Monday, August 9, 2010

Biscuits and Cornbread

Last night on the Fun Mama Facebook page, I mentioned my little biscuit fiasco at dinner. I have been making biscuits since I was a teenager, if not earlier, and I still screwed up a simple recipe. That what happens when I'm distracted. Fortunately, the recipe is so simple that it seems to have not been a problem. The biscuits were pretty good anyway, and rose beautifully.

After a bit of conversation about my biscuits and cornbread, someone asked if I would mind sharing the recipe. As they aren't really mine, I don't mind a bit.

I got both of these recipes off the back of White Lily flour bags. I love White Lily and use it almost exclusively, unless I'm using whole wheat flour (or a recipe that specifically calls for something else). I guess you could use something else, but especially for the cornbread the brand is important. I would like to try to make some real, corny cornmeal cornbread sometime, but I love this recipe so much that I'm willing to wait a while.

Southern Cornbread

2 cups White Lily Self-Rising Buttermilk Enriched White Cornmeal Mix
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk or milk1/4 cup Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil or 1/4 cup Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening, melted
1 large egg
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place and 8 inch of 10 inch heavy skillet that has been coated with vegetable oil in oven to heat. Or, coat an 8x8x2 inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients stirring just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Pour batter into heated skillet or pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes for 10 inch skillet or 25 to 30 minutes for 8 inch skillet or pan. Remove from pan and serve.

 I nearly always use the larger amount of milk - and try to always use buttermilk. I use the oil, not shortening - not sure about using other kinds of oil. I've thought about trying coconut oil for other things - wonder if it will work here? As for the sugar: Sugar is very controversial when it comes to cornbread. Down South, where I'm from, you don't use sugar. Up "North," where I live, people make almost a corncake instead of cornbread. I like to use about a handful of sugar. The people in the south don't seem to notice and rave over it. The people in Kentucky don't mind that it's not as sweet as they expect. I don't actually measure the sugar, just eyeball it. I use a 10 inch cast iron skillet.

I like to cut it into wedges and split them down the middle and serve with butter coating all the cut sides. Yum. I wish I had some in front of me right now. (Cornbread came up because a friend of mine mentioned it, not because I made any.)

I most often make this to accompany my vegetable soup, although it's good with any fresh vegetable meal. 

White Lily Light Biscuits

2 cups White Lily Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
1/4 cup Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening, chilled
2/3 to 3/4 cups buttermilk or milk

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Measure flour into bowl.

Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until lumps are the size of peas.
Blend in just enough milk with fork until dough leaves sides of bowl.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 2 to 3 times.
Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thick. Cut using floured 2 inch biscuit cutter.
Place on baking sheet 1 inch apart for crisp sides or almost touching for soft sides.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 12 2 inch biscuits.

Where I screwed up was that I I forgot to cut in the shortening before adding the milk. So I was left kneading a ball of goo. I always do the cutting in and blending with my hands instead of a party cutter or fork. I like the texture better, and I can tell what's going on better. I think you could use butter instead of shortening, but I've never tried.

I like to eat the biscuits split with honey or jam. I always used blackberry jam as a kid but the blueberry-lime jam I made a few weeks ago is yummy too. Biscuits go great for breakfast or with fried chicken, sausage, or just about any other country cooked meal I can think of.


Helen72 said...

Thanks for sharing! I will have to try both.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Oh good, I'll try the cornbread recipe. I always pre heat my old iron skillet for a few minutes. I think that cornbread and iron love one another.

All joys,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Unknown said...

Whenever I make cornbread from scratch it doesn't taste as good. I am going to try this recipe. Sounds good.

I passed on some awards to you - well three.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

BISCUITS ARE a country meal. And cornbread, baked in my Grandmother's iron skillet? Pure heaven on earth.

All joys,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Gabriele Agustini said...

Nice blog!
I'll be back - I'm now a Follower. :)

UK lass in US said...

Those sounds good. Thanks for your comment - I wasn't able to e-mail back.

With the different ingredients available, the different oven temperature scales, the different measurement scales etc. etc. I can see that it might take many years of tweaking, but at least my mistakes are usually still edible and tasty...

Take care,