Ann_t, Best Biscuits Ever

writersblock (9b/10a)

ann_t, just wanted to let you know I tried your biscuits and, wow, were they great!


For anyone who hasn't seen her recipe:

http://www.thibeaultstable.com/2012/07/buttermilk-biscuits-for-breakfast.html


I would take slight issue with the idea that using a box grater on the butter is easier. Yes, the bits were exactly right, but the grater sure was a mess to clean up afterwards.


But those seem to be just like the mythical upstate FL biscuit I've heard about so often--short, flaky, crispy, just perfect. Some friends and I even went to a biscuit event at Cross Creek last year and your recipe puts their biscuits to shame, even cold.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

Wonder if the box grater method works better when you live in a cool climate, not FL?

That recipe looks the same as the one I use, tho mine's from my James Beard Bread Book. I use butter too, and sometimes I use part extra virgin olive oil - esp. when it's to top a pot pie. I need to try that folding technique - it is certainly not in James Beard's directions!

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writersblock (9b/10a)

Yes, the folding makes a big difference. I only did an envelope fold three times, but I could see even before baking, just from the way the dough handled after each one.

As for the butter, I considered that and froze it, but it still mostly stuck to the inside of the grater and had to be scraped out in more or less of a lump. And it's a bone-chilling 72 in here today. ETA And I chilled the grater.

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plllog

Spring's coming! My kitchen is cold too.

Even with the cleanup, I think it's easier to use the food processor to grate the frozen butter. It doesn't clump up the way it does with a box grater or even a paddle grater.

Thanks for the report.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

I'll just stick with my vintage pastry blender. I hate cleaning my box grater!

This is the kind I have:


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writersblock (9b/10a)

Thanks, Annt. It must just be cooler where you are or something, because for me, the bits that happened to fly free of the grater were fine, but most of it stuck to the inside as soon as it was grated. Not really any flakes, just a bumpy lump.

plllog, I'll try the mini processor next time, but I fear it may be the same thing, only more horizontal.

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carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b

So I had to try making these, and I realize now that my recipe calls for only 3/4 cup milk, so this definitely makes a more moist dough. In fact the James Beard recipe calls for 1 cup milk to make drop biscuits.

I didn't use enough flour to coat the work surface, so the dough stuck a bit and I might've over worked it a little.

But man they were good! Very high and light. I just ate about half of them = J

Many thanks for sharing!

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wintercat_gw

AnnT, please help me understand the recipe on your site. It says "1 cup of milk (cream)". Do you mean full-cream milk?

And a question: Can I use 1 cup heavy cream (38% fat) instead of milk?

Those biscuits are evil and they're calling my name!

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writersblock (9b/10a)

I used light (coffee) cream and they were still very good.

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Jasdip

I use frozen butter when grating, it works like a charm. I also spray the grater when I grate cheese, and it doesn't stick. I wonder if spraying the grater prior to grating softer butter would work?

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writersblock (9b/10a)

Thanks, Jasdip. In my case both the butter and the grater were frozen overnight. But spraying might help, thanks.

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wintercat_gw

Thank you AnnT. I always have heavy cream on hand, so that's what I'll use.

Jasdip, thanks for the lovely tip. Would never have occured to me to do that.


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annie1992

I've used cream, half and half and whole milk and they always come out fine. The cream seems to add more richness to the dough, but the others are perfectly acceptable.

Annie

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wednesday morning

I make a version of "cat head biscuits". I use a tablespoon, or a little more, of butter to each cup of flour. I find that so many biscuits are like eating pie crust in that there is so much fat in them.

I want a biscuit that is a little less rich.

Always use buttermilk and bake in a cast iron skillet and use just a small amount of sugar. They are not sweet, but the small bit of sugar just rounds out the flavor and helps the biscuit to brown nicely.

Scoop a bit of the raggedy dough into a handful and turn if once in the melted butter in the skillet. Make them big, like a cat's head. With two cups of flour I get four, or five biscuits. I put them in the skillet and they rise and bake touching each other. They come apart nicely.

I want my biscuit to be a nice bread for the meal. Too much fat and too many layers of flakey is more like a pastry than a good platform for meatloaf or to have with an egg dish.

I also rub in the butter by rubbing between my palms with the flour. I have tried the grated method and it works alright. But, then you have to wash the grater.

Those frozen biscuits in a can are horribly atrocious!!!!!! I don't understand how anyone can eat them and be happy about it.

Also, a good biscuit topping for a pot pie can be made with equal amounts of leavened and salted flour, buttermilk, and melted butter. However,I use less than an equal amount of butter in this for the same reason that I use less fat in my biscuits. Still, it makes a nice biscuit topping for anything that has a broth.

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writersblock (9b/10a)

Thanks, wednesday morning.

ann_t, I sent a link to your recipe to one of the friends who went to the biscuit event with me, and he agrees--yours are the best!

Photo he just sent me:


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