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A great relief

Oh guys.

It’s kind of hard for me to get my head in the game this fall - you know, for Thanksgiving and the holidays and all. I can hardly keep track of anything these days except the words on my computer screen, and even that’s touch-and-go. My brain is a wide-mesh sieve. The other day, I went out to breakfast with a friend, someone I’d lost touch with for a couple of years and ran into again only recently, and we were talking about my wedding. She wanted to know what time the ceremony took place, and - get this - I couldn’t remember. Could. Not. Remember. I was like, “Uhh, four? Or five? Or no, four-thirty?” The only good part is that later, when I told Brandon about my little memory lapse, he giggled and admitted that he can’t remember either. Heavens, he’s dreamy. We were meant for each other.

But all that notwithstanding, I really do want to talk about Thanksgiving today. I love Thanksgiving. It’s barely ten days away and approaching at lightning speed. I haven’t been cooking much these days, to be perfectly honest, but over the past few weeks, during lunches and in those late-night moments before my eyes cloud with sleep, I’ve come across some holiday recipes that made me itch to get to the stove. I don’t have much time to spare, but this weekend, feeling terribly decadent and devil-may-care about the manuscript and whatnot, I decided to do it anyway.

Oh ho ho. See that carrot soup up there? So pretty, right? So silky, so creamy, so delicious, it would seem, with white cheddar and a warm baguette? Oh, were it so. To tell you the truth, it was boring. Really boring. Like, I’ll-keep-eating-this-because-it’s-healthy-but-I’m-definitely-not-
going-to-enjoy-it-boring. It had tons of sweetly sauteed shallots, homemade chicken stock, and cream, and still, booooo-ring. I had it for lunch today and almost fell asleep.

Then there was the winter squash gratin from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. Years ago, someone told me that it was a terrific recipe, and I’ve had it bookmarked ever since. I finally tried it on Saturday. It’s basically cubed winter squash - I used butternut - that you steam briefly with some minced garlic and fresh ginger and then fold gently with béchamel, top with fresh bread crumbs and gruyère, and bake slowly until lightly browned on top. I’d never made a gratin with béchamel - usually just milk or cream - but this was Julia, right? I love Julia. And butternut squash! And gruyère! It would be rich! It would be gooey! A Thankgiving homerun! You see where this is going. It too was only so-so: strange and slippery on the tongue, and with next to no flavor. It was like butternut squash with the volume turned down. It was wasted groceries, basically, and why oh why did I do that, and oh, what the hell, let’s have ice cream for dinner.

But in the midst of all this, my weekend of utter mediocrity, I remembered something. It came as a great relief. I think you’re going to like it. I know I do.

What I remembered was Shirley Corriher’s Touch-of-Grace Biscuits. Over the past several years, these little lumps of glory have come to be my Thanksgiving trademark, and though I wrote about them here three years ago, I thought it was high time to take them down from the shelf, dust them off, and trot them around again. I hope you don’t mind. Once you’ve tasted them, I doubt you will. I’ll bet even a snore of a carrot soup could look lively with one of these dunked in it.

Shirley Corriher is a well-known food scientist and author of a book called Cookwise, but even if you haven’t heard of her, this recipe will have you shouting her name from the rooftops. It’s based on her grandmother’s method for making biscuits, and though it’s a little odd on first glance, it’s utterly, utterly easy. Basically, you combine flour, sugar, and salt; rub in some shortening; and then stir in buttermilk and cream until the mixture looks like large-curd cottage cheese. Then, using a measuring scoop, you spoon up a biscuit-size quantity of the wet dough, dunk it in a bowl of flour, dust it off, nestle it in a cake pan, and repeat. The biscuits bake into a pebbly cake of sorts, like this.

