Biscuit Nostalgia

Way, way back in the middle ages, when I was a teenager working at Hardees, I was the biscuit girl.  I would wake up at 3:30 am in the morning and go in and make biscuits.  Getting up so hellishly early may have seemed like a crap job, but from my perspective, I would get done early enough to enjoy the rest of my day.  I would make the biscuits by hand in a giant bowl: add the dry ingredients, cut in the shortening by hand, add the ice-cold buttermilk and then use my short little arms to mix away.  Don’t worry, I washed up first.  My hands would ache with the cold from the buttermilk.  You would think, after such a glamorous adventure, that I would hate biscuits, but I loved them, even as a surly teenager.  I had not attempted to make them as a surly adult until now, but I always order them at restaurants.  Minus the gravy.  I do not love sausage gravy.  Please feel free to send all the hate mail you want.  This surly adult eats her biscuits with butter and honey.

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One of the secrets behind a great biscuit turns out to be the mixing by hand.  Go ahead and use a spatula if you must, I will not judge because I too hate having crap all over my hands, but it really is the best way.  The recipe below is for a small batch of biscuits, enough for one meal, which is good, as they are best fresh from the oven.  As indulging in a tray of biscuits as supper seems like a bad idea, I made a chicken as a side dish:)  Enjoy!

Buttermilk Biscuits:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450º
  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and cut in the cold butter until it looks like coarse meal.  I always think it looks like sand.
  • Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the buttermilk and mix just until combined.  The dough should be very wet.
  • Place the dough on a floured board and, using your hands, fold dough four times.  You will probably want to flour your hands..unlike what I said earlier about the spatula, a rolling-pin is a big no-no at this point.
  • Press the dough to 1 inch thick and use a round cutter (or a cold glass if you don’t have a round cutter) to cut out the biscuits.  You can gently put the scraps together to make more-the purists will tell you it isn’t as good, but why waste the dough?
  • Place the rounds on a cookie sheet, or even better, a baking stone and bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and brush the tops with melted butter.

6 thoughts on “Biscuit Nostalgia

  1. Chad Bunch says:

    My grandmother used to be the “Biscuit Lady” at a Hardees as well. She was not a teenager, however. She is in her 80’s now, so I imagine she was 50ish at the time.The Hardees she worked at was in Quincy, Illinois. Where did you work at? I also worked at a Hardees in Springfield, Illinois for about two weeks when I was 18. Admit-tingly, I hated it. But I never got to make biscuits….

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  2. dreamphemera says:

    I never worked at Hardees, but their biscuits were my guilty pleasure! I used to order two of them, buttered only. God, it was heaven. And, I’ll confess – I regularly ate meals of
    biscuits only in my singleton days! Yummers. No guilt – just gloried in the bready goodness!

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