This December my friend, Wendy, from A Day in the Life on the Farm, invited some fellow readers to read a Christmas themed book.
Near the very end of the story, “Angel Biscuits” were mentioned. Living in the North, I had never heard of such a thing and went running to my phone to look it up. I discovered that these Southern biscuits earned their name by being light and fluffy due to the fact that they include 3 leaveners: baking powder, baking soda, and yeast! Wow!
Now that, I knew I had to try!
If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you may realize that biscuits were something of an achilles heel of mine for a time - nearly always dense and dry. Finally, I found my go-to drop biscuit (that hasn’t failed me yet!) but I’ve shied away from cut-out biscuits.
You guys - I finally had success! These are indeed sky high biscuits. I ended up baking some in the cast iron and some in a pan and I must say, the ones in the skillet were higher and moister whereas the ones on the pan were crispier, but a bit dry.
Most of us loved these, except Spud. The biscuits (especially the ones from the skillet) had a slightly different texture (I think due to the yeast and the closeness in the skillet) that was off-putting for him.
Though my drop biscuits will continue to be my go-to (they’re so fast!), if I ever have need for a cut-out biscuit (and rise time), Angel Biscuits will be where I turn!
Recipe from Simply Recipes
4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (about 110 degrees F)
5 cups all purpose flour, divided
¼ cup white sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cold, cut in small chunks
½ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted butter
Stir together the yeast and water and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together 4 cups flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the butter and shortening and work it in until the butter and shortening are broken up into little crumbles.
Stir the yeast mixture into the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk into the dry ingredients and stir to mix. Slowly add the remaining cup of flour as needed.
Pour any remaining flour onto a work surface and gently knead the dough for a minute. Pat the dough into a 1-inch thick circle.
Grease a large cast iron skillet with butter. Cut the dough with a 2-inch biscuit cutter and place into the skillet. Place any remaining biscuits on a baking sheet.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 45-75 minutes (I used the proof setting on my oven to shorten the rise time).
Remove plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly brush biscuits with melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let the biscuits rest for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.