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Biscuits

In this topic:

Black Pepper Biscuits
Black Pepper Biscuits
 
Best Drop Biscuits
Best Drop Biscuits
 

Barbecue and biscuits are two of the cornerstones of Southern cooking. Although cornbread, white bread and saltine crackers are more common accompaniments to barbecue, you will find biscuits on the menu at some barbecue joints and at many restaurants that sell barbecue as part of a "meat and three" lunch. And while it's not that common to eat barbecue on a biscuit, there are a few examples out there, like the breakfast biscuit served at Boarhog's Barbeque in Huntsville, Alabama. It's a feast consisting of a big biscuit topped with pulled pork, scrambled eggs, and a slice of American cheese...makes a McMuffin look downright wimpy!

Here are some of my favorite biscuit recipes, plus a few from an accomplished biscuit maker and member of The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.

As always...click on any of the pictures to view a larger image.


Black Pepper Biscuits

Black Pepper Biscuits brushed with heavy cream
Photo 1
A dozen Black Pepper Biscuits
Photo 2
Close-up of a black pepper biscuit
Photo 3
Close-up of a split black pepper biscuit with country gravy
Photo 4
 

These are hearty, substantial biscuits—not light and flaky—with a pronounced buttermilk flavor. In fact, add some country gravy and they eat like a meal all by themselves. Best of all, the ingredients are mixed in a food processor...so easy.

This recipe was featured on the television show Throwdown with Bobby Flay in 2008.

Ingredients List
4 cups all-purpose flour (20 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold,
cut into small pieces
1-1/2 cups buttermilk, cold
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing tops after baking

Yield: 12 biscuits

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 450°F. Setup your food processor with an "S" curved metal blade. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh-out the flour for best results.

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Add all the dry ingredients to the food processor and pulse a few times until well mixed. Scatter the cold butter pieces over the flour mixture and process until it resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk and pulse until the dough just starts to come together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board or counter. Pat the dough into a 10" x 12" rectangle, about 3/4" thick. Use a 3" round cutter to cut-out the biscuits. Press together the scraps and repeat for a total of 12 biscuits.

Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet pan. Brush the tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with ground black pepper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the tops with melted butter.

Best Drop Biscuits

A dozen Best Drop Biscuits
Photo 5
Close-up of a drop biscuit
Photo 6
     

This recipe comes from the November/December 2007 issue of Cook's Illustrated magazine. It mixes melted and cooled butter with cold buttermilk to form small butter clumps that mimic the way cold butter is cut into many biscuit doughs. When baked, the surface nooks and crannies result in a very crispy exterior. "These are the best drop biscuits I've ever had, simply outstanding," says JimH, member of The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.

Ingredients List
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt

1 cup buttermilk, cold
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (~5 minutes)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing biscuits after baking

Yield: 12 biscuits

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 475°F. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh-out the flour for best results.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Combine buttermilk and 8 Tablespoons melted butter in a separate bowl, stirring until the butter forms small clumps.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a large rubber spatula until just incorporated and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to scoop a level amount of dough and drop onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet pan. The biscuit should measure about 2-1/4" wide and 1-1/4" high. Repeat for a total of 12 biscuits, spacing about 1-1/2" apart.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until tops are golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and brush the tops with 2 Tablespoons melted butter.

Keri's Sour Cream Biscuits

Sour Cream Biscuits
Photo 7
Close-up of a sour cream biscuit with butter
Photo 8
     

Keri Cathey has graciously shared her award-winning 1st place biscuit recipe from the 2008 Oklahoma State Fair with readers of The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board. Keri says these biscuits are "quick and good", and her husband, Robert, declared them, "some of the best he'd tasted."

Ingredients List
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional, for extra lift)
8 ounces sour cream
3 Tablespoons buttermilk, cold
Can't find self-rising flour? Here's how to make your own.

Yield: 8-12 biscuits

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 450°F.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add sour cream and buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir gently with a large rubber spatula until moistened; you may need to add a bit more buttermilk, depending on the flour used.

Dump the mixture onto a well-floured work surface or floured cloth and gently fold over on top of itself several times to smooth dough and form layers, adding flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.

Roll out dough 1/2" to 3/4" thick, cut with a sharp biscuit cutter, and arrange on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet pan.

