simmer for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring
constantly, until gravy thickens.

Add crumbled bacon. Stir in 1 Tbsp of butter. Mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve over hot biscuits.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

I've made those "Touch of Grace" biscuits and they were, in my breadcyclopedia, not-a-biscuits.  Spme people do seem to really like them, and they for sure are really easy to make - but not the result I'm looking for, myself.

They are extremely tender, but nary a flake in sight.  I found them to be crumbly and they tasted "off".  Probably because of the cream.

Personally if it's not flaky, its not a biscuit.  Even the "angel biscuits" are really rolls, not biscuits.  It's the flaky biscuit that's the Holy Grail of the breakfast table where I come from.

45 years ago I made biscuits regularly.  It was a reflex action.  The kind of thing you never even consider forgetting how to do.  Yet I have forgotten, LOL!

Not southern - just from farm/country folk.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

are my go to biscuits for light and fluffy biscuits. I prefer my modified recipe above, I don't use the self-rising flour or the cream. I also prefer my modified dusting flour that contains salt and sugar. Plain dusting flour does make for a bland biscuit.

My grandmother was from Galena, Kansas and she made light and fluffy biscuits similar to the Touch of Grace biscuits.

I am still searching for the ultimate flaky biscuits. If anyone has recommendations for flaky biscuits I would be glad to try them.

But the bottom line for me is, there are at least two main types of biscuits, light and fluffy and the flaky. Each has its place. I prefer the light and fluffy for gravy and the flaky as stand alone with butter, honey or jam.