Nothing like a homemade biscuit at breakfast

features@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 11, 2012 

My fondest memories are of breakfasts as a child. I grew up having a hot breakfast every morning except Saturdays. Breakfast was ready at 6:30 a.m. because Daddy would leave for work at 7. When the call was made to come to the table, I was ready. Mama prepared yellow grits, bacon, eggs and biscuits. There was always milk, and I was allowed to drink coffee with lots of milk. Daddy's egg was over light, while I had scrambled.

My favorite thing to eat was biscuits, and did I love them. Mama made them from scratch, and I would open one and fill it with butter and jelly. Biscuits also are good with syrup, and the best bread pudding is make from day-old biscuits.

Biscuits are a form of quick bread made from a dough that is stiff enough to be handled and that holds its shape in baking. The dough is rolled out and cut -- or hand- portioned -- and then baked on a sheet or in a shallow pan. The rounds are placed close together or separated, according to the amount of crust desired. Biscuits require a hot oven.

September is National Biscuit Month, a wonderful time to try a variety of recipes.

FEATHERLIGHT BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter

3/4 cup buttermilk, plus 1/4 cup buttermilk, if needed

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Sift to mix.

Add butter. With a pastry blender or fork, cut butter into mixture until it is divided into pieces the size of peas. Form a hole in the center.

Add 3/4 cup buttermilk all at once. Stir with fork until dough is moistened, stirring completely from bottom to top.

If dough seems dry, add more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring once or twice after each addition.

Be careful not to overstir. Overstirring makes biscuits tough.

Lightly grease the baking sheet with the butter or margarine, spreading it with a paper towel.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

CHEESE BISCUITS

6 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 10-biscuit can refrigerated biscuits

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Melt butter in an 8-by-8-inch pan. Place biscuits in pan, and cover with grated cheese. Bake in preheated oven according to the package directions.

HERB BISCUITS

Makes: 12 biscuits

2 cups biscuit mix

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

11/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients.

Add buttermilk and mix. Turn onto a floured board, and knead 10 times. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thick. Cut out biscuits. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 450-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

COUNTRY BISCUITS

Makes: 12 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons shortening

3/4 cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resemble coarse crumbs. Add milk, and stir until blended.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and knead three or four times.

Pat out to 1/2-inch thickness, and cut with biscuit cutter.

Place on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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