There is something just so comforting about a fresh homemade biscuit. Just out of the oven, steam rising off the top, bathed in butter. It can send you down memory lane in a few blinks of an eye.
In this day and age of everything from a can, and freezer to oven convenience, the art of making biscuits for dinner has largely gone by the wayside.
There was a time when making a stellar biscuit got a gal a husband, and heck, in the movie "McLintock" it even got Yvonne DeCarlo a job when Chill Wills handed John Wayne a biscuit she had made.
Over the last 30 years I have been obsessed with making the perfect biscuit. I've made some good, but many bad. I'd get the flavor right but then they would be too hard. Some were supremely tall, but tasted like aluminum because I had added too much baking powder.
Over time I'd make little notes in my cookbooks as to what I had liked and disliked about a certain recipe. The flakiness. The flavor. The crunch of that first bite. I found that two things stood out the most. Many recipes called for shortening. Maybe it's just me, but I've found that shortening leaves a coating and somewhat of an unpleasant taste in my mouth after I eat one containing it.
The other was the liquid ingredient. So many people love a buttermilk addition to many recipes, and generally I am one of those people. But I found that most often, like most people, I would have to use a substitute for it. Buttermilk is not something I usually keep on hand, and I really don't care for the powdered variety. I found though, that I actually preferred the flavor of lemon juice and whole milk combined, as a substitute for the buttermilk.
Thirty years is a long time to figure out how to make a biscuit. I'm happy to say now though that I am done. I don't care to peruse recipes for another, or jump when someone else says they have a great recipe. These are delicious. They are satisfying. They keep my hubby happy. Need say more?
Edna's Cafe Biscuits
3 c flour
1- 1/2 tsp sugar
2- 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt, slightly heaping
1/2 c unsalted butter, cubed small and very cold
Scant 1- 1/4 cups whole milk
1 Tbs lemon juice
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add unsalted butter and using pastry blender, blend until butter is the size of large peas. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir only until just combined. Place dough onto a well floured surface and pat out to a large square or rectangle, of about 1/2" thick. You can cut biscuits into squares with a knife, or use a round biscuit cutter to make approximately 9 to 12 biscuits. Pat together any remaining scraps and form into biscuits as well.
Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray and place biscuits on pan about 1" apart. Bake in a pre heated 425F oven for about 10 to15 minutes, depending on your oven, until light golden brown. Serve hot with butter, jam, honey, or whatever your heart desires. Me, I just like 'em plain. Enjoy!