Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cast iron biscuits: so tender

The weather is starting to warm up and it's outdoor dutch-oven time, again. The last trip to the beach I brought and bought my cast iron collection to practice for our Tear Drop camp out in March. I've been perfecting a recipe for the potluck, Chili Verde but I tried a new one for biscuits. Who doesn't like the smell of freshly baked biscuits while camping?

Because our weather did not allow me to set up outside I modified my biscuits to the indoor kitchen. Instead of the outdoor dutch-oven I used my ancient iron skillet. This was passed down from my Grandmother, Emily to my Mom, Lorna and then to me. I use it to cook fried chicken, among other things, and it is seasoned to perfection.

My recipe for biscuits is easy:

2 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt, not kosher
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup shortening, cold cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1 or 2 tablespoons canola oil

You will need a ten inch iron skillet, hopefully seasoned. If not you can make this in a glass dish.
Preheat oven and iron skillet, 400 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients then cut in the shortening until it resembles course sand. I use a pastry blender but you can also rub it between your fingers.

Pour in buttermilk and gently mix with a fork and dump out on floured surface. Gently knead with floured hands and then fold over a few times and pat it to about an inch thick.

With a floured cutter, I use a wine glass, cut out as many biscuits as you can, then gather the remaining dough together; gently and repeat. Did I say gently enough times?

Remove your hot skillet from the oven and add oil tilting until it covers. Place each biscuit in the skillet. I just touch the top in the oil and roll the biscuit over to get a bit of the hot oil on top. Be careful the pan is hot and it should sizzle. You want to crowd them in so they all touch, I get eight in my 10 inch pan.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes until tops are slightly golden.

I should tell you to enjoy but I can't imagine anyone not enjoying hot biscuits and honey butter.

If you want to do these while camping use a ten inch camping dutch oven. I put eleven coals on top and only five underneath. Remember to preheat that DO smoking hot before putting in the oil and the dough. Turn every five minutes. Cooking time should be the same.


Spryte said...

I've never made biscuits from scratch! Those look really good! I'll have to give it try!

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