Not Quite Yet [Southern Biscuits]

My sister went into labour yesterday afternoon (May  8). Olivia still isn’t here as of this morning (May 9) at 8 a.m.

I’m feeling anxious.

My mum is at the hospital now. She’s probably the best support my sister could have.

Definitely no biscuits and jam for them this morning. But really, what better way to share morning  joy than breakfast biscuits?

Rub in the shortening.

Cottage cheese-like texture.

Flour for shaping.

Shaping.

Scrunched up against each other.

Melt butter all through their coral-like crevices and slather jam all over.

These biscuits are extra light and fluffy because the dough is very wet. The uncooked texture is loose — like cottage cheese. All that moisture makes for plenty of steam, which results in puff, or lightness.

Shirley Corriher’s “Touch-of-Grace” Southern Biscuits
*from BakeWise, by Shirley O. Corriher

nonstick cooking spray
2 cups (255 g) spooned and leveled low-protein, self-rising flour
1/4 cup (51 g)
1/2 tsp (3 g)
1/4 cup (45 g) shortening
2/3 cup (158 ml) heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk (237 ml) buttermilk, or enough for dough to ressemble cottage cheese (if you’re not using low-protein flour it will take more than 1 cup)
1 cup (127 g) plain all-purpose flour, for shaping
3 tbsp (43 g) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing

Preheat the oven to 425F and arrange a shelf slightly below the centre of the oven, Spray an 8 or 9-inch (20 or 23-cm) round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the self-rising flour, sugar and salt. Work the shortening in with your fingers until there are no large lumps. Gently stir in the cream, then some of the buttermilk. Continue stirring in the buttermilk until the dough resembles cottage cheese. It should be a wet mess — not soup, but cottage cheese texture. If you are not using a low-protein flour, this my require considerably more than 1 cup (237 ml) of buttermilk.

Spread the plain (not self-rising) flour out on a plate or pie pan. With a medium (about 2-in/5-cm) ice cream scoop or spoon, place 3 or 4 scoops of dough well apart in the flour. Sprinkle flour over each. Flour your hands. Turn a dough ball in the flour to coat, pick it up and gently shape it into a round, shaking off the excess flour as you work. Place this biscuit in the prepared pan. Coat each dough ball in the same way and place each shaped biscuit scrunched up against its neighbour so that the biscuits rise up and don’ t spread out. Continue scooping and shaping until all of the dough is used.

Place the pan on the arranged shelf in the oven. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Brush with the melted butter. Invert onto one plate and then back onto another. With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between biscuits to make them easy to remove. Serve immediately.

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