The Grocery, Charleston, SC
“My mother’s cooking never inspired new gastronomic heights, mainly as a product of when I grew up. The ’70s were the age of tuna noodle casserole (my absolute favorite) and canned pears on iceberg leaves filled with cottage cheese and topped with a cherry. However, two things that I have received from my mother, and another from my great grandmother, that are used regularly: her grits casserole has been a staple at Christmas breakfast for ages and my great grandmother’s angel biscuits have also been a staple at Christmas breakfast. The biscuits are now a staple at the Grocery’s brunch.”
- 5 cups soft white flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 ounces shortening, diced and chilled
- 5 ounces butter, diced and chilled
- 1 package dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 cups buttermilk - maybe a little more
- Bloom yeast in water; stir to dissolve.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Cut in butter and shortening with a fork or pastry cutter.
- In a separate bowl, combine bloomed yeast and water mixture with buttermilk.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Pour buttermilk into center of well.
- Slowly incorporate flour into liquid a little at a time (I prefer a wooden spoon). Don't grab too much of the flour at once. The trick is to slowly mix together in a fluid motion to incorporate as smooth as possible, with as little agitation to the dough as you can.
- Once incorporated, turn onto a lightly floured board or counter. Pat down into a large rectangle about 1” thick. Carefully fold about a third of the dough into the center. Fold the other third from the other side into the center. Pat down again and repeat.
- Cut into desired size using a floured cutter.
- Place onto lightly greased pan, or a parchment lined pan without spray works best.
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes.
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on size of biscuit. They should be puffy, soft and deep golden brown.