diner style: all-purpose biscuits

So you’ve been successful at making poached eggs, right? Well, hell, why not try your hand at some buttery biscuits to slide right underneath that egg? First, I should preface this entire entry by stating right off the bat that my biscuit-making chops are only a couple months old. In fact, I don’t think Canadians really eat biscuits…to me, it’s an American thing like chicken fried steak and well, biscuits and gravy. A biscuit is like a Southern cousin of the scone and is meant to be flaky and light and not just eaten for breakfast – my recently transplanted to North Carolina friend just told me about a place by her house that is a biscuit-only restaurant (with drive-thru, of course). When I’ve taken trips below the 49th parallel, I’ve definitely had my share of biscuit n’ gravy eating and the best ones I’ve ever had were at the Dish in Seattle. It was high time to recreate that buttery, light perfection!

When I stumbled across a biscuit recipe from The Non-Dairy Queen it looked relatively fool-proof to a newbie like me, so I decided to give it a go. Rumor has it that Canadian flour has extra gluten (read: heavy) compared to the stuff found down South, so I’m sure these aren’t authentic in the least, and these aren’t as feather-light as the ones I’ve had in American diners. But it’s a simple recipe and it’s pretty damn good one at that…especially since I’ve played with the recipe a few times adding and substituting like I love to do. I’ve made this recipe with only all purpose flour and most recently a mix of white and whole wheat. Didn’t matter, these biscuits still turned out delicious. I also have made this with just skim milk but then this morning ran out of most of my milk so I subbed in some plain yogurt to make up the difference and once again, the recipe wasn’t worse for wear. So go ahead, try your hand at biscuit making. If you do decide to use Earth Balance, I’d suggest reducing the salt or getting rid of it entirely.

These are great smeared with blackberry jam or torn into two halves to make a great poached egg breakfast sandwich. Or give your healthy resolutions a break and stir up some gravy to go alongside. It will be our little secret.

22 comments to “diner style: all-purpose biscuits”

  1. 1
    hag   January 27, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I haven’t made biscuits in ages… I used to be the queen of baking powder biscuits. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, with your recipe I will have to try them again.

  2. 2
    Rachael M.   January 28, 2008 at 6:17 am

    Sadly, I am a southern girl without any biscuit making ability. I tried once and they tasted like raw flour. Bleh.

    Just a tip from this born and raised Alabama girl (now living in the “northern” state of South Carolina!) – We use, fairly exclusively – White Lilly flour. Do not ask me why, I only know it is because it “works best.”

    If you can ever get your hands on any, either through a southern friend or a super find at a specialty market, I highly suggest trying making biscuits with this flour of the gods. 😀

  3. 3
    Bijoux   January 28, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Damn, you are making me very hungry. I’m here at the office thinking of food when I should really be working…LOL!
    I’ve never, ever had biscuits before as I have never traveled to the Southern U.S. But I think it’s high time I gave biscuits a whirl. I’ve been doing a lot of my baking with soy flour lately as a way to up the protein and decrease the carb count but I think I need a break from that regime, so perhaps this upcoming weekend I will try my hand at biscuits and poached eggs. Yum!

  4. 4
    megan   January 28, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I grew up eating biscuits at least twice a week, but somehow ended up without a decent recipe. I can’t wait to try this one. Do you think that it would work well with all WW flour? Maybe WW pastry flour?

  5. 5
    Sarena Shasteen   January 28, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Your biscuits look beautiful! I am so happy to hear they turned out well for you! I love playing with recipes…in fact it is an addiction I have. I never follow a recipe 100%. I have to put my stink on it!

  6. 6
    VeggieGirl   January 28, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    mmm, biscuits!! great comfort-food!!

  7. 7
    Aimée   January 28, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for this classic biscuit recipe. During these cold winter months I am all about the comforts of baking in the morning.

  8. 8
    Judy   January 28, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I am totally with you on the biscuit thing – I’ve never even had one, let alone ever understood what all the fuss is about. Perhaps it is time I find out…

  9. 9
    beth   January 28, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Actually I did grow up with biscuits here in Canada. But we usually ate them one of two ways: with stew (sometimes cooked on top of the stew as dumplings) and for breakfast with jam (like you would with scones). I’m guessing it is a British thing – as many southern foods are in fact British in origin.

  10. 10
    Lydia   January 28, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I have been obsessed with Southern food lately, and as such, have been considering making biscuits. I picked up the Southern Food issue of Gourmet, which had a few recipes. I think I will be copying you and making biscuits and eggs soon!

