Monday, September 18, 2017

The Art of the Biscuit

John Gray over at Going Gently asked me about a recipe for biscuits when I posted this picture of my breakfast on Facebook.

Image may contain: food

For my friends across the pond, our biscuits are nothing like yours. What you call a biscuit, we call a cookie. What we call is a biscuit is a soft, savory bread that's a staple food in the southern states of the USA.

Not many people can make a good homemade biscuit. It's a dying art. The ones pictured here were bought as frozen dough and baked, and they're pretty good, but nothing like a real honest-to-goodness homemade biscuit.

My maternal grandmother made the best homemade biscuits ever. There was never any recipe involved. She would pour a bunch of flour in a bowl, scoop a handful of lard (yes, lard) on top, and with one hand would start kneading the dough while slowly pouring in buttermilk with the other. When the dough was smooth and elastic, she would deftly pinch off the perfect amount, roll it between both hands, and put it onto a greased baking sheet. She would keep on doing that until the sheet was full, and then pop it into a hot oven. A few minutes later, you'd have a dozen or so perfect biscuits. They were heavenly.

No one could cook like my grandma. And no one makes biscuits as good as hers. I'm terrible at it, and my mom isn't much better. I must have watched my her make biscuits hundreds of times as a child, but I've never been able to master it.

John asked me for a recipe. I don't really have one beyond what I just described seeing my grandmother do. I'm sure that a Google search will bring up many different recipes and techniques for making a biscuit, but take it from me, it's more difficult than it looks. That's why I stick with the frozen and ready to bake kind!




26 comments:

  1. I want biscuits now. Even more so because I am not eating bread type stuff!

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  2. Send John here: http://www.blessourhearts.net/2008/07/because-i-have-no-xanax.html

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  3. I remember how nice the biscuits were at Mrs Wilkes' Boarding House in Savannah. On their own they'd be boring but as part of a traditional southern meal - well, they made it complete.

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    1. If you had biscuits in Savannah, you've had the real thing!

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  4. That is why we never have biscuits, they are not as good as my mother's. I really never make them at all. As you said a good biscuits is so hard to make but so wonderful to eat.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. My mom's biscuits were never very good. She doesn't even try to make them anymore.

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  5. Like pastry, there is a good reason why it comes already made and frozen.

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    1. I'm like you Jennifer, anything dough-like comes ready made. Biscuit, of course, means twice cooked (bi-cuit) which usually they aren't!

      My wife makes some very good Parmesan biscuits.

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    2. Ready made dough is a lifesaver! I haven't mastered pie crust, either.

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  6. It IS sad that we're losing talents like this culturally. I can't cook like my mom either.

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    1. Grandma had to cook from scratch her whole life. She was born very poor on a sharecropper farm.

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  7. That breakfast sure looks good!

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  8. This recipe sounds like my mother's pastry recipe which I still make, in large squares , with lard, and serve with stewed fruit.

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  9. My biscuits come out of a bag that the Schwan's man delivers. I have made biscuits, but it's a lot of work. They probably weren't as good as your grandma's, either.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Can anything really compare to a grandmother's cooking?

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  10. I love the blog post, and you helped me make such a fun card with it!










    ซอมบี้

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  11. Mouth-watering. Especially since I'm cutting way back on carbs!

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    1. Cutting back on carbs is so hard! You probably need to, after all those big meals with Chuck! :)

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