Then you break them apart, wrap them in a dishtowel, put them on the table, and watch them go - because they do, fast. They’re uncannily light, moist and airy, with a flavor that’s both rich and tangy, buttermilk through and through. If you want to know what I’ll be contributing to Thanksgiving next week, when Brandon and I go to Oklahoma to celebrate with my mother, my aunt, my grandmother, three cousins, one cousin-in-law, two cousins’ boyfriends, one brother, one sister-in-law, one uncle, and one baby niece who is just starting to eat real food and loves it so much that she pants in anticipation - pants! - when she sees a spoon, well, this is it. I’ll probably be making two batches, actually, or maybe even three. Because we like biscuits. Much better than butternut gratin, in fact. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Touch-of-Grace Biscuits
Adapted from Shirley Corriher’s Cookwise

This recipe relies on two principles: 1) that low-protein flour makes tender biscuits, and 2) that a wet dough creates lots of steam in the oven and makes biscuits extra-light. It’s both simple and ingenious. The only tricky part is that you need Southern self-rising flour. It sounds finicky, but there’s a method to Corriher’s madness: Southern brands of flour are milled from a soft wheat that contains less gluten, meaning that they make a more tender biscuit. My favorite brand is White Lily, although I think I’ve also used Martha White, maybe, and Aunt Jemima brand. I can’t remember. White Lily is hard to find outside of the East Coast and the South. Williams-Sonoma used to carry it, but they’ve stopped, and now I have to mail-order mine. Crazy, I know, but these biscuits are worth it. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll order some too.

If you can’t find Southern self-rising flour, or if you don’t have time to wait for the mail, you can also try this: instead, combine 1 1/3 cups national-brand self-rising flour, 2/3 cup Wondra flour, and one heaping ½ teaspoon baking powder. That’s a decent substitute, although not quite as light. You also might need to add a touch more buttermilk to get the right consistency.

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups Southern self-rising flour, such as White Lily
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour, for shaping biscuits (do not use self-rising for this)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit, and spray an 8” round cake pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the self-rising flour, salt, and sugar and whisk to mix well. Add the shortening and, using your fingers, rub it into the flour mixture until there are no lumps bigger than a large pea.

Stir in the heavy cream and buttermilk, taking care not to overmix. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. The dough will be very wet, resembling large-curd cottage cheese.

Pour the all-purpose flour into a shallow bowl or pie plate. Rub your hands in the flour to dust them well. Using a ¼-cup measuring scoop or something of similar size, spoon a lump of wet dough into the flour, and sprinkle some flour over it to coat well. Gently pick it up and shape it into a soft round. I do this by cradling it in the cupped palm of one hand and gently shaking it, letting the excess flour fall through my fingers. You can also toss the dough softly - very softly - back and forth from cupped palm to cupped palm: it should feel similar to a water balloon. Place biscuit in pan and repeat with remaining dough, pushing biscuits tightly against one another so that they will rise up and not spread out.

Brush with melted butter and bake until set and lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Cool for a minute or two, then dump out and break apart into individual biscuits.

Serve immediately.

Yield: 10-12 biscuits


Blogger Shauna said...

Girl, you read my mind. With soup season in high gear, I've been thinking about how I need a new something bready in my repetoire. Hooray!

5:35 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger wendy said...

how I love reading your words...they sort of wrap around me like a warm oven, while at the same time whispering to me that I need to run to the kitchen and make something delicious.

5:39 PM, November 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for another great post. i actually laughed reading this entry, thinking of a girl slowly nodding off at the table, because she was bored to sleep by her SOUP. hilarious!

5:55 PM, November 12, 2007  
Anonymous Dana said...

I love -- LOVE -- this recipe for biscuits and recently got into a spat with someone who said they were "okay...but not real biscuits." What? Sacrilege! My family has been making them for years. Shirley is coming out with a new book, Bakewise, and I can't wait to see what else she has in there :).

5:59 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger Jules said...

This is just the kind of thing I have a craving for. Thanks Molly!
House of Jules

6:11 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger shuna fish lydon said...

hmmmm vegetable shortening. have you Ever tried to substitute butter here?

I loves me some biscuits, even though I'm a Yankee. Yes all the way on WL flour although I've also done some crazy concoctions of cake & AP flour... bacon or duck fat also work nioceley-- in conjunction with butter or on their own. Almost too tender in fact.

6:26 PM, November 12, 2007  
Anonymous Leah said...