Bake at 450°F until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Keri's Flaky Biscuits

Keri Cathey has graciously shared her award-winning 3rd place biscuit recipe from the Oklahoma State Fair with readers of The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board. "This is my all-time old faithful biscuit recipe," says Keri. A little bit of lard and bacon grease take these flaky biscuits over the top.

Ingredients List
2 cups bread flour (all-purpose is OK, but bread flour makes more defined layers)
1 Tablespoon baking powder, preferably Rumford
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
5 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" cubes
3 Tablespoons chilled lard, cut into 1/4" cubes
3/4 cup cold milk
2 Tablespoons butter OR bacon grease, melted
Crisco shortening or additional butter can be substituted for lard.

Yield: 12-16 biscuits

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 450°F.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl or a food processor fitted with an "S" curved metal blade. Add butter and lard: With your fingertips, a pastry blender, two knives, or food processor, mix/cut/pulse the butter and lard into dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles dry oatmeal. If using food processor, transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Stir in milk with a large rubber spatula or fork until dry ingredients are just moistened. Let dough rest for 1 minute, then transfer to a well-floured work surface. "I prefer a floured flour-sack kitchen towel," says Keri.

Keri continues, "After stirring in the milk, this dough should feel very soft and moist, but you should be able to hold it briefly between lightly floured hands without it sticking. If it turns out wet and sticky, return it to the bowl and sprinkle it with 2-4 Tablespoons additional flour (of any kind) on all sides, gently patting in the flour with your palm. Let the dough rest another 30 seconds before removing it to your work surface."

Roll the dough into a rough 6" x 10" rectangle about 1/2" thick. With the long edge of the dough facing you, fold in both short ends of the dough so that they meet in the center, then fold the dough in half by width, forming a package of dough four layers thick. Once again, roll the dough into a 6" x 10" rectangle about 1/2" thick. Keri says, "You're creating layers here—the more gently you work and the less you handle the dough, the better the biscuits will turn out."

Using a lightly greased and floured 2-1/2" cutter, stamp—with one decisive punch per round—4 rows of 3 dough rounds, cutting them close together to generate as few scraps as possible. Dip cutter into flour before each new cut. Push the scraps of dough together so that their edges join; firmly pinch the edges with fingertips to make a partial seal. Pat the dough into a small rectangle, fold it as before, and re-roll 1/2" thick. Cut out 3 or 4 more biscuits.

Keri says, "It is best to discard the dough that is left over from the second cutting, as biscuits made with thrice-recycled dough tend to be tough and flat."

Place dough rounds 1-1/2" apart on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet pan. Brush tops with melted butter or bacon grease or milk.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until biscuits are lightly browned.

Secret Ingredient Biscuits

Secret Ingredient biscuits go into the oven
Photo 9
Close-up of Secret Ingredient biscuits with butter
Photo 10
     

This recipe comes from the April/May 2013 issue of Cook's Country magazine. The "secret ingredient" is mayonnaise, which provides the fat in this recipe in place of butter or shortening. Cook's says of this recipe, "The emulsification of oil and egg yolks in mayo makes for incredibly tender biscuits, and the dough comes together with just a stir...some of the easiest biscuits we've ever made." Best of all, they don't taste like mayonnaise!

Ingredients List
2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup mayonnaise
Whole milk and regular mayo work best, but reduced fat milk and reduced fat mayo can be used, but biscuits will be less tender and have less flavor. Don't use fat-free mayo.

Yield: 12 biscuits

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 450°F. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh-out the flour for best results.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Combine milk and mayonnaise in a separate bowl.

Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a large rubber spatula until just combined. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to scoop a level amount of dough and drop onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet pan. Repeat for a total of 12 biscuits, spacing about 1-1/2" apart. Use a teaspoon to coax dough from the measuring cup, if necessary. You may need to re-spray the measuring cup several times while portioning the dough.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until tops are golden brown, rotating sheet pan half way through baking.

Make Your Own Self-Rising Flour

Keri's Sour Cream Biscuits recipe calls for self-rising flour, which you can find at most supermarkets. Versions of self-rising flour are manufactured by popular brands including Gold Medal, Pillsbury, White Lily, King Arthur, Martha White, Aunt Jemima, and Walmart's Great Value brand. Just look closely on the store shelf and it's probably there, especially if you live in the Midwest or South, where self-rising flour is very popular. But if you can't find self-rising flour, or don't want to buy special flour for just one recipe, try mixing up a batch using this recipe from Keri Cathey.

Ingredients List
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
Combine ingredients thoroughly.

Updated: 02/14/2017

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