Friday, July 27, 2012

Better Than Bojangles Biscuits

Light, fluffy and melt in your mouth good.

I originally posted this recipe a couple of years ago. It is in my opinion absolutely the best biscuit recipe there is, and good enough to please my biscuit snob husband. There are only a handful of things I can cook as good or better than his mama or grandmama, and this would be one of those things. My food allergic son has only had mine and his Nonna's biscuits, but my non-food allergic son will often remark while eating a biscuit from Cracker Barrel or Bojangles and tell me, "Mommy, yours are better." After which he can have pretty much anything he wants. He knows just how to butter up his mommy, tell her she's pretty and/or compliment her cooking. :-)

Anyway, these freeze well. When school starts I'll have a dozen or so of these little suckers frozen with chicken nuggets or sausage patties to use for quick homemade breakfast when I don't have time for homemade. I've also found they do just fine swapping out some of the flour for whole wheat pastry flour. I usually go half and half. Now, my husband noticed immediately that I had switched things around telling me not to mess with a Southern man's biscuit, but my kids eat them just as well as with the white flour. So, that's the way they will be getting their school breakfast biscuits. The thing you don't want to skimp on with biscuits like this would be the fat. That's what makes a southern melt in your mouth biscuit do just that.

I found the original recipe in Natalie Dupree's Southern Memories cookbook listed as the closest to the perfect biscuit recipe as she's ever found. I altered it to fit my son's food allergies and made it my own, but it is still pretty close to perfect.
To make it dairy free, you can use palm oil shortening in stead of butter and almond, soy or rice milk in stead of the buttermilk. You will just need to reduce the liquid and increase the fat you choose to keep the same consistency.

1 1/2 C Self-Rising Flour, natural and unbleached
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Butter, plus 2 Tbsp melted for brushing
3/4 C Whole Buttermilk, maybe a little more depending on the consistency

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Grease an iron skillet or 8-inch round cake pan. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, salt and sugar. Work in the butter with your fingers or pastry cutter until there are no lumps larger than a small pea. (You can put this mixture in an air tight container and keep in the refrigerator for a week or two, then just add your buttermilk, shape and bake.) Stir in the buttermilk and let the dough stand for a couple minutes. The mixture will be wet.

Pour about a cup of flour onto a plate or cutting board. Flour your hands well and spoon biscuit sized lumps of wet dough onto the plate of flour (I use an ice cream scoop).

Coat lumps with flour and work back and forth with your hands to shake off excess flour. As you shape each biscuit, place onto the skillet or cake pan placing the biscuits together so they rise against each other. Too much room will make them spread out.

Melt about 2 Tbsp butter and brush the biscuits. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 450 degrees F, or until lightly browned.

Makes about 6 biscuits.

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