I wrote a post last week on buttermilk biscuits. They were the traditional roll and cut biscuits, complete with flaky layers. I have talked to several people since then who really wanted biscuits after reading the post, but haven’t had the time to make them. Or some of them are dieting and don’t want to fall off the wagon with biscuits. I can’t help with the dieting thing, but I can give you a recipe for drop biscuits that will have hot, homemade biscuits on the table in no time.
If you aren’t familiar with drop biscuits, the dough is wetter than regular biscuits. Instead of rolling and cutting the dough, you use a spoon to drop the dough onto the pan, using your finger or another spoon to help. It is very similar to making cookies, but the dough is stickier and wetter than cookie dough. I usually make drop biscuits instead of rolled biscuits, because they are quicker, make less mess and are sometimes lighter.
My dad made a lot of biscuits when I was growing up, and they were usually drop biscuits. In fact, when you say, “biscuits,” to me, I think of drop biscuits. It was my mom who made rolled out biscuits, only occasionally and usually to go with dinner instead of breakfast. Not sure why that was, and I probably have selective memories when it comes down to it. Maybe Mom and Dad will chime in on the comments to set the record straight.
Mom and Dad used white flour and Crisco when I was growing up, as did my grandma. I usually use butter now, along with a good portion of white whole wheat flour. These biscuits will work just fine if you prefer to use only all-purpose flour. You can use butter or Crisco, depending on your preference.
If last week’s post got you thinking about buttermilk biscuits, but you were intimidated by the directions, or just didn’t want to deal with the mess, try drop biscuits. They soak up the butter just like regular biscuits, if that helps convince you to make them. Sorry to all my dieting friends!
From The Cook’s Life
Makes 9-12, depending on size
1 cup white whole wheat flour*
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
4-6 tablespoons butter or shortening (the larger amount makes a richer biscuit)
1 cup buttermilk
2-3 tablespoons buttermilk, regular milk or water (if the dough is dry)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet or one large or two medium cast iron skillets or flat griddles. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
Cut in butter or shortening until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add 1 cup of buttermilk all at once. Mix well, until dough forms. If there are still dry pockets of flour, add buttermilk, milk or water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. There should still be wet-looking patches and it will be too soft and wet to knead.
Drop by heaping tablespoons on prepared pans. Leave space between the biscuits, as they spread as well as rise. Err on the side of small, because they rise quite a bit. Bake 10-12 minutes, depending on size and desired doneness. Biscuits should be brown and crispy on the bottom and lightly browned on top when done.
Serve hot, with butter, jam, honey or your choice of toppings.
*You can use all-purpose flour in place of the white whole wheat flour, if you prefer. You may not need the extra liquid in this case.