A Northerner's Biscuit Pursuit

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In the South making biscuits is a ritual and rite of passage as the recipes are handed down through the generations. Southern cooks bake biscuits at least once a week

I’m a New Yorker. My parents are both from Brooklyn, My grandparents were born in New York, their parents came from Russia. Not a Southern bone in my body. Yet, I have always been infatuated with - felt a duty in - making the perfect biscuit. The soft, tender, flaky bun most associated with Southerners.

So as you would imagine, I’ve tried many different recipes throughout the course of my culinary career and it’s only recently I’ve nailed down my ultimate. What it takes to make a perfect biscuit… for me that is. (since in my pursuits I’ve come to realize that everyone has their own perfect biscuit recipe)

Here are a list of techniques I’ve tried in the past and only use if all other options are not available.

I’ve gone whole Southern, using Lily White flour with lard, these biscuits are the flakiest for sure and very soft but lard is not sweet at all (so I missed the butter) and Lily White is a heavily bleached flour - so although it’s very low in gluten, I prefer an unbleached flour such as King Arthur.

I’ve grated the butter, which is a good technique for pie making to coat the flour to keep the gluten short, but for biscuits I like to cut my butter into chunks to make them flaky.

I’ve made cornmeal biscuits, nah - biscuits with yogurt, not so much, biscuits with cream instead of buttermilk, basically done it all - If you’re like me and want to perfect your biscuit making. Sign up for my class next week, Dec. 15 - and regardless I will post my recipe just after the class.

Cheryl Perry