By Tim H. Martin
Not Grandma’s, but Still Divine
• 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour, plus extra for dusting (I prefer White Lily)
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• Butter, to dot biscuit tops
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
In a medium-sized container, slowly add heavy cream into flour, stirring with a fork until you make a dough ball.
Just as the flour becomes a consistent texture, turn the dough ball out onto a floured surface and gently flatten and fold with your hands a few times, taking care not to overwork the dough. If it sticks to the board, simply dust with a little more flour.
Use a rolling pin to flatten dough to no thicker than 1/2 inch. These are going to rise a lot.
Cut circles with a small biscuit cutter — between 2 and 2 1/2 inches. Because cream biscuits are so tender and flaky, smaller diameters hold up better than wide biscuits.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, then place the biscuits next to each other, leaving a slight gap or barely touching.
I use the butt end of a butter knife to tap a small dimple in the center of each biscuit, then put a BB-sized dot of butter in the dimple. As the biscuit rises, the melting butter will be pushed out and spread across the tops without having to be brushed.
Cream biscuits will bake quickly, in about 10 minutes, so keep a close eye on them. Remove from oven as soon as the tops begin to turn golden and the centers are firm, yet springy to the touch. Use a spatula to put them on a cooling rack as soon as possible.
* Because heavy cream contains butterfat, there’s no need for shortening, lard or butter, therefore, no need to cut fat into the flour. It’s easy!
* Try this Alaskan Sausage gravy recipe with these biscuits.
Print The Recipe!
These Ain’t Your Granny’s Biscuits
– By Tim H. Martin
Heavenly Cream Biscuits are not your Grandmother’s old-fashioned biscuits, nor are they trying to be. However, this type is a quicker, easier-to-make biscuit than hers, now appearing in some of the Deep South’s finest gourmet restaurants.
For many years I’ve tried to re-create my Grandmamma Graham’s biscuits to no avail. Sometimes I’d get pretty close, but something was always missing.
My wife and family are only half joking when they claim Johnnie Belle had a magical ingredient in her fingertips that made the dough special. My friends with grandmothers from the country say the same thing, and I believe it to be true. If some sort of secret old lady voodoo magic is all I lack to make the perfect biscuit, all I can hope for is the next best thing. This recipe might just be it.
Comparing grandmother biscuits to Heavenly Cream Biscuits is apples and oranges, because they require two completely different techniques and with differing sets of ingredients.
Grandmamma Graham used buttermilk, real lard, real butter, a pinch of salt and this and that. She never kept a recipe.
Still, I always compare other people’s biscuits to hers, even when dining out. Like the time I scoffed when I first saw cream biscuits on the menu of a five-star restaurant. The waiter claimed them to be ‘tantalizing’ and they came with the meal, so I chose the biscuits over cornbread.
When the little things arrived in a cloth-covered basket, I laughed at their diminutive size compared to Grandmamma’s towering cathead biscuits.
But as soon as I smeared butter inside and took a bite, I knew the waiter wasn’t kidding. It was perfectly airy and tender with the rich tang of heavy cream. I ate two more baskets and had the waiter rustle me up some strawberry preserves.
Homemade biscuits are a big deal to me. I wouldn’t take the time to research and write about Cream Biscuits if they weren’t delicious. They’re the one food item all American country boys and girls were raised up on.
So enjoy this recipe, but never forget: Heavenly Cream Biscuits might be good, but they’ll never be grandmother good.