You don’t need to be afraid of biscuits
Do not fear the biscuit.
“Men think nothing of losing 10 dollars’ worth of golf balls when practicing their golf swing, but women are afraid to practice with batch after batch of biscuits,” says Nathalie Dupree, co-author with Cynthia Graubart, of the cookbook “Southern Biscuits.” “Biscuits aren’t hard. So why are so many cooks intimidated by something that costs a dollar?”
Dupree and Graubart certainly aren’t — the duo cooked thousands of biscuits, from crumbly to hard to moist to cheesy to sweet, while writing. Seventy recipes made it into the book as well as descriptive how-to photos. “I want you to be able to know how to make a biscuit when you crave one. Forget about feeding others — you have to nurture yourself,” she says.
And what’s the best way to serve biscuit? “A biscuit has to be hot to be heaven,” says Dupree. “And with butter — you can’t go wrong with that. If you’re feeling adventurous, add some slivered ham. But hot and buttery is the best.”
Rachel’s Very Beginner’s Cream Biscuits
2 ¼ cups self-rising flour, divided
1 ¼ cups heavy cream, divided
How to make them:
1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2 Select an 8- or 9-inch cake pan or skillet where the biscuits will nestle together snugly.
3 Fork-sift or whisk 2 cups of flour in a large bowl, set aside remaining 1/4 cup.
4 Make a deep hollow in the center of the flour with the back of your hand. Pour 1 cup of cream into the hollow, reserving 1/4 cup of cream, and stir using broad circular strokes to pull the flour into the cream. Mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the sticky dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
5 Lightly sprinkle a board or clean surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the board and sprinkle the top with flour. With floured hands, fold in half and pat dough out into 1/3 to 1/2 thick rounds. Fold the dough in half a second time. If still clumpy, pat and fold a third time. Pat dough into a 1/2-inch-thick round for a normal biscuit.
6 For each biscuit, dip a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter into the reserved flour and cut out the biscuits, starting at the outside edge and cutting very close together.
7 Move to pan and bake at the top rack of the oven for a total of 10 to 14 minutes until lightly golden-brown. When done, remove from oven and brush the top with melted butter. Serve hot.
Follow Dorothy Robinson on Twitter @DorothyatMetro.