Friday, February 5, 2010

Betting on better biscuits

So, sane people start the new year resolved to diet/exercise/quit swearing and such. Every Jan. 1, I take a vow to overcome my flour-phobia.

This year, I've been kneading, baking pies and trying to get my biscuits to raise to cathead heights. So far, I'm not even batting .500! This is typically the spot on the calendar when I throw my head back and scream into the heavens: "Why can't I bake?"

But I will not be deterred this year. I am going to keep practicing until I get it right. And, now, I have even more incentive. I tossed out a biscuit bake-off challenge on Facebook and a couple of friends bit. So, it's on.

I've been using the recipe on the can of baking powder, but I am going to experiment with a couple modifications, including using melted shortening. That's one of the secrets of the best biscuits in the world, at Bryant's in Memphis.

Once I get my biscuit technique nailed down, I'll figure out the particulars of this bake-off. And then ponder: What's best spread on them? Jam? Jelly? Honey? Sorghum, perhaps. Or sausage gravy and a couple of eggs?


Kim M said...

Bacon gravy on the first two with a side of bacon, and then butter with huckleberry jam on the next one for good measure. Or my grandmother who is from Arkansas where the art of biscuit making is serious stuff, always liked to take the last of the dough and shape it by hand into an irregular biscuit then leave it on the pan to cook just a bit longer and use it like a dipping doughnut in her black coffee.

Fred Deaton said...

Uhhh ... mmm ... Err.. I think the secret is that they use old fashioned 100% Lard fat or oleo in the biscuits at Bryants.

Please don't fret! Light that candle and appeal to the Patron saint of baking, Saint Honoré, to intercede with the divine on your behalf.

btw, Bryant's is now open on Sunday. Think There will be a shorter line on Sunday? I doubt it. The line is still out the door! No one can make biscuits like Bryant's!!!! however, Loveless Cafe Near Nashville is a close second. Third is Lathams BBQ in North Jackson, TN!

Funny story: when we got married 25 years ago, my parent's neighbor gave us a marble rolling pin. Sadly she remarked to my now wife that it was more to use to keep me in line than to roll dough. Hey, I haven't been out of line!

A best bet is to make drop biscuits. Get a box of Bisquick or Pioneer baking mix. use lukewarm water or Milk (which ever is called for). The lukewarm liquid is the secret. Then use a spoon to get the dough and drop it on a cookie sheet (better spray pam it before use).

Better yet, there is the "cheat" way, order Loveless Cafe's Biscuit mix and follow the directions.

Now you ask what is better with the biscuit. My preference is Butter and Honey! crumble the biscuits, and mic the honey and butter and pour it on the biscuits. In desperation of living without biscuits, you can crumble toast up and and use butter and honey!!!

I just sent a local West Tennessee Diocesan seminarian friend ribs in a care package to hold him over until ordination. Its tough to keep the faith so far away from Memphis BBQ! Being a Memphian and being so far from BBQ is a sacrifice! Not much BBQ there in Indiana! Anyway, it is one of my amazing finds. Damron's BBW in Martin TN. My dad goes to a retiree meeting in Martin TN, so I tried their BBQ while he was at his meeting. It is 160 miles from Memphis, yet makes excellent Memphis style BBQ pork and Ribs. Is a bargan at 68.99 for two big slabs of ribs shipped.