Molly dear, do you prefer the bleached or the unbleached White Lily? Copycats (who can't even eat biscuits, but want to spoil others with them, I suppose) want to know! xo

6:32 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger Liz said...

Oh Molly. Just this weekend I made up two batches of biscuits to freeze in preparation for Thanksgiving - one from Alton Brown, the other Martha Stewart - and was slightly disappointed by both. Both good, but neither mmm-worthy. And now, with a freezer full of a biscuits and a roommate who thinks I've gone a little nuts...I'll have to try this one.

8:52 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger savvy savorer said...

If you are interested in having dinner with some food bloggers in Seattle, check this out

10:29 PM, November 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just moved from Seattle (Monroe, really) to Exeter, England and discovered your food blog. Loving it! Breaking bread with strangers is a great way to make friends (if the recipe is right).

Am friends with Martha D as she carries on the arts council I founded. Relatives are coming from American for our first Thanksgiving away and I'd love to make these biscuits. Love Shirley! Congrats on your book. Looking forward to it coming out.


11:18 PM, November 12, 2007  
Blogger Naomi said...

Hi, I've been a lurker here for a month or so and figured I should say hello. I love your blog and these biscuits sound absolutely amazing. I would love to try them but I live in Ireland and we don't have either southern american flour or wondra flour... in fact we don't even have biscuits available.

3:34 AM, November 13, 2007  
Anonymous Ann said...

These remind me of the biscuits my grandmother made... fabulous! I had to laugh at your description of the boring and the odd... and it's always nice to see another blogger actually admiting to these little experiments. I do think one day a "Big Mistake" event would be in order out there in the foodie blog world (if it hasn't been done already).

5:04 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Meryl said...

yum yum yum! I've always felt that good biscuits are SO hard to make so I can wait to try this recipe! As a Southern girl with yankee parents, I never had a secret biscuit recipe passed down and cookbooks just don't seem to do good biscuits justice!

5:30 AM, November 13, 2007  
Anonymous vici said...

I too, wasted much time and ingredients on new recipes that fell short this past weekend. Some Thanksgiving hopefuls, and some desserts. The agony of wasted chocolate and pecans....a couple weekends ago I had this delicious success - all warm, creamy sweet butternut squash with just a hint of beans and bacon. Thought it might make up for your recent dissappointment...v


7:05 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger TD said...

First, you are in no way weird for mail ordering flour. I mail order pasteurized eggs in quantities of five dozen because I can't find them in the Seattle area.

Second, your butternut squash gratin reminded me of a pumpkin tian I made once from Laurie Colwin's "Home Cooking" (or perhaps "More Home Cooking"). It sounded delicious and she raved about it. She recommended butternut squash instead of pumpkin. So I tried it. It was one of the most disappointing things I've ever made. I so so wanted it to be good that I almost cried when I tasted how nothing it was.

I'm down for a salad for Thanksgiving, so perhaps I'll have to try these biscuits at Christmas instead...

7:22 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger hannah said...

biscuits fix EVERYTHING. i love you lady. any chance you and the fam are going to take a leisurely drive to kc to do some shopping or catch the sites? hmm...

7:22 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger tulsamom said...

Welcome to Oklahoma.

7:32 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Casey said...

thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for this recipe. I have three much-loved relatives from Texas visiting this weekend and they are perfect in every way save one: PICKY doesn't begin to describe their approach to food. I know they'll adore these.

8:01 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Alice Q. said...

Oh I hate it when recipes are disappointing! Here's a really simple butternut recipe that I know you'll like. Peel and cube the squash and roast it with some olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Saut� some garlic and chopped baby onions, add the squash, a little bit of chile powder and broth and let that sit for a few minutes. Just before serving, add some crumbled blue cheese and walnuts. Sooo good, and super easy!

8:16 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Shelby said...

You read my mind too! I have a butternut squash sitting on my counter at home and I spent a full two hours at the library trying to figure out what to do with it, since that was far more fun than work. I had debated both a soup and a gratin. I went so far as to write down the ingredients I needed for each, but once I got to the grocery store I was just too tired and I settled on leftover macaroni and cheese. This post makes me feel a lot better about my decision, AND makes me really, really want some biscuits.

