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Hallelujah Biscuits

Monday, September 26, 2011

These are the best biscuits I've ever made, everrrr.  And I've made them so many times with both buttermilk and the boys' 1% milk that the recipe is so good it turns out great either way.

No rolling pin, no cutting them out.  The secret to great biscuits, which everyone knows already, is to use a cast iron skillet and to preheat the pan the entire time in a 500* oven.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold butter, diced in smallish pieces -- plus more for prepping skillet
3/4 cup buttermilk or regular sweet milk, or more to get a nice consistency

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 500* with the empty cast iron skillet inside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then add in the butter pieces.  Add the liquid.
After the oven comes up to 500*, take the skillet out of the oven and put an extra pat of butter inside to melt.  Any extra butter should be poured from the pan back into the mixing bowl (just this little bit of extra butter will not melt the rest of the cold butter in the dough but it will be so nice and brown from being in the 500* oven that it is such a great addition.
Mix the dough again and correct with more buttermilk or milk if necessary.
Spoon the dough into the super-hot skillet.
Biscuits

Start checking on the biscuits at 12 minutes, they will likely be done right around 15 or 16.  Ooooh they are so good!  Tall and big and fluffy, and buttery-crusty on the bottom.  Could not be better.
Biscuits

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The best biscuits I ever had were at a festival in the mid/late 80s when I was growing up, at Horse Pens 40, and they were called 'Baptist Biscuits' -- so good I am still remembering them!  I just did a search, and those Baptist Biscuits have even been mentioned a couple of times in newspapers, that they originated with Aunt Plummer Hyatt in 1961 who cooked them there in a wood-burning oven under the sweetgum trees.

In 1973, the Tuscaloosa News reported on a festival there with bluegrass and Sacred Harp music, and quoted on person as saying:
"After that, you'll have your lungs full of mountain air and your belly full of Baptist biscuits..." 

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