Biscuits are a way to transport Southerners and non-Southerners alike back into a, if not their, memaw's kitchen. And, a good biscuit needs little more than some butter or jam.
That’s definitely the case at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, N.C. where executive chef Brian Sonoskus puts biscuits on every table -- no matter the time of day.
Below, Chef Sonoskus smothers the home cook with bells and whistles for the flaky staple.
Five Ways to Build a Better Biscuit
1. Sop it up
While biscuits are filling and warm for breakfast on a cold morning or a perfect snack in any season with a pat of butter, don’t forget they serve a utilitarian purpose: sopping. The flakier the biscuit, the better it absorbs the taste of whatever topping you pick. Seriously, what is better than savoring every ounce of a delicious gravy with a warm biscuit?
Tupelo Honey Ginormous Biscuits
Makes 6 biscuits
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon baking power
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 to 3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sour cream and salt in a large bowl.
With a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter using the largest holes; quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture a little at a time. Stir just enough so it clumps together and is no longer crumbly. Do not overmix.
On a floured surface, turn out the dough and roll out to a one-inch thickness. Using a three-inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits and place on a sheet pan. Cook on the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven. Brush the melted butter on top of each biscuit and return to the oven for about five minutes longer or until the biscuits are golden brown.
2. Traditional gravy
You can start with a milk gravy: flour, butter, salt, pepper and whole milk and go from there. Add in ground pork for the popular sausage gravy, or take on a few Southern twists. There’s creamy red-eye gravy with a punch from leftover coffee, or serve our Low Country Gravy that mixes in quality bacon and fresh sage. Topping a biscuit with any of these traditional creamy gravies offers a taste of home, even if it’s a treat you did not grow up eating.
Low Country Gravy
Makes approximately two cups
2 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces