Hot biscuits are definitely a special southern treat and here is a wonderful recipe shared by our dear, southern friend Dee. The result is not a traditional biscuit, but a perfect marriage between a biscuit and a delicate roll. She prepares the dough and allows the flavors to improve by keeping it in the refrigerator even up to 5 days. When needed, she simply pulls out the amount needed and in no time at all bakes these amazing and delicious buttery biscuits that will satisfy any palate. Today it was our turn as we rolled the dough out, shaped them, and tucked them in a cast-iron skillet. What a treat seeing the magic happen when we finally baked them in our wood-fired oven. Let's get started!
640 grams All-purpose flour chilled - about 5 cups flour
40 grams sugar - about 3 1/2 Tablespoons
25 grams honey - about 1 Tablespoon
6 grams baking soda - about 1 teaspoon
16 grams baking powder - a little over 1.5 Tablespoon
6 grams salt - a little over 1 teaspoon
230 grams unsalted butter (cubed and chilled) - about 2 sticks
480 grams buttermilk - about 2 cups
120 grams warm water - about 1/2 cup
6 grams active dry yeast - about 2 teaspoons
55 grams butter melted
In a small bowl, mix together the water, yeast and honey. Set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl.
Add the chilled butter to the dry ingredients, making sure each cube of butter gets dusted with the flour, as shown in the video.
With a dough cutter or with cold hands, break each butter cube into the flour. If using your hands, press the cubes between the thumbs and index fingers, thus creating these flat, almost petal like shapes. The result will be a crumbly mixture, with visible pieces of butter.
Add the buttermilk and yeast mixture to the flour only at this point. Mix together with a plastic spatula, making sure no dry, loose flour is visible. The dough at this point will seem very moist.
Cover the mixture with plastic wrap or a lid, and place in the refrigerator for at least one night. The biscuits are even better and improve in flavor when kept in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and generously dust the work surface with flour. Take out enough dough as is needed for the bake, and place the rest back into the refrigerator.
Place the dough on the flour dusted work surface and begin to roll it out with the help of a rolling pin, until it is about 1 inch thick. Fold the dough, and gently roll it out again, almost as if making laminated dough. Do this process about 3-4 times. This method will create layers in the dough, thus resulting in wonderful flaky biscuits. Avoid dusting with flour between layers.
Finally, roll the dough out to about 2.54cm - 1" inch thickness. Dip the biscuit cutter in some flour to keep it from sticking and begin cutting the biscuits out.
Brush some of the melted butter all over the cast iron skillet.
Place the biscuits in the skillet, allowing each one to touch.
Again, brush the butter over the tops of the biscuits.
It is best if at this point that the oven temperature is at about 450°F - 232°C. This will give time to clean the hot coals and ashes from the oven chamber. With the help of the ash shovel quickly remove the hot coals, and close the damper on the chimney in order to retain most of the heat inside the cooking chamber. The temperature will naturally drop a bit as the door is open while cleaning it out. Before sliding the skillet in the oven, check the internal temperature once again by pointing the infrared thermometer directly on the stone where the biscuits will be placed.
Slide the skillet into the oven and close the oven door. Bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and eat while hot! They are especially delicious with butter and honey. Enjoy!