Friday, March 2, 2012

Southern Biscuits - Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart

When I noticed that Nathalie Depree was going to be attending the UCF Book Festival at the end of March here in Orlando,  I immediately perked up.  Hey I met Nathalie at SIBA in Charleston!  In fact, I had a glass of wine and some of her mouth-watering biscuits in her gorgeous historic home on our first night in town.  AND I have this book and have cooked from it.  I have no good excuse, then, for why I haven't reviewed it.  Everyone loves biscuits after all.


Initially, one might wonder how in the world someone could write a cookbook about just biscuits.  You only have to open the cover of this gorgeous little treasure to have that question answered.  Recipes for easy biscuits, traditional biscuits, biscuits containing ingredients of coca-cola, pimento, sweet potatoes and ginger, biscuits used for desserts.  They even branch out with biscuit spin-offs, like coffee cake, pancakes and dumplings.  And no biscuit is complete without butter...herb butter, orange-honey butter, fig jam!  


Even before you get flour all over the kitchen (an on the iPod in my case), Nathalie and Cynthia give you a little primer.  In what situations do you use self-rising flour versus all-purpose flour?  How do you properly store flour?  What kind of fat should be used?  They also discuss how to knead, how to shape the dough, and what type of pan to use.  These things are important apparently...I had no idea.


My family has been laden with biscuits over the holidays.  I've made Baking Powder Biscuits, Basic Southern Biscuits, Double Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits and Food Processor Biscuits.  But my absolute favorite ones, that deemed a repeat performance, were Senator Hollings' Flaky Appetizer Cream Cheese Biscuits.  These little guys are SO decadent, and are so little that you are guaranteed to obsessively pop them in your mouth as you walk by the plate.  (Hence my urgent need for a diet post-holiday.)


Here is the recipe, which was incredibly easy to make:


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup commercial or homemade self-rising flour
Butter, softened or melted, for finishing


Pulse together the cream cheese, 2/3 cup butter, and 1 cup of flour two or three times in food processor fitted with the knife or dough blade until it comes together in a ball.  Turn the dough out onto waxed paper and divide into two rounds.  Flatten.  Wrap in waxed paper, plastic wrap, or resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees.


Lightly sprinkle a board or other clean surface using some of the 1/3 cup reserved flour.  Sprinkle the top lightly with flour.  With floured hands and a floured rolling pin, roll out one portion of the dough at a time to about 1/4 inch thick.  Fold the dough over to make it 1/2 inch thick.  For each biscuit, dip a 1 to 1 1/4 inch biscuit cutter into reserved flour and cut out the biscuits, starting at the outside edge and cutting very close together, being careful not to twist the cutter.  The scraps may be combined to make additional biscuits, although these scraps make tougher biscuits.  Roll out the second portion when ready to bake.


Using a metal spatula if necessary, move the biscuits to an ungreased baking sheet, placing the biscuits 1 inch apart.  Refrigerate the biscuits for 10 to 20 minutes until cold.  Bake the biscuits on the top rack of the oven for a total of 10 to 12 minutes until light golden brown.  After 6 minutes, rotate the pan in the oven so that the front of the pan is now turned to the back, and check to see if the bottoms are browning too quickly.  If so, slide another packing pan underneath to add insulation and retard the browning.  Continue baking another 4 to 6 minutes until the biscuits are light golden brown.  When the biscuits are done, lightly brush the tops with butter.  Turn the biscuits out upside down on a plate to cool slightly.  Serve hot, right side up.


These biscuits may be frozen, unbaked or baked, and reheated.




If you look closely you can see the butter glisten off the tops.  Sweet Mother Mary, but they are good.


The book is hardcover with gorgeous pictures inside.  It would make a wonderful gift for anyone that likes to get their hands in flour.  Highly recommended!




  

43 comments:

Beth F said...

Oh yeah. Yummmm. I've been a fan of Dupree's for years. Can't wait to get my hands on this book.

bermudaonion said...

Our cookbook club has cooked from this cookbook for 3 months and every single recipe has been great!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I am a total biscuit fan. I should probably get this book. Or maybe not....

Meg said...

BISCUITS. Yum. Anything warm and flaky and bread-y (not a word, but we'll go with it!) captures my attention. I'm sure I would be drooling all over this book!

Zibilee said...

I still haven't cooked from this book, but for good reason, and that is because I am afraid that I would wolf down the entire set of biscuits within minutes. Bread is my big weakness, but now that you have touted these Cream Cheese Biscuits, I need to get cracking. My family would love them, as would I! Great post today!

caite said...

while I am one who would wonder how can a cookbook be just about biscuits..I would be more than happy to test every single one.

I remember Dupree from her TV show years ago and have always been a fan.

Julie P. said...

I haven't made anything yet but I concur that it's beautiful.

Jeane said...

Oooh, I love biscuits. (And coffeecake) but I happen to only make the baking-powder kind. Cream cheese? Wowee!

Tasha B. said...

Mmmm, I love cheese biscuits. LOVE.

Beachreader said...

Biscuits are my favorite food group. I am going to have to pick this boook up.

Jackie Bailey said...