  11. 11
    kickpleat   January 29, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    hag, you’ll have to post a recipe for your baking powder biscuits!

    rachael, i’ve heard all about the wonders of white lily flour! sadly, i’ve never seen any north of the border!

    bijoux, i’ve never been to the southern states either (south-western doesn’t count!), but these are pretty tasty!

    beth, i like the idea of cooking biscuits on top of stew, like dumplings. in fact that might be tonight’s dinner!

    meg, i have no idea! just give it a try and report back 🙂

    sarena, thanks for the recipe inspiration! i too love to put my stink on it 😉

    i couldn’t agree more, veggiegirl!

    aimee, yes indeed! morning baking just seems to make everything cozier.

    give it a try, judy. they are wonderful!

    lydia, a southern food issue of gourmet? i think i’ll have to pick it up!

  12. 12
    thursdaynightsmackdown   January 29, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    biscuits and gravy = the best wintertime breakfast. ever. with maple sausage. drool.

    i don’t have a biscuit recipe that i really like and that is reliable, so thanks for this one! just last night i was at a friends and had homemade chicken soup with dumplings cooked right in the soup, and even though the biscuits were made with bisquick (which i don’t think i could bring myself to do) it was darn tasty and reinvigorated my love of all things biscuitty.

  13. 13
    eatme_delicious   January 29, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Yum! I’ve been craving biscuits just like this. These look great.

  14. 14
    Anonymous   January 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Biscuits were a big thing in my Canadian household. The most common way for us to eat my mother’s sweet biscuits was as the base for strawberry shortcake–split open in the center with crushed berries spooned over, then the top part of the biscuit added, more berries spooned over top and then a sizeable dollop of real whipped cream.

    I still use my mother’s recipe for biscuits to make shortcake–usually blackberry or raspberry…but strawberry really is the best.

    I also make some wonderful pumpkin drop biscuits which are great with winter’s bevy of soup recipes.

    I think the gravy part is more attributed to the U.S.,no?

  15. 15
    beth   January 31, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Ok, I’ll cop to using bisquik on occasion. I actually think the boxed biscuits come out a little more flaky and light than using our high gluten Canadian flour- even if they do have the feintest tinge of “out of a box” flavour.
    I usually play around with them though to make myself feel less like a cheat – I add cheddar and spices to make them savory, or crasins and sugar to make them into fake-out scones.
    If I’m already making a huge meal, and the biscuits are just an accompaniment to it, I’m ok with a little cheating here and there.

  16. 16
    the vegan blog tracker   February 3, 2008 at 8:10 am

    I grew up with biscuits and gravy… I’ll have to try your recipe with a couple of slight tweaks (soy yogurt and soy milk). I might just do that now… I’m hungry for breakfast…

  17. 17
    kickpleat   February 3, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    thursdaynightsmackdown, i’ve had good luck with this recipe! maple sausage? yum!!

    thanks, eat me, these are delicious!

    anon, i’ve made strawberry shortcakes with biscuits before…so amazing! i can’t wait for strawberry season, now!

    beth, i say, cheating is totally acceptable!

    vegan blog, veganize this and try these with a mushroom miso gravy…it will be just those olden days 🙂

  18. 18
    Caroline   February 4, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    I am always looking for a good biscuit recipe! Never heard of one with yogurt. Can’t wait to try it!

  19. 19
    pRiyA   February 6, 2008 at 2:43 am

    i made a chicken pot pie filling and used this biscuit recipe heaped on top of it. it was very good.
    i like this blog because the ingredients are what everyone usually has in their kitchens and the recipes are very straightforward, simple and tasty.
    can’t wait for what’s featured next 🙂

  20. 20
    Vicki   February 10, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I just made these, and have thrown out / deleted every other biscuit recipe I have. They turned out flaky and light, with beautiful layers!

  21. 21
    kickpleat   February 10, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    caroline, hope you like this one. yogurt is my own spin since i never buy buttermilk!

    thanks priya, glad to know that this recipe holds up as dumplings too!

    yay vicki, glad to hear!!

  22. 22
    Rachel   February 17, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Try these never fail biscuits they are so delicious! I’m a southern girl so I usually serve mine with sausage gravy. (YUM!!)

    2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting (I use WhiteLily)
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

    Preheat oven to 495 degrees F.
    In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and cream until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with additional flour. Fold the dough in 1/2 and knead 5 to 7 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Gently roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter coated with flour, cut dough into biscuits. Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray, leaving at least 1-inch between each biscuit. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

    1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
    1/4 cup flour
    2 cups milk
    Salt and pepper

    Cook sausage in a cast iron skillet. When done, remove sausage from pan and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Whisk flour into the fat and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk a little at a time. Return to medium-high heat and stir occasionally while the gravy comes to a simmer and thickens. (Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan, that’s where the flavor is.) Check seasoning, add crumbled sausage and serve over toast or biscuits.

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