Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
First of all, these are NOT traditional biscuits; they're more like a puffy cracker. They are a very old southern tradition (keep it alive!) that used to be a sign of gentility and prosperity of plantation owners. These were often served with small pieces of ham on top or given as the ultimate hostess gift. They used to require lots of hands on beating with an instrument to get the dough just right (sure sign of prosperity since it meant you had plenty of slaves to do the work). Nowadays, we benefit from the use of a food processor, which makes short work of it. The biscuits are not crispy like crackers, but instead are tender with lots of air pockets. They are delicious floated on top of soup, alongside some gravy, spread thin with jam (tastes like a fresh Pop-Tart).
- 2 cups unbleached pastry flour (I used all-purpose) or 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used all-purpose)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 cup whole milk
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor with metal blade and process for 5 to 10 seconds, just until blended.
- Add the butter and process until coarse crumbs, 10-15 seconds (or more).
- Add the milk and process for atleast 3 minutes (This is not a typo! This"beats" the dough).
- The dough will be soft and putty-like, almost like melted mozzarella.
- Remove dough and let rest, covered for 15 minutes, allowing the gluten to relax and making it easier to roll.
- Roll the rested dough into a rectangle about 12 x 17 inches (about 1/8 inch thick).
- Fold it in half crosswise and roll lightly to bind the two layers together (creating air pockets).
- Using a pizza wheel and cut small squares of dough or use a very small biscuit cutter (I made squares and it was so easy and didn't leave any unused scraps).
- Place cut pieces of dough on a parchment-lined, Silipat mat, or ungreased baking sheet close together, but not quite touching.
- If you want to re-roll any scraps, wait 15 minutes, roll out, fold over, roll to bind.
- Lightly prick the biscuits with a fork.
- Bake abut 20 minutes, until their tops are a very light golden brown.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.