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Southern Biscuits Hardcover – May 1, 2011
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by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Gibbs-Smith, $21.99). We can’t think of a better or more definitive source for such a worthy undertaking.(Bonnie S Benwick Washington Post.com 2011-12-13)
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Layered, fluffy, feathery, silky, soft, and velvety biscuits all come together in Southern Biscuits, a book of recipes and baking secrets for every biscuit imaginable. Southern Biscuits features easy biscuits that are hassle-free and undemanding to make, as well as embellished biscuits laced with silky goat butter, crunchy pecans, or tangy pimento cheese, and everything in between.
The biscuits in this book encompass a number of types, from the beaten biscuits of the Old South and England, to biscuits reminiscent of Sunday Supper, to modern trends and ingredient combinations. Try Angel Biscuits―a yeast biscuit sturdy enough to split and fill but light enough to melt in the mouth; Carolina Biscuits―flaky little bites made with cream cheese; or Chocolate Soldiers―mixed with cocoa powder and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. You will find biscuits for every occasion, from hearty breakfasts to delicate party hors d’oeuvres.
Filled with beautiful photography, including dozens of how-to photos showing how to mix, stir, fold, roll, and knead, Southern Biscuits is the definitive biscuit baking book.
Nathalie Dupree has written or coauthored many cookbooks, including the James Beard Award–winners Nathalie Dupree’s Southern Memories and Nathalie Dupree’s Comfortable Entertaining. Her latest book is Shrimp and Grits. She has hosted more than 300 television shows and specials, which have shown nationally on PBS, The Learning Channel, and The Food Network. Dupree holds an Advanced Certificate from the Cordon Bleu and has also written extensively for magazines and newspapers. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
Cynthia Stevens Graubart is an author and former television producer who began her culinary television production career with “New Southern Cooking with Nathalie Dupree.” She is also the author of The One- Armed Cook, called the culinary version of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Graubart lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
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I'm a baker. I bake everything - most of my life cookies and cakes. Bread was always an uh oh. And forget about biscuits. I'd kill them with kindness, with too much thinking but most of all with handling. I watched Baking With Julia, I watched the bread monk guy, I watched them all, but it just didn't occur to me that you don't need to do much to bread items except leave them alone and let them make themselves.
But I've learned some over time. I think the NYTimes guy who discovered the art of making artisan bread without doing a damned thing was my first eyeopener. Put all the stuff together, stick it in a bowl and leave it be for a day or two was the first step. So I learned bread. I also learned RECIPES are IMPORTANT. I had been doing the winging it thing. I like to wing. It's good to wing. But you can't wing unless you KNOW baking science. I was operating on cake/cookie science. Different thing altogether. Bread is something else, quickbreads even more so.
Quick is the key!
So back to this amazing little book - skimming through all the recipes (and there are LOTS of them) I picked up two really important things:
ACID(LACTOSE), FAT, FLOUR w LEAVENING. that's your basic biscuit recipe.
DON'T MESS AROUND WITH THEM MUCH, that carries over from bread. From cakes too. Leave the flour alone - let it do it's thing. It's alive. It doesn't like to be mauled.
So with biscuits, for ALL these recipes, I throw everything in the refrig - flour too. cut in the fat, add the acid/milk/buttermilk/sour cream/yogurt, stir and fold it once, twice, three times as soon as it's a substancial mess of goop
throw some flour on top to give it body, form into a squareish thing about an 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shape. And carefully place in a buttered pan, then a hot oven.
My oh my.
I haven't tried EVERY recipe but I promise you I will. I haven't tried rolling out the dough for fear of mishandling, but I shall try once I have the feeling to. The only downside to all this easy deliciousness is they are terribly terribly fattening. AND you have to put butter on them because you HAVE TO! (and trust me when I say home made GOOD biscuits are like manna and Pillsbury and Bisquick don't even come into this - don't have a place at the table at all.)
THIS is the BEST LITTLE RECIPE BOOK IN THE WORLD.
The mother of a friend who lived in the NC mountains made such marvelous biscuits. What she did is exactly described in Kate's Unforgettable Wooden Bowl Biscuits.