Sunday, March 4, 2012

Biscuit Bowl Voodoo and Salt and Pepper Cream Biscuits

So southerners are in love with their bread products. From Cornbread to soft wheat dinner rolls, to sweet breads and cakes and of course, biscuits. Biscuits conjure up thoughts of fat flaky rounds of baked browned goodness rising slowly in a hot oven and resting in buttery goodness when finished off. I can remember my Big Mama making cornbread for her Mid-day meal and sometimes making biscuits from scratch. Either was a treat and both were delicious.

I think everyone in the south who makes biscuits either has a recipe that they have inherited and was handed down through the family or has by trial an error arrived at what they consider to be biscuit epiphany. Others have in addition to their chemical recipe a physical manifestation of their biscuit heritage in the form of cooking tools much like my friend's freind Carter, who has his grandmother's wooden biscuit bowl. Now a biscuit bowl is a real true element of biscuit making in the south for many. The bowl in which the biscuits were mixed was almost as important as the recipe and the ingredients themselves. By lore a biscuit bowl is a bowl that is never cleaned out or emptied completely. It is stored in a cupboard and usually has a cloth or towel that sits over it until the next time it is used. It is an old tradition and people swear to the production of their treasured recipes being enhanced by the magic of their biscuit bowl. The "magic" if you will is the leaving of the residual flour for use the next time. Thus creating the illusion of the never ending well of biscuits. It was a practical thing back in the day but has become a treasured source of biscuit lore in the family that possesses the bowl of cooking heritage.

Now I do not possess a treasured biscuit recipe from way back nor a magic bowl. I do however love to make biscuits and my favorite recipe for them which is also incredibly easy is my recipe for cream biscuits. My first encounter with the cream biscuit was when I was working for Peter Callahan a caterer in NYC. He only served biscuits with his dinners never bread and they would arrive cut square and deliciously decadent at the events. I always would try to grab at least two they were so tasty. I finally asked the chef for the recipe and she told me they were very simple. They contained three things Flour, crisco, and heavy cream. I thought that was pretty easy. But recently my cousin gave me a recipe for cream biscuits that was even easier and they came out so lovely. I make these now and I love them. So for the biscuit lover in you I give you this recipe. It's foolproof and easy so give it a try. Enjoy ya'll!!

Forrest's Easy Peasy Salt and Pepper Cream Biscuits

2 cups Self rising or cake flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons salt kosher
Fluer de Sel ( coarse French sea salt)
Pepper grinder
3 tablespoons melted butter


Place flour in a bowl make a well in the center of the flour
Add salt
Add 1 cup cream slowly into the well mixing as you go.
Keep adding cream ( you may not need all of it) until the mixture has come together and sticks to itself more than to you!
On a floured board knead the dough until it's together
Then roll out and cut with a cutter into rounds pushing the residual dough together until you are done.
Place on a greased baking sheet
Sprinkle top with fluer de sel and cracked black pepper
bake in a 450 degree oven for 8 to 10 mins or until done
When done remove from oven and brush with the melted butter


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