8:24 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Bad Home Cook said...

I know all about boring soups. Seems to be the story of my life sometimes...although I can blame a lack of cooking skill. Maybe you're so in love right now it's sucking the taste out of otherwise good recipes?
I'll give these biscuits a whirl. Sounds like the kids would love them. (btw: ate the last of the frozen choco-chip banana bread last night....all by myself! And sang your praises).

9:34 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Aude said...

Bonjour Molly,
Even if I like butternut squash (courge doubeurre as it's sometimes called on y side of the ocean :-),the taste of it can be really disappointing and your story reminds me the terrible butternut squash gnocchi I tried to make last week...
Your biscuits are intriguing and I am wondering what kind of flour can be used in France for this recipe?
Merci bien !

9:44 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger christianne said...

Hi Molly -

I saw the picture of the orange soup and got really excited for a moment - I'm hosting a pre-Turkey Day Stomach-Stretching Party - and would love to serve a soup. Bummer that it didn't work out for your! I've had the same results with carrot soup if it makes you feel better. :)

Though if you or anyone has any ideas for a make-ahead soup to serve 12 I'd really appreciate it!

9:45 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Cheyanne said...

It's a pity the soups didn't turn out more interesting. But you'll have a great excuse to make more with those biscuits. The recipe looks really good, I'll have to try it out to go with some of my own soup.


10:16 AM, November 13, 2007  
Anonymous swirlingnotions said...

The little pull-apart biscuits have ALWAYS been my favorite . . . thanks for the recipe! And don't feel too badly about the carrot soup . . . I've had trouble with that in the past too and still can't figure out why.

By the way . . . if you haven't already, please stop by www.generouspour.com to help me raise money for Share Our Strength. You don't have to buy anything, pay anything or even do anything -- other than download a cool song by Corinne Bailey Rae and pick up some new holiday recipes. Thanks for your support!

11:41 AM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Rebecca said...

That biscuit recipe looks like exactly what I was trying to find to round out my Thanksgiving table this year. Thank you so much for posting the recipe, I can't wait to try it out!

12:57 PM, November 13, 2007  
Anonymous Amy Kendall said...

Hi Molly,
Love your blog - been lurking for a good 9 months now...

I can't get used to Americans calling these things 'Biscuits'. Biscuits (or bikkies as they get known as here in Australia) are sweet or savoury things.

To me - what you're describing (and looking HEAVENLY) are scones. :)

Anyway - just an interesting cultural differnce.


2:05 PM, November 13, 2007  
Anonymous Janet said...

Thanks for the warning on Squash Gratins, I was just contemplating this recipe from the SF Chron newspaper (scroll down): http://www.tiny.cc/ezfIN
Maybe I will find another recipe instead, perhaps some biscuits to fill the void.

2:35 PM, November 13, 2007  
Anonymous JEP said...

I'm always wanting to try new biscuit recipes & the photo looks so delicious!

3:20 PM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Michelle said...

I've been looking for a good biscuit recipe, can't wait to try this one out. I too am disappointed that Williams-Sonoma stopped carrying White Lily flour. Guess I'll have to break down and pay the shipping charges. The leaves are pretty in OKC this Fall. Enjoy!

3:43 PM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger shari said...

biscuits...aka the apple of a southerner's eye. and if you need to stockpile some white lily molly, i'm your girl. i think i will try this recipe out for thanksgiving. can't wait. xox

4:25 PM, November 13, 2007  
Anonymous EB said...

Oh Molly, Molly, Molly... dd you honestly have to give me a suggestion for yet ANOTHER cookbook that I now must own?! I'm already in dire straites with my sagging bookshelves... but if I must... I must. And a the granddaughter of some VERY southern southerners... there is no meal that doesn't require bisquits. No meal.

4:48 PM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger rasita said...

