Southern-style biscuits come with my family history.
Unfortunately, I'm starting to fear that I might be the generational "fail:" the one who never masters the biscuit department, and single-handedly causes the collapse of a family tradition passed down for over a hundred years.
No pressure though, right?
My mom learned the family biscuit-making methods from my great-grandmother (who learned the method from generations before her). As the girl who loves all-things-cooking, it seemed natural that I would take up the biscuit-making talent as if it were second nature.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
Despite countless tutorials, and much dedicated effort, I'm completely incompetent at biscuit-making. In my own defense, the family recipe has no recorded amounts (it's not even written down)--my mom's verbal instructions are complete with "a pinch of this," "a little of that," "a scoop of shortening," and so on. I know the cardinal rule is not to overwork the dough--your biscuits will come out tough (hockey pucks, anyone?).
But the cardinal rule does no good if you don't have "the touch."
After recognizing that I'll never triumph in the family biscuit-baking department, I thought perhaps I could re-invent the tradition with my own recipe--a healthier version that I was also actually capable of making. I turned to the Moosewood Collective for their Buttermilk Biscuit recipe and (drumroll, please)...further demonstrated my incompetence.
Although they do taste scrumptious, and Adam and I thoroughly enjoy them, they still lack the flaky, soft texture (and "beautiful factor") of my mom's biscuits. I'm willing to admit it: it's not the recipes...it's ME!
Maybe the magic touch will come with age. Or maybe just more practice. Either way, I'll settle for these simple biscuits here at home, and look forward to the family version at my parents' house. No use in re-inventing tradition :)
Do you have any family tradition recipe?
(Adapted from a recipe in the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites)
These guys taste just delightful, and with the added bonus of being low-fat, they make an appearance on our dinner table often. As always with biscuits--make sure you don't over-work the dough! Add more milk if needed to help the dough bind together.
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 2 TBSP canola oil
- 6 TBSP skim milk (plus a little more if needed to bind the dough)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2) Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Combine the oil and milk. Add the oil and milk to the flour mixture, stirring lightly and continuously until a soft dough forms (add just a dash more milk if needed to help dough bind).
3) Place dough onto a floured surface, and roll out using a rolling pin. Cut into 4 - 6 pieces (Mine are usually awkward shapes!).
4) Place on baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.