My biscuit recipe is a combination of techniques I learned from my mother and grandmother and from working in the kitchen of Bob Carter, the longtime chef of Charleston’s Peninsula Grill. I took the mixing method from him, and the texture and cooking technique are from the ladies. Biscuits can be extremely personal. This is how I like them: with a lot of crunch and a little bit of fluff.
Notes: For best results, bake the biscuits in two 10-inch cast-iron skillets as directed in the recipe. If necessary, you can bake the biscuits on a heavy baking sheet. Although the biscuits are best served immediately, they can be made up to 6 hours ahead. Cool to room temperature, place in an airtight container, and cover. Reheat briefly in a 350°F oven before serving.
- Unsalted Butter 8 Tbs (1 stick)
- Self-Rising Flour, preferably White Lily 3 1/3 cups, plus more for rolling out the dough
- Kosher Salt ½ tsp
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper 1½ tsp
- Full Fat Buttermilk 1 ½ cups, very cold
- Freeze the butter for 20 minutes, or until it is solid enough to grate on the large holes of a box grater. Grate the butter into a container, cover, and return to the freezer.
- Preheat the oven to 475˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Work the frozen butter into the flour with your fingertips until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas. Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough just comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle dough with flour and, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Fold one third over the centre third, then fold the opposite side over that like you’re folding a letter. Fold the other side over, and roll the dough out again to a ½-inch-thick rectangle. Repeat the folding and rolling process one more time.
- Cut out the biscuits with a 3-inch round cutter, flouring it between cuts if necessary, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Gently gather the scraps of dough together, pat them into a disk, and repeat the rolling and cutting process. Refrigerate the biscuits for 5 minutes to rest the dough.
- Transfer the biscuits to two cast iron skillets, 7 to a pan. The biscuits should barely touch one another. Bake the biscuits for 10 to 12 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe excerpted from South by Sean Brock (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards. Used with permission from the publisher.
Read the review South by Sean Brock