Warm home-made biscuits are one of life’s simple pleasures. Slathered with melting butter, drizzled with honey, spread with jam or with ham and cheese layered into the middle, it’s all goodness and love.
I have a standard biscuit recipe I have used for years and years. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
But I didn’t have any buttermilk, so in a way, it was broke. I needed something new. I had lots of sour cream and a son going off to fight the Yankees in Huntington Beach this morning at the Civil War reenactment. Nothing better than a well wrapped biscuit after a battle with ol’ Matilda. Plus they are good to trade for other foods. (He usually brings fruit, a slab of cheese, canned beans of course, some corned beef hash, pickles, boiled eggs, etc.. If there is going to be a fire, some salt pork. But not this time.)
But before I get to that recipe, let me tell you about our newest bee invasion. Seems a queen decided to set up housekeeping on the side of our house. I was watching them this morning (we have a call in to have them…removed?) and thought the way they hovered about, waiting their turn to get inside through the tiny opening they found, much like planes circling around LAX. I saw them, hovering, bobbing up and down, coming in closer, then backing away when they realized it wasn’t their turn.Very patient, bees. They are using our bathtub as their burial grounds for their aged worker bees. So we closed the bath window, although I don’t know how they got in through the screen either. But I don’t need to be showering with dead bees floating around my toes.
Anyway, on to… Sour Cream Biscuits!
You will need:
- 2 cups of all purpose flour (or sub 1/2 cup with cake flour)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 6 Tbsp butter, cold
- 1 cup sour cream
Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Cut the butter into little pieces. Toss it in with the dry ingredients using a fork. Now here is what I did different. I used my fingers to squish some butter pieces flat into the flour on the bottom of the mixing bowl. I kept rubbing some of the butter into the flour, leaving other pieces bigger, until I had a mix of butter sizes from pea size on down to sandy and flat bits.
Then using a fork, mix in the sour cream until it forms a cohesive dough. Push together a few times, kneading gently to make it come together and wrap in plastic and put in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Lay out on a floured board. Press dough out, fold over, press, fold over, press. (this helps with the flaky layers) Then roll it out with a floured rolling pin, but not too thin. Thin dough gets you thin biscuits. You want at least an inch high to start. Cut into biscuits. Roll together the spare dough and cut more.
Get out the baking stone and, flipping the biscuits bottoms up, place on the hot stone and put into the oven. OR just place the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet and put into the oven. Bake until golden brown on top. This may be 15-20 minutes depending on your baking surface. The stoneware bakes more evenly and, since it was preheated, will be quicker and the heat will give it a burst of energy. Metal pans get very hot and tend to burn where the biscuits (or cookies or whatever) touch the metal if you are not careful. Double panning, or placing one baking pan on top of another helps with this problem.
So, I think I need to clear out any dead bees, take a shower, dress and head out to the reenactment to the smell of gun powder, cannon blasts and to see all the pretty dresses worn by both the southern belles and the yankees. Tonight they will have a dance, which is all kinds of fun to watch or be in. Men in uniforms, petticoats swirling around! But I have to be home to watch Dr. Who again so…