Friday, February 1, 2013

Southern Roots: Buttermilk Biscuits

The Final Product

Growing up in the Deep South in Northern Florida, I had a lot of biscuits.  Family members from Southern Georgia often baked the most delicious things I have ever tasted.  Some of the biscuits were called "Cat Heads" because of their size... these could surely be called catheads - they are huge and fluffy with a nice bottom snap to the crust.  

Buttery and delicious, not for the faint of heart nor an every day thing, so indulge and get back on that treadmill later! This recipe adapted from Saveur Magazine's article featuring the Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston. 

Makes 6 XX-LARGE Biscuits or 10-12 Very Generous Biscuits


5 cups flour (I used all purpose unbleached)
1 tbsp. kosher salt

4 tbsp. sugar (original calls for 5 so if you like a little more sweetness, indulge)
1 tbsp. baking powder
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, frozen (IMPORTANT: FREEZE IT!)
1¾ cups buttermilk

Yes:  GRATED BUTTER makes the difference!


1. Heat oven to 400°. Whisk flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. Using a box grater, grate 16 tbsp. butter (2 sticks) into flour mixture, and gently mix with your hands. Fluff it up, don't over work it to keep the butter in shreds. Add buttermilk, and gently fold to combine to form a soft dough.

Enormous Biscuits on Silpat Mat in Half Sheet Pan

2. Turn dough onto a floured surface and fold over onto itself 4 or 5 times - work quickly to keep butter cold; pat into an 8" x 6" square (about 2" thick for XL biscuits or a larger rectangle about 1" thick and cut smaller). Cut into 6 squares (or use floured biscuit cutter cutting down but do not "twist"); place 2" apart on a parchment paper—lined baking sheet (I use a Silpat mat for everything so feel free to use whatever you want as long as it is non stick). Bake until puffed and cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. 

Crispy, crunchy bottoms - delicious, soft steamy interior.

The bottoms will be crusty and firm... delicious.

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