Thank you for posting 'biscuit' recipe. Since I am in Australia and we don't eat these type of 'biscuits' I was wondering what they were exactelly. When people talked about them it was the pre-made, ready to bake type. Now I can try them out for myself and finally know what everyone is talking about.
So thank you.

5:21 PM, November 13, 2007  
Anonymous Laura said...

Hi Molly - First a thanks; I find your blog a lovely respite from the tedium of studying every day (and an opportunity to fantasize about finding time for domestic-goddessery amidst a busy med school schedule). Have you ever tried using fine-milled Italian "tipo 00" flour in place of the White Lily... and then of course added leaveners to it? The biscuits look scrumptious!

6:46 PM, November 13, 2007  
Blogger Victoria said...

What a great post. Bored by soup. I guess it's better than being bored by your company at table! I just love Shirley Corriher. I sent Cookwise to a friend in Atlanta for Christmas one year, and she called to tell me she had taken a cooking course with Shirley Corriher! I have not made these biscuits before, but this recipe is now on my list for this weekend. I think I actually have the White Lily flour in my cupboard upstate. By the way, unless I have it wrong, it looks like www.onlinestore.smucker.com/ will ship it if you can't get it where you live.

5:36 AM, November 14, 2007  
Anonymous Jen said...

Oh heavens. Where do I begin? First of all, as I type, I am alternating between bites of those biscuits and homemade sawmill gravy. Thank goodness for you, otherwise I wouldn't have known about this recipe. How did I not know Shirl had a cookbook? I see her all the time on Good Eats! Being a southern gal, I'm pretty picky about my biscuits but these are a delight. I'm a little concerned though...I'm moving to Oregon soon and I'm not sure what I'll do w/out my White Lily! Also, made the butternut sqaush last night...again, perfect.

11:32 AM, November 14, 2007  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Oh Molly, love the post. Have fun at your Thanksgiving gathering with all of your loved ones. I have a niece who just became a real food eater too! :)

11:56 AM, November 14, 2007  
Anonymous Laura said...

This is just what I needed to see today. I found the picture of the biscuits so comforting. I love pull apart breads and rolls...it's quite literally breaking bread with friends and family and I love the symbolism.

5:31 PM, November 14, 2007  
Blogger Lynn said...

Ok I was raised eating rice and beiing raised in the south you get introduced to many variations of biscuit recipes, course not all turn out well at all. I am looking forward to cooking these biscuits for my family this weekend!!! Thanks....sorry the soup was boring :-(

7:09 PM, November 14, 2007  
Blogger neil said...

You can't remember what time you were married, well my wedding anniversary is coming later this month and the exact day is troubling me somewhat. I do have a plan though, to secrete a card already written up and when I sense the change in the vibe, I'll whip it out.

Your biscuits look great, love the way you bake 'em all together.

9:33 PM, November 14, 2007  
Blogger meabh said...

my current favourite soup is carrot - made in the usual way - onion, carrot, stock but with ground cumin, ginger and coconut milk added. I serve it sprinkled with fresh coriander .It's really good.

11:03 PM, November 14, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Eeep! It's taken me forever to reply this week, guys. My apologies.

Shuna, I would have guessed you might not be a shortening kind of gal! I'm not really either, to tell you the truth - this is pretty much the only place I use it. I haven't tried replacing it with butter, but I imagine you certainly could. I have a feeling, though, that it's pretty important to the light, flaky texture.

Leah, I've only used the bleached kind, but I'll bet unbleached would be okay too. I think it's traditional to go the bleached route, though - it tends to make for lighter baked goods.

Oh Hannah, I wish! xo

Aude, I wish I could tell you! But I'm not terribly familiar with French flours. You might see if David has a flour guide on his blog...

Laura, I haven't tried using Italian 00 flour for this, although I think Brandon has used it in other baking before. Interesting idea! If you try it, let me know...

10:05 AM, November 15, 2007  
Anonymous jerushajen said...

oh, but boring carrot or squash soup is so improved by adding curry spices (cumin! oh cumin!) and a couple of hunked up chiles to steep (i'm guessing that's the correct word to use here, although comparing chiles to tea is a little odd) in the broth one makes it with!

