I’m sorry to say, despite my best efforts to convey every detail and trick to concocting these absolutely perfect, rich, buttery, fluffy, moist biscuits, they will not taste as good as when Betsy makes them. Nor could I tell you specifically why they are better when she makes them. It could simply be years of experience throwing them together for every conceivable potluck, or because whenever she whipped up a batch for me I ended up needing them desperately due to driving my car off the road in the snow or getting my period on a class camping field trip. However, I sincerely believe it’s because she’s from Georgia and is the kind of person whom I’m convinced who’s insides are just made up of ripe peaches, spicy bourbon and crushed magnolia flowers.
That said, even if you can’t make them quite as good as Betsy, the runner up common-joe-made ones are so much more divine and delicious than any other biscuit that you’ll still be quite pleased. After years of making dry muffin-things charading as biscuits, these will become your go-to for any meal needing a nice little basket of bread to convey as much butter as possible into yourself. Few ingredients plus, as long as you stick to the exact proportions, since they’re just big piles of goo dipped in flour they are easy to make. I can attest as someone who has made them while tipsy on several occasions!
Betsy’s Touch of Grace Biscuits:
adapted from Cookwise cookbook and Betsy
3 cups self rising flour (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE. IT WILL NOT WORK. DON’T LISTEN TO ONLINE THINGS THAT SAY YOU CAN JUST ADD MORE BAKING SODA. NO. NO. NO.) + some extra flour for dousing
1/2 tsp salt
1/2tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar (usually white, brown is fine)
6 tbsp vegetable shortening (or lard)
2 cups buttermilk
4 tbsp butter+ more for greasing pie pans
Preheat oven to 475.
Grease 2 pie pans with butter.
Sift dry ingredients together. Add shortening and cut in with pastry cutter or hands until incorporated and dough is crumbling in pea-size bits. Pour in buttermilk until dough is sticky and moist but not sloppy (aka, shouldn’t dribble down the side of your hand). Let it sit for 5 minutes. Get a bowl of flour and drop a handful or less of dough in. Cover with flour and gently palm the ball so as not to mix in flour, but to get the outside all floury and dry-feeling. Drop into greased pan and repeat until all the dough is done. Keep the biscuit balls all crowded together in the pan. This will force them against one another, giving them some structure despite being so gooey. Melt the butter, brush over the tops of the biscuits and stick in the oven until golden brown on top: somewhere between 8-12 minutes depending on how golden you’d like them. Take out, brush with more butter if you like (Betsy always does!) and let cool for a few minutes before breaking up and enjoying!
Spiced Peach Biscuits (or apple or rhubarb or nectarine or berry)
+ 1 cup diced preserved peaches (works best with fruit that has been previously frozen or hot packed which will break down a little easier. Consider a quick saute with some butter for harder stuff like raw rhubarb or apple that takes longer to cook.)
-half the salt
+ double the sugar
+will most likely need to add about 1/4-1/2 cup more flour or less buttermilk to get the right consistency depending on the fruit.
+ 1 tsp cinnamon
+ 1/2 tsp allspice, nutmeg, etc. – your pick! Careful since some of these are stronger than others!
Surprise Dumpster Chocolate Biscuits
(yes I dumpster chocolate from a chocolate factory, you can also just make these with store bought)
+1″ squares of chocolate about 25 of them
+ double sugar
Smoosh a square of chocolate inside the glob of biscuit before dousing it in the flour. The moist biscuit will keep the chocolate from getting dry and gross when it melts, and then you have a little chocolate surprise in the center! Fun for dumpster chocolate, which often is a surprise of darkness or flavor.
Tex-Mex Biscuits (great with chili!)
+ 2 tsp toasted cumin
+ 1 tsp smoked paprika
+ 1 tsp garlic powder
Savory Rendered Fat Biscuits
When making chicken or turkey broth (or just generally saving the fat from the roasting pan) I usually skim and render the fat that results to use for cooking with. Since it’s liquid at room temperature, unlike lard, you can’t simply sub it in.
- honey + butter
- goat cheese + jam
- sausage gravy
- fucking everything ever!