Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Touch of Grace Biscuits" by Shirley Corriher

For those of you who are not familiar with Shirley
Corriher, she is a biochemist and cookbook author. She has two fabulous books, Bakewise and Cookwise. She teaches you why ingredients do what they do. She is a frequent guest of Alton Brown's "Good Eats" on the Food Network.

You have never tasted biscuit so soft and tender. This recipe alone is worth the price of Bakewise.

Yield: 12-14 medium biscuits
  • 2 cups spooned and leveled self-rising flour*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening (original - plain shortening)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (original - 2/3 cup)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk or enough for dough to resemble cottage cheese (original 1+ cup)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour for shaping
  • 3 TBL unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F (for a convection oven, 375 F) and arrange a shelf slightly below the center of the oven. Spray and 8 or 9" round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together self-rising flour, sugar, and salt. Work shortening in with your fingers until there are no large lumps. Gently stir in cream, then some buttermilk. Continue stirring in buttermilk until dough resembles cottage cheese. It should be a wet mass---not soup, but cottage cheese texture. If you are not using a low-protein flour, this may require considerably more than 1 cup buttermilk.
  3. Spread all-purpose flour out on a plate or pie pan. With medium ice cream scoop (approximately 2 inches in diameter, #30) or spoon, place 3 or 4 scoops of dough well apart in flour. Sprinkle flour over each. Flour your hands. Turn dough ball in flour to coat, pick up ball, and gently shape it into a round, shaking off excess flour as you work. Place biscuit in prepared pan.
  4. Coat each dough ball in the same way and place each shaped biscuit scrunched up against its neighbor so that biscuits rise up and don't spread out. Continue scooping and shaping until all dough is used.
  5. Place pan on arranged shelf in oven. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter.
  6. Invert onto 1 plate and then back onto another. With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between biscuits to make them easy to remove. Serve immediately with Cherry-Chambord Butter.
* For light as air biscuits, Shirley recommends using a low-protein Southern flour, such and White Lily. If it is not available in your area, she says to use 1 cup self-rising all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup instant flour, such as Shake & Blend or Wondra, or cake flour, plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Shirley also notes that self-rising flour should not be used for shaping the biscuits since the leavener will cause the outside of the biscuits to taste bitter.

NOTE 02/14/09: Today, I used 100% self-rising all-purpose flour. I changed the original Heavy Cream quantity from 2/3 cup to 1/2 cup and Buttermilk from 1 cup to 1/2-2/3 cup. You will need to add the buttermilk till you get the consistency of cottage cheese. The amount differs throughout the year because of the season your flour is harvested. Also, I used Butter-flavored Crisco. I eliminated the step of dusting the dough balls in A/P flour. I simply scooped into the baking pan. These changes resulted in a little firmer biscuit, but still very tender. We like them better than the original which are so delicate, they fall apart.

1 comment:

  1. These are featherlight and fantastic. I have discovered by my own negligence that the last step of coating each scoop of dough with all-purpose flour can be eliminated without much difference. The purpose is to keep the individual biscuits separated somewhat and make them easier to separate. I find that they separate quite nicely without that extra coating of flour.