Earlier today I posted a review for Biscuit Head, a glorious biscuit book from the Biscuit Head restaurant founders Jason and Carolyn Roy. It’s a lovely book with just a handful of biscuit recipes per se. Most of the book’s recipes deal with what to put on, in, or next to your biscuit.
And all those ideas assume you have their “basic” biscuit which is hardly basic at all. In fact, it is called the Classic Cathead Biscuit and that word, classic, is well deserved.
Suzi and I made these, offering them up to ourselves hot from the oven with cold butter and bright strawberry jam. A little coffee. Some bacon. And we had a weekend breakfast that could not be beat.
Look for Biscuit Head at your local book store or order it online. You will, I promise, use it over and over again.
The recipe calls for White Lilly flower if at all possible. White Lilly is a staple in Southern kitchens, the flour that makes biscuits there so delightfully sublime. You can order it online and it’s worth the investment.
Once you have this classic down, here are some suggested changes:
·Cheese biscuits by adding 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar
·Sweet potato biscuits by adding 2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes, 1 more cup of flour, and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice
·Garlic and herb biscuits by incorporating 12 cloves of roasted garlic along with ¼ cup of chopped herbs — thyme, rosemary, basic, or whatever you enjoy
·Ham and cheese biscuits by adding 1 cup of shredded Swiss cheese plus ½ cup of chopped ham
The Classic Cathead Biscuit
Yield: 6 large biscuits or 8-10 smaller one
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (we use White Lily brand)
- 2 ½ cups cake flour (we use King Arthur brand)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 8 tablespoons [1 stick] butter, chilled and cubed
- 2 cups whole buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 375°F, making sure you have one of the racks in the middle of the oven. Grease a baking sheet or cast-iron skillet (pan spray works fine).
In a large mixing bowl, combine both kinds of flour, the kosher salt, and the baking powder. We strongly recommend sifting the dry ingredients to combine them.
Add the butter by dividing it into to small pieces, half the size the end of your little finger. You do not want the butter to melt or soften in your hand. You do want the butter to release steam as the biscuit cooks. That steam adds to the airiness and lightness of your final biscuit product.
Add the buttermilk and stir very gently to fold it in. Take care not to overmix! Scoop the dough into your pan or skillet, making sure to keep the dough scoops right next to each other on the pan. We use a large ice cream scoop whether we're at the restaurant or at home.
Bake the biscuits for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and fluffy.
Source: Biscuit Head by Jason and Carolyn Roy [Voyageur Press, 2016]
Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/30th second at ISO‑800