...hi. i'm jen. i lurk. and i only love carrot/butternut squash soup to the very barest edge of obsession, really. and i am totally stealing that biscuit recipe for thanksgiving, yum.

12:59 PM, November 15, 2007  
Blogger rasita said...

I made the biscuits! Yum!
I had to australianise a few things, like the flour but they worked out a treat and were light and fluffy, and delicious.
I used an italian flour which was specificaly for cakes & biscuits. The packet said low protein on the front.
Instead of using vegetable shortening, I used butter.
They were so easy to make but not something I want to eat all the time (due to the butter and cream content).
I will have to pass this recipe along to other aussies!

12:34 AM, November 16, 2007  
Blogger I am Jen said...

And the house will smell great as well. Soup and biscuits. Delicious.

4:40 AM, November 16, 2007  
Blogger Aude said...

Hi again Molly,
David was of great advice and I'll try your recipe for sunday's brunch I guess with French type 45 white flour.
Merci et bon Thanksgiving !

10:29 AM, November 16, 2007  
Anonymous Caroline said...

It is as if you were writing directly to me with this post (ha! I know I must share the lovely Orangette with your thousands of readers.) But, honestly, it is like you knew that I have been trying buttermilk biscuit recipes and swearing up and down as each comes out dry or heavy or just plan blah. Can't wait to give these a go.

2:34 PM, November 16, 2007  
Blogger Julie said...

I really want to try these with my Thanksgiving dinner, but I am wondering...could I make them in advance and they still turn out all right. Not days, of course, but a few hours. I'm just terrified of the timing and last minute rush. In my youth, the famous call after we had already sat down to dinner was, "Damn! The rolls!"

10:53 AM, November 17, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Julie, you certainly could make them ahead, but they really are best when they're still warm from the oven, within the first half hour or hour at most. They're really quick to make, so what I do is this: when the turkey is about to come out of the oven, I start making the biscuits. Then, as soon as it comes out, I slide the biscuits in. They bake while the turkey rests before carving. The timing usually works out perfectly.

Hope that helps!

2:06 PM, November 17, 2007  
Blogger adele said...

I've been trying to perfect a recipe for tea scones, and I thought I'd try applying the technique outlined in this biscuit recipe. As far as scones go, they were something of a failure, and they weren't exactly biscuits either. Whatever you'd call them, though, they were light, fluffy and delicious.

(Sorry. Found a typo in my previous comment. I wish there were an edit function!)

9:20 PM, November 17, 2007  
Blogger TinaB said...

Perking up the boring carrot soup:

chop an onion and soften in olive oil on low heat. Chop a large handful of fresh spinach, a few fresh mushrooms, and two or three red potatoes with the skin on. If you have some pureed butternut squash to add, so much the better. Add carrot soup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a heavy sprinkle of pepper. Cook until potatoes are done.

1:18 PM, November 18, 2007  
Blogger Julie said...

I have Cookwise--it has come in handy for me on a few occasions. This recipe sounds so good. I'm a nut for biscuits. I think I love soups and stews so much because it's a cause to make biscuits (or other tasty quickbread). I'll definitely give her method a try.

9:13 AM, November 19, 2007  
Anonymous melanie said...

i tried your recipe this past weekend and got rave reviews. (yippeee!!) wish i'd been able to find the White Lily flour but i was impatient and made due. (oh, how i can only wonder what difference it would have made...)

thanks for the recipe!

1:39 PM, November 20, 2007  
Anonymous Tommy said...

I made your biscuits today and they were jammin'! Maybe I need to start a side business mailing out White Lily to folks... There really is no substitute.

4:58 PM, November 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been quietly enjoying your blog for many months. I finally have something to add. Carrot soup...blah. Carrot Cilantro soup....magnificent! Add a bunch of fresh chopped cilantro and you will be buying carrots by the bucket.

2:45 PM, November 25, 2007  
Blogger Lisa Braithwaite said...

I don't even bake, and I can't wait to make these biscuits! As for the carrot soup, try a little curry. Yum!

