Are you looking for the most light, melt-in-your-mouth, savory, buttery biscuits for your holiday table? Or just for breakfast. Or for no reason at all. Look no further. These biscuits are made using a unique process that transforms the lowly biscuit into a new category of fluffy goodness. They are so easy that I decided to call them “no fail” biscuits. There is no guesswork, no kneading, and simple clean-up.
I stumbled on this recipe when looking for something to make for a friend’s pot luck “Biscuit Brunch.” Blogging about biscuits is fun, but it puts the pressure on when I’m asked to take biscuits somewhere. They can’t just be biscuits. They can’t just be good. They have to elevate the whole idea of a biscuit. So I pulled out the biscuit bible, aka Southern Biscuits by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart. This cookbook is a treasure trove of recipes, history, folklore, and a variety of biscuit techniques.
Why did you choose this biscuit recipe?
The recipe I chose to make is Shirley Corriher’s Country Buttermilk Biscuits, aka “Touch of Grace Biscuits” (link to great video of Shirley). What attracted me to it was the unique “wet dough” method. I had read about shaping the dough while wet, and this seemed like a great time to try it out. I added black pepper and chives to enhance the flavor.
What is persnickety about this recipe?
This recipe is all about technique. You mix up a super wet dough, like this:
Then you scoop it out and put it into a pile of flour – having an actual scoop really does make a difference here. One of the bonuses of this recipe is the easy cleanup. Instead of getting flour all over your counters, it is contained in the pan you choose. You gently roll the dough in the flour, shape it into a ball in your hands, and put it into your pan, snuggling them all together. You’ll notice that the balls of dough actually feel light and rather delicate. This is a good thing.
After baking, you brush them with plenty of butter, which makes them look lovely and taste even better.
So how were the biscuits?
They were fabulous – the texture was light and delicate and the chives gave a burst of flavor. By themselves, they were amazing. They also turned out to be the perfect vehicle for the sausage gravy that I made. I think I’ll have to do a whole post on gravy some time. Meanwhile, just know that these biscuits and gravy go together like, well, biscuits and gravy.
>>> Click here to download printable recipe.
No Fail Buttermilk Biscuits with Chives and Pepper
Adapted from Shirley Corriher, via Southern Biscuits
Makes 12 large or 20 small biscuits
- 2 cups self-rising flour (White Lily is my favorite for biscuits)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste (optional)
- 1/4 cup shortening, frozen, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/8 cup chopped fresh chives (optional)
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 3/4 cup good buttermilk (I used Cruze Dairy farms)
- 1 cup all purpose flour, for shaping
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line either 9-inch round or 8 X 10 inch rectangular pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and pepper. Using fingertips, work in the cold shortening until crumbly. It is ok if there are different size lumps, but none should be larger than a pea. Add chives and mix. Then stir in the buttermilk and cream until just incorporated. The dough will be very sticky.
- Spread the all-purpose flour onto a cookie sheet. Use a scoop to take about 1/4-1/2 cup of dough and put it onto the flour. An ice cream scoop is great for this. Using your hands, toss the pieces of dough with the flour, coating all sides. Shape into a ball. Place in pan on parchment. The biscuits can be placed close together. Continue until all dough is formed and pan is full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Biscuits are done when light brown and have a slight “give” when pressed. Brush with melted butter.
- Share with someone you love!