by Tammy Taylor
We don’t eat biscuits often but RancherMan loves biscuits & gravy. I prefer my biscuits with homemade jam thank you very much but who am I to judge?? I’ve struggled with biscuit recipes since, well, FOREVER! No matter what guaranteed recipe I try the biscuits always seem heavy & dry. But as is tradition I promised to make RancherMan whatever he wanted for his birthday breakfast recently. And his request was (of course) homemade biscuits and gravy, along with a generous supply of thick-cut heavily peppered crispy bacon. Back to my recipe I went with a sigh – he deserved better. My recipe just didn’t seem to have enough flavor last time I made it. And the biscuits were heavy and dry. But determined to provide my beloved RancherMan the meal he requested and deserved, I tweaked the recipe and the biscuits turned out absolutely DELICIOUS. Flavorful, moist and fluffy. EUREKA!
Here’s what I did: I took 4 cups of all-purpose flour and mixed in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 Tablespoons of baking powder, 5 Tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. I stuck all those dry ingredients into the bowl & allowed my KitchenAid to do the mixing for me & I turned my attention to cooking RancherMan’s bacon. While the bacon was draining on a newspaper-lined plate I thought, “Hummm… BACON GREASE!”
So I continued with my biscuit recipe & into my dry ingredients I added 1 stick of butter that was softened & cut into cubes and 1/4 cup of bacon grease. I mixed it all with my clean hands since I like to get the butter into small pea-sized chunks without making them too small. I’ve always read that those small orbs of butter help keep that biscuit moist as it’s baking. Finally I combined 1 cup of buttermilk and 1/2 cup of my homemade unflavored yogurt in a large mixing cup, blended the two together thoroughly & poured the mixture into my dry ingredients. After mixing everything I plopped the dough onto my floured counter top.
I kneaded the dough for about a minute and then put the whole ball of dough back in the bowl. The bowl was covered loosely and put it in the fridge until I finished cooking RancherMan’s breakfast – about 20 minutes. That stint in the fridge got the dough cold again and made it easier to handle.
After my bacon was cooked I poured off most of the grease and kept just enough to coat the bottom of my cast-iron skillet. I retained the excess bacon grease of course for other uses! I brought the biscuit dough back out of the fridge & patted it down into about 3/4″ thickness – about as thick as my biscuit cutter would go through.
I cut those biscuits quickly and dropped them into my still-hot cast-iron skillet. They even sizzled slightly when the dough hit the hot grease. I put them into the oven that had been preheated to 450 degrees and set the timer for 12 minutes. Since my biscuits were so thick I pulled them out after that 12 minutes and brushed them with a little melted butter and placed them back in the oven for about 2 more minutes. By that time they were golden brown and I pulled them out and awaited that delightful aroma of homemade buttery biscuits to waft through the house to RancherMan. It didn’t take long!
As it turns out he had his special-request breakfast and was well pleased. I’m so happy that I’ve finally been able to amend my recipe to make a delicious fluffy & moist biscuit. And I’m pleased to share that recipe with you now:
~TMR~ Homemade Country-Style Buttermilk Biscuits
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 stick of softened butter
- 1/4 cup fat of choice (bacon grease, lard, shortening, etc.)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and cut the softened butter and the additional fat of choice (bacon grease, lard, shortening, etc) into cubes and with your clean fingertips mash the chunks with the flour until they are only about the size of small peas.
Add buttermilk and yogurt and mix lightly but thoroughly. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. (If the dough is too dry add a few drops of milk, if it is sticky dust with a little extra flour.) When the dough is soft but not sticky cover the dough in a mixing bowl and place in refrigerator to cool for about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes in the fridge preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place cast-iron skillet in oven to begin heating. Roll the biscuit dough to about 3/4″ thick on a lightly floured surface and use biscuit cutter (or drinking glass if you want larger biscuits) to cut out the dough.
Bring the hot cast-iron skillet from the oven and place cut biscuits in the skillet and return the skillet to the oven, baking for about 12 minutes (depending upon how thickly you cut the biscuits.)
Just before biscuits are fully browned bring the skillet out and brush them with melted butter and return them to the oven until golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Serve hot & ENJOY!
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