Secret Ingredient to Mouthwatering Southern Biscuits Revealed

February 28, 2009

Both my girlfriend and mom are from the Southern United States (North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively), so let me tell you I’ve had a biscuit or two in my day.  Southern cooks aren’t shy about copiously using butter, crisco and other unhealthy ingredients when they cook, which is why when I learned how my girlfriend didn’t use butter in her biscuits, I didn’t feel guilty about having two.

What’s the secret ingredient, you ask?  How, without using any butter, can you get that biscuit to melt in your mouth?  Well, in light of concerns about hydrogenated oil and excessive butter use, we had to come up with something.  The answer…Coconut Oil.

Coconut oil is the perfect substitute for a few reasons.  First it stays solid at room temperature, which is important because it needs to be “cut into” the dry mixture so that it is of a course crumble consistency.  The coconut oil in this state allows for the same consistency of the mixture as butter without jepoardizing the final product.  In case Memphis Blues might be reading, here’s her recipe:

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cut in 1/2 cup solid coconut oil till mixture is of a course crumbly consistency.  Make a well in the center.  Add 2/3 cup milk all at once.  Stir until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Quickly kneed dough intil nearly smooth.  Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with 2 1/2 inch cutter.

Place them 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

They come out golden brown on top, just slightly crispy, and absolutely melt in your mouth in the middle.  Add 2 1/4 cups of shredded yams if you’re feeling adventurous, and serve with chicken, gravy or some grilled catfish (if you can find it here) or, more traditionally, breakfast.  Do what I do and spread lots of butter on top.  You can’t have a fresh biscuit without butter!

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