Not that I haven't tried to improve. A few years ago, I worked the line at Bojangles'. That fast-food chain has got biscuit-making down to a science — in 48 steps. That's at least 45 steps too many for me.
Plus, why compete with perfection?
Because I’ve since gotten ahold of a keeper of a biscuit recipe. It calls for just two ingredients: White Lily self-rising flour and heavy cream. Perhaps you know of it. It’s called Jolene Black’s Cream Biscuits. Originally published in the Times-Picayune in April 2005, it is a reader recipe. It has since been reprinted in “Cooking Up a Storm — 10th Anniversary: Recipes Lost and Found From the Times-Picayune of New Orleans.”
As the Times-Picayune editors note, success comes from sticking with these two ingredients. “The trick is to use these exact ingredients. The biscuits won’t be as light if you use any other kind of self-rising flour. The fat in the heavy cream replaces the shortening or butter in comparable recipes.”
The first time I made these biscuits, I probably should have recorded my oohs and aahs. I was alone in my kitchen, talking to no one about my wonderment and delight at the divine smell, the sky-high rise of the bread, and the brevity of the baking project — it’s not a project; start to finish, making these biscuits is faster than washing dishes by hand. I marveled at the perfection of the liquid-to-dry ratio. And that we don’t even need to add salt.
An apple a day might keep the doctor away. A cream biscuit a day surely is a recipe for tasting heaven on earth.
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