I’ve already confided to all of you that pie crusts and cream puffs, among other things, have caused me much stress and anxiety over the years. It has been a long and painful process trying to get up the guts to try them and perfect them. In that vein, I might as well add biscuits to the mix of stress-inducing recipes. I have made biscuits at least 256 times in the last seven years. 255.5 times they have been a pure and utter failure. Flat, tough, salty, unflaky, soggy, you name it. (The other .5 refers to the one time my kids still ate them, despite my aversion, and I think they only gagged them down then because we were having beans for dinner.)
It has been hard on my poor, little self confidence. So I gave them up. I was tired of getting my hopes up and having them crash down with another flat, dull biscuit. Plus, it didn’t help when my kids, trying to help, would say to me, “Mom, sorry the biscuits were yucky again tonight.” No more biscuit making for me.
Until this recipe. You can already tell from the picture that these biscuits were at least 84 times higher than my other attempts. And oh, the tender flakiness. Dreamy. Absolutely dreamy. I’ve never had a more perfect biscuit come from the depths of my oven and I will tell you this much: I am forever loyal to this biscuit. It has dragged me from the depths of my biscuit making hell and transformed me into a believer…that homemade biscuits really can be edible.
More than edible, these delicious biscuits rely on a cream based recipe, which helped me in the stress-level department. Instead of having to worry about whether my butter pieces were cold enough, small enough, cut in enough, or stressing about whether I was overworking the dough or folding it the wrong way, this recipe utilizes cream in the place of butter and you simply stir it in to the dry ingredients, pat it out into a square and cut out the biscuits. Simple. The other perk? These can be flash frozen and baked at your convenience.
I hope you’ll become a believer, too (unless you are already a professional biscuit maker…if so, I’m not sure we can be friends because I like to surround myself with people who fail at the same things I do – it’s a bit easier on the ego).
Oh, and a final note: if you are gasping and apoplectic at the amount of cream that has been used in the recipes this week, please know that I promise some healthful meals next week. But until then, please, please, please do not check back tomorrow. It will put the meatloaf, creamy potatoes and these celestial biscuits to shame.
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the surface
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift two cups flour, the baking powder, salt and (if using) sugar into a large bowl. Fold in 1 1/4 cups cream. If the dough is not soft or easily handled, fold in the remaining 1/4 cup cream, little by little.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface, mound it into a ball and, using your hands, gently press it to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. It does not need to be completely smooth across the top. Cut into rounds, 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Gather dough scraps and continue to make rounds. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Brush the tops with the butter. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or flash freeze* for future use.
*To flash freeze, place the unbaked biscuits on a lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until completely frozen (about 1-2 hours). Once frozen, the biscuits can carefully be placed in a ziploc bag and removed for baking as needed. Biscuits can be baked straight from the freezer, and additional few minutes baking time will be needed, usually around 3 to 5.
Recipe Source: from Smitten Kitchen/Originally from James Beard’s American Cookery