There is probably nothing more southern than homemade biscuits. There also probably isn't anything made in the south that has more recipes or methods for making. I think most people make biscuits the way their mother or grandmother taught them or in some cases their father or grandfather. I think more and more men are doing the cooking these days and there is certainly nothing wrong with that either. I wish more people in general were cooking their meals at home, it's much healthier and economical. That's a topic for another day though, because it will take some time for me to go on and on about it...lol.
Now, back to the biscuits, I make regular biscuits just like my mother taught me when I was just a teenager at home. I am not sure a lot of people make homemade biscuits now days though with all of the canned (yuck) and frozen pre-made biscuits. I must admit that the frozen ones made by Pillsbury are very good, but are so expensive. The canned ones, I am not so fond of, but they are less expensive...there's a reason for that.
Biscuits, like cornbread, meatloaf and potato salad, are something people can really mess up also. Some folks should stick to the frozen variety. These are angel biscuits, which are biscuits that have yeast in them. They are sort of a cross between a yeast roll and a biscuit. They are wonderful for ham and biscuits, for dinner, or really anytime you would serve biscuits. These are made by caterers for events where they have ordered biscuits, because they can be made up ahead of time. The main reason I like to make them is that they make a big batch of dough and you can bake just what you need a few at a time. They will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. I have tried several recipes for angel biscuits and this one is the best and the one I have finally settled on. Here is what you will need:
All Purpose flour (I prefer White Lily), buttermilk, yeast, Crisco, baking powder, butter, salt, baking soda, and sugar (which I left out of the picture for some reason)
In a glass bowl mix the yeast with 1/2 cup warm water. The water should not be over 110 degrees. If its too hot it will kill your yeast. Just warm tap water is good. Set aside while you mix the other ingredients and give the yeast time to activate. It will bubble some.
With a pastry blender cut in the Crisco until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add in the yeast mixture and the warmed buttermilk. I just put the 2 cups buttermilk in the microwave for about a minute to warm it. Once the dry ingredients are all moistened, cover the bowl and chill for about an hour. You can make these up the night before if you are having them for breakfast.
Turn the dough out on a heavily floured surface and knead about 5 times. Form into a flat ball. Flour your rolling pin and roll to 1/2 inch thickness. I only used half of my dough mixture and saved the other half for another day this week.
Dip a biscuit cutter in flour and cut the biscuits getting as many as you can out of the first rolling. If you cut right on the edge of the dough so that there isn't any dough left on the edges the biscuits will come out cleaner. Take the remaining remnants and roll back together and cut the rest. Handle the dough as little as possible. It makes the biscuits dense and tough if you over handle the dough.
In a 9"x13" baking dish melt 1/2 stick of butter. Place the cut biscuits in butter, then roll them over to coat both sides with butter. Place them in a preheated 450 degree oven for 12-13 minutes. They should be slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and serve immediately. I only baked 1/2 of the recipe, but if you bake the whole recipe, you will need two 9"x13" baking pans and 1/2 stick of butter for each pan.
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
2 cups buttermilk
butter for greasing pans (1/2 stick per pan)