I knew you called what we call biscuits cookies, but had no idea you used the word biscuit for something else. They look like what we call scones. I learn something every day!

Joy Weese Moll said...

Those look so yummy!

Libby Rodriguez said...

I love watching her on TV! These biscuits DO look easy...and good! Thank you for sharing. :)

Christine said...

Oh those look lovely! Who doesn't love biscuits!?

Peggy Ann said...

Oh my my grandma and mom made southern biscuits all the time. They are from appalachia, but never with cream cheese! I am a Cream cheese addict! we will be having these this week!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

Oh my, biscuits are my downfall, and Senator Hollings' sounds scrumptious.

theveryhungrybookworm said...

Biscuits!!! That is the only reason I continue to go to KFC, for the biscuits. Now I can just make my own and say goodbye to the Colonel forever!

Chef Connie said...

Wow those look fabulous. Have to try this recipe and get Natalie's book.

Darlene said...

Oh man, you just killed me with that pic of the biscuits and glistening butter. That's my idea of heaven. I love biscuits of any kind and can easily see a whole cookbook about them. I think I may have to invest in this one!

The Bumbles said...

Ahhh - grandma Molly's biscuits were the best biscuits on Earth. No one can replicate them and she is long gone. This makes me incredibly sad - on both counts. Perhaps this book could soothe my soul and search for deserving biscuits.

Kathleen said...

This would be a very dangerous book for me to have. I LOVE biscuits and could eat them all day long!

Sherry said...

Can't wait to try these biscuits! What is the temperature for baking?

Lisa Hyde said...

I made these biscuits twice this week. Tonight I adjusted the recipe in hopes that they would rise as beautifully as the picture posted, however, I wasn't so lucky. The biscuits were as flat as when I put them into the oven. The taste was amazing, but they weren't pretty at all. Any suggestions or pointers would be wonderful!

tounsico said...

thankssss for share

http://www.tounsi-cool.net/vb

Laura Jones said...

I made these tonight and had the same problem as another poster. They didn't rise at ALL. They taste wonderful, but they are ugly and little. :(

Michelles Tasty Creations said...

YUM! These look amazing! I would love to invite you to share this, and any other posts, at my Creative Thursday Link Party at www.michellestastycreations.blogspot.com. Have a great weekend.

lisafriloux said...

Made Chicken and sausage gumbo and tried to make these, used all purpose flour :( didn't come out too good! I will try again thanks for posting the recipe! They look yummy!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone actually get this recipe to work? Mine came out looking like greasy blobs.

The amount of flour in this recipe looks quite low. Normal biscuit/scones recipes use 3 times as much.

Patrick

Christina said...

I tried these biscuits today and well...I have to concur that mine didn't turn out like the photo. They are still edible but it seems like they didn't cook quite enough in the middle and certainly didn't rise as much as the photo. I follow the recipe instructions to a tee...so far as I know! I'd love to know any tips that someone might have to make them rise better! I did use self rising flour.

Lauren Michelle said...

@Jackie Bailey- Our Biscuits aren't quite like scones. Scones are a lot harder than biscuits which are very light and fluffy.

Anonymous said...

You cannot just use all purpose flour... It won't rise!

Here's a tip! Good Luck! :)

TO MAKE SELF-RISING FLOUR:

Sift together 1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 cup cake flour with 1/2 cup all-purpose flour), 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.

Anonymous said...

After looking over the directions, I found where the mix-up is on the amount of flour to use. The ingredients say 1 1/3 cup self-rising flour. The instructions says "1 cup of flour two or three times in food processor". When I did that they came our perfect!

Anonymous said...

Pulse two or three times.

Heather Morozov said...

Ok, PLEASE help me!! Mine did not rise at all and I used the 1 1/3 cups of self rising flour it called for and did everything exactly like the instructions. Mine looked like "cookie biscuits". So disappointed. Where did I go wrong??

Lindselicious said...

I tried this with another one of the posters suggestion of using more flour. I used 2 cups of self rising flour and I thought my biscuits came out great. Maybe not as fluffy as the picture, but definately not like cookies.

rdthornley said...

In Yorkshire, UK, these are known as sour-milk scones - maybe an inheritance from the Good Old Days? will have to make some soon - lol

cjm said...

If you search YouTube you can find a video of Ms. Dupree making them. She uses 1 cup flour and then more for rolling out. Trying these today.

Felia said...

The second picture looks mouthwatering! Love the recipe, it really looks quite easy. I am happy I found that on pinterest!

Suzanne said...

I made these for supper tonight and we all liked them although they didn't rise at all, like others have noticed. I watched Dupree's YouTube and hers didn't look fluffy either! Nothing like the photo on the post.

Sandy said...

Just made these and wow!
Thanks so much for sharing.
Sandy

Maria said...

I think that I will have to make these, because if they taste even half as good as they look, I´ll be hooked.Damn you =)

Dominique said...

I tried these and they just didn't rise much. They also didn't have much color even though they were baked long enough to be done. I'm wondering if there isn't enough leavening in the self-rising flour to compensate for the extra acidity of all the cream cheese. I won't be making them again.

Carol Humber said...

I suppose I could use gluten-free flour to make these biscuits, which by the way, look scrumptious!

Carol H