Biscuits

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I like eating biscuits and a while back I was craving them and ribs so last sunday I got together with some friends to do a little hee haw ass southern brunch. We did it up proper with two kinds of ribs, smoked country ham, mac & cheese, potato salad, biscuits, corn pudding, bread pudding, collards, apple pie and some bullshit ass hummus that a korean brought for no goddamn reason. Anyways this post isn’t about that, this is about biscuits. I really wanted some southern style biscuits and wanted to figure out how to make them super flaky and fluffy.

I initially started with this recipe for Black Pepper biscuits because it just sounded dope. These tasted good but were real heavy, just didn’t have the flakiness I was looking for. After that I decided to do more research wondering if it was the recipe or of I was fucking up.

Turns out it was both, my baking powder was like 3 years old (I don’t bake much) and apparently that matters, you want fresh. The other thing was the recipe telling me to bake them 2 inches apart, that’s stupid, they should be touching, it helps them rise. This makes sense but fuck I don’t know man I never made fucking biscuits. Someone else always hooked them up so I never knew how easy these things were to make. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up a batch of dough, fuck eating biscuits from a tube. Pillsbury is trying to rob your ass with their bullshit. Fresh biscuits are the motherfucking knock.


After this batch I started looking for southern biscuit recipes specifically. I found a lot of people were using southern self rising flours that I can’t buy in San Francisco and didn’t have time to order online. Then I found this post on Pinch My Salt explaining the differences in types of flour. Depending on the flour the percentage of protein it contains differs.

The reason that self rising flour works is the type of wheat used to make it. Southern flours are typically made with winter wheats that are softer than the hard spring wheats used to make northern flours. I didn’t know any of this fucking shit so I look at my flour and I’m using goddamn bread making flour. WTF, I don’t think I even looked at the type flour I was buying when I grabbed this shit. Bread flour has the highest amount of protein which weighs the biscuit down, pretty much the worst shit you can use.

Her post included a break down in flour percentages taken from a book that I should stop being stupid and buy. Using this breakdown you should mix flour types to achieve the appropriate protein percentage.  Everything made sense so I grabbed some regular all purpose flour and decided to try her recipe. I looked at the ratio of cake flour to all purpose and it seemed backwards. I didn’t make any exact calculations but mathematically I thought the amount of all purpose should be higher than cake. It’s whatever though, I tried her shit out just to see the difference.

The pinch my salt biscuits were a lot fluffier than the epicurious joints I made the first time, but there was a cakeiness to the texture of the biscuit. Also her recipe called for baking at 500 degrees, got them done faster but the bottoms of the biscuits were drier. After that I decided to go with my own bastardized biscuit recipe that was just a combination of all these recipes I had come across.  I used more all purpose flour, less cake flour, more baking powder and more butter. My last batch came out super fucking proper, hella buttery though so I can cut back on that but it had the rise, fluffy crumbly flakiness I was looking for. I still did the black pepper bit too.  I like pepper, it’s easy as fuck and a nice touch.

My last batch came out super fucking proper, hella buttery though so for the recipe I cut it to 3/4 stick of butter. A whole stick isn’t necessary and you could cut it down even more if you want but I wouldn’t do a 1/4 stick or less. Also with more baking powder there is a chance of a bitter taste but I didn’t have any of that. If you do cut down to 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp of baking soda; you should be good with that.

Black Pepper Biscuits:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chilled buttermilk
Optional:
  • Whipping cream
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

Preparation:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 450°F.

Combine first 5 ingredients in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles very coarse meal. Transfer to large bowl. Gradually add buttermilk, tossing until dough begins to come together in moist clumps.

Gather dough into ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface; pat out to 10-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. Using 2 3/4- to 3-inch-diameter biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out 8 rounds. Place on baking sheet so that all the biscuits are touching. Gather dough scraps together; press out to 3/4-inch thickness and cut out additional rounds. Place on baking sheet.

Optional: Brush biscuits with cream; sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper.

Bake biscuits until tops are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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15 Responses to “Biscuits”

  1. shortzilla Says:

    Holy shit those look amazing….

  2. Amy Says:

    I’m gonna say this and duck:

    Popeye’s biscuits are the bomb. I don’t even try to make my own. (Yes, I’m Southern, but I’m not a dummy….why risk effing it up when I can get perfection at the drive thru…)

  3. SergDun Says:

    because it’s so fucking easy to make your own. I like popeyes but really homemade is so easy and cheap you might as well do it yourself

    shit here is a recipe for popeye’s

    4 cups Pioneer Buttermilk Biscuit Mix
    1 cup lite sour cream
    1 cup cold Sprite
    1/4 cup Butter

    Directions
    Melt butter in a bowl. Mix all ingredients together and form biscuit. Mixture will be sticky. Do not overwork; this is a drop biscuit. Coat the biscuit on both side with some melted butter and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

  4. Jen Says:

    Damn. Going to have to try these. You are one dedicated biscuit mofo.

  5. Comic Says:

    Heads up on the recipe- you say mix in the first four ingredients, pretty sure you mean five (unless you don’t use the salt at all).

    Just tried making it myself, they’re in the oven, and my first attempt at biscuit baking. We’ll see how it goes- I added pepper but didn’t have the whipping cream, we’ll see if it’ll be fine.

  6. Comic Says:

    Turns out my oven’s a bit on the strong side, came out of the oven a bit burnt on the edges but man these things are good. Think I’ll try it with the full stick of butter next and see if I like that- though I’m eating this things plain man. So good. These’d probably be right awesome with some spicy sausage gravy or something even slightly burnt, shame I don’t have any. Gravy without animal fat is just a white sauce man. Just a sauce.

  7. Matt Says:

    If you want really flaky biscuits use vegetable shortening instead of butter. I gotta try that popeye’s recipe. I usually make mine own from scratch but that looks interesting.

  8. SergDun Says:

    oh yeah my bad, add the salt, forgot about that. gonna make the change in the post.

    I haven’t tried this with shortening, I’ll give it a shot.

  9. Slurracane Says:

    these hoes slam, had them with country fried chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans, then made a new batch next day and had them with hot wings. They the truth fa real

  10. Arm-Bar Says:

    Any chance of some Donner or Indian/Pakistan style curry reviews? I am sure Americans love a good Donner Kebab just as much as the Brits?

  11. el jefe Says:

    You inspired me. I made some based on your recipe, and they rocked. I used self rising flour instead of the cake flour (because I have some I need to use up…) and cut the baking soda and powder back to 1/2 and 2 tsp (self rising flour already has the baking soda and powder in it…) Added half a cup of sharp cheddar, but no medio-medio or pepper. Baked at 500°F, but used an air-bake pan to even the heat on the bottom. Didn’t need the full time. Maybe my oven is a bit hot, but 15 min would be the max.

    I’ll have to try half shortening next time. It works well with pie crusts. Half butter half shortening gives the best combination between taste and flaky for them…

  12. MF Grocery Says:

    ‘Bout to fuck with these.

  13. Potato Harvesting Says:

    Love the blog, found it in yahoo, how do I subscribe?

  14. Alina Avenia Says:

    someone will probably find that it’s not precise enough and is adjusted over too high a temperature range. Cooking takes place over a range of 100-250F and a degree of inaccuracy of + or – 10F is not critical. Cooking thermometers will reflect this.

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