7:23 PM, November 26, 2007  
Blogger Cat said...

Oh no! Ever since you shared these biscuits they've been a family favorite.... And we're from the south so we know a good biscuit! I just don't know if they will be the same with the new White Lily:


1:11 PM, January 02, 2009  
Anonymous skye said...

I tried this recipe this morning and was so disappointed. The biscuits have a wonderful texture and crunch but they're sweet. Really sweet. It was cake, basically.

8:28 AM, January 24, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Skye, I'm sorry to hear that you didn't like them! They do have a decent amount of sugar, yes, but I've never found them particularly sweet. I actually think they're very well balanced - and quite tangy from the buttermilk. But I guess we do all have different palates...

12:05 PM, January 24, 2009  
Anonymous Libby said...

I have been looking at this recipe on and off for years and finally made it tonight. I am a southerner who didn't inherit my grandmother's(and dad's)biscuit making skills. Yet! Still working on it. These were easy to make and very tasty and light (though I just couldn't bring myself to add the sugar). True that they aren't what I would consider "real" southern biscuits - the technique results in a different texture, but they were great and I will definitely be making them again. Thanks for posting this.

6:25 PM, July 20, 2009  
Blogger Kim said...

Just made these last night with Sunday supper and they were divine! Raving heard all 'round the table. I know a Southerner is supposed to be born making biscuits, but these put my basic biscuits to shame. This recipe will certainly be in constant rotation in out house. Thanks!

2:48 PM, August 31, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly There was a carrot soup recipe in Gourmet, back in the early 80s. Fresh sweet carrot cooked in good beef broth, run through the blender or processor for texture. Nothing fancy in the recipe but it was sooo good. Some of the old Gourmet recipes were very good. That was back when Beard was big and simple American classics with fresh local ingredients were more common.

3:53 PM, August 31, 2009  
Blogger JB said...

I have made these biscuits a few times now. They really are delicious. I had a real problem with forming them into the desired shape. I was getting clumps of dry flour at the bottom of my cooked biscuits. I now just pour the batter into a cake pan and cut the biscuits from it. No dry flour clumps and cuts the time down considerably.

3:26 AM, September 10, 2009  
Blogger Katie said...

I also found these disappointing, but it may be my fault for making a substitution. They came out quite wet in the center, after 20 minutes in the oven. I substituted the southern self-rising flour with 2/3 c Wondra (as suggested) and 1 1/3 c AP flour (not suggested) with 1.5 tsp baking powder and a total of 1 tsp salt. So that's what NOT to do!

All substituting aside, I also found them WAY too sweet. They were, as another poster said above, like cake. Or muffins. Or pancakes. (But not biscuits!)

But I'm going to try again, with the AP flour and Wondra... only up the salt to 1.5 tsp, the BP to 2 tsp, and decrease the sugar to a tablespoon. And if that doesn't work I am going to mail-order White Lily :-) (and still cut the sugar!)

Thanks for the recipe though!

11:12 AM, December 05, 2009  
Blogger Hee-Sun said...

I wonder if the carrot soup or the butternut squash gratin could've benefitted from a bit of thyme (in the soup) or sage (in the gratin)...

10:38 PM, November 30, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Molly,just came across the recipe for Lily White self rising flour for those biscuits.They carry it at Walmart.Thought your readers might like to know. Looking forward to making the Biscuits.

7:08 PM, October 31, 2011  
Anonymous Katherine @ eggton said...

I just made these.

They are phenomenal, and the act of gently tossing them or even pursing your lips for a moment and blowing off the flour made me feel... artful. There's something restorative about it. Just loved it, thanks!

12:11 PM, October 05, 2012  
Blogger peggio said...

These are my absolute fav biscuits, light and fluffy and not sweet at all to my taste (and I don't like sweet rolls so I would notice). The recipe I got for these calls for 1.5 c of white lily and just a TB of sugar, I use a scant TB ... just yummy and so easy!
LOVE your blog and loved your book! Molly, you have a way of making me want to try everything you write about! ;)

3:39 PM, February 22, 2013  

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