I’m a firm believer every Southern lady should have a good biscuit recipe in her repertoire. The “perfect” biscuit recipe has eluded me for over 15 years. After trying countless recipes: cutting lard, sifting flour, and kneading dough with some of the best biscuit bakers in my circle I have come to realize that most folks who cook an excellent biscuit don’t have a 3 x 5 recipe card with precisely measured ingredients. A good biscuit is all about the feel of the dough and the loving hands that magically create a flaky morsel of buttery goodness out of ingredients that most people have in their pantry.
Biscuits can be a staple of every meal and deserve a place at any well-appointed table. Breakfast begs for a buttery biscuit slathered with homemade jam or local honey. A farm lunch calls for a hearty biscuit to fuel a family for an afternoon of hard work. I remember my daddy and granddaddy sopping “Cat Head” biscuits in cane syrup at farm lunches at the Brown’s Kitchen House. The biscuits were so large they required their own bowl filled with amber syrup made from a neighbor’s sugar cane. One of my earliest tasks in my Mother’s kitchen was making mayonnaise biscuits. These light and airy gems consist of 3 simple ingredients: flour, mayonnaise, and milk. I was in awe of how these every day kitchen staples could turn into a savory morsel baked up in miniature muffin tins.
My friend Rusty Lane towers over the auction block. He cajoles bids from the most conservative of patrons, but in my opinion his most impressive skill is his ability to whip up a batch of perfectly crafted biscuits. Rusty rolls the biscuits in his had and makes a small indention in the center where melted butter pools in the hollow created by his giant hands. His famous biscuits are a dinner staple at what he lovingly calls The Shack. He even includes the biscuits in his family’s Christmas dinner tradition. The biscuits are served with a chocolate sauce that rivals any jelly or syrup.
My earliest forays in the kitchen began when I moved away to college. I had a tiny kitchen, cheap pots that scorched everything, and a willing circle of friends who bravely agreed to dinner invites. Most meals included what we lovingly referred to as “fat bread” widely known as sour cream muffins or butter-me-nots. The recipe consisted of three simple ingredients: flour, butter, and sour cream. Baked in mini muffin tins, these little buttery morsels will melt in your mouth!
I lean towards the older ways in most of my habits. I think every fine meal should include a basket filled with warm freshly baked bread, but with today’s low carb diets and crazy fads a quick salad is what’s for dinner most nights. Take the time to slow down and bake a batch of biscuits. I promise the end result will be a complete satisfaction only garnered by a job well done. I call this recipe sweet heart biscuits because they are in fact a labor of love and the sure-fire way to anyone’s heart!
Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Grate very cold butter into the flour mixture and mix until butter pieces are coated. I use a food processor with a grater attachment for this task. Place eggs, sour cream, and buttermilk in bowl and mix well. Make a well in center of dry ingredients add wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. The dough will be sticky. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead 2-3 times. Pat the dough out by hand into a rectangle approximately 1 ½ inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter or cut with knife and shape into round balls of dough. Place biscuits close together on generously greased pan. Dot the top of each biscuit with butter. Bake at 375 degrees 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Place all ingredients in bowl. Mix until just combined. Spoon onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.
Helpful Biscuit Baking Hints:
• Butter or shortening must be ice cold
• Do not over mix
• Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients for better mixing
• Use your hands. Biscuit making is all about the feel of the dough.
• Use a sharp knife or biscuit cutter
• Serve piping HOT
• Don’t be afraid to try and fail many times until you find your perfect recipe