Monday, May 7, 2012
After I learned to make homemade biscuits, I thought I had arrived as a cook! My husband, Phillip, wanted me to learn to make "cat-head" biscuits like his Mother made. ("Cat-head" is a Southern term for biscuits the size of a cat's head). My mother-in-law always kept a flour bowl in her kitchen cabinet. It was a large ceramic mixing bowl with flour and a sifter in it at all times. She covered it with aluminum foil. When she got ready to make biscuits, she just took the flour bowl out of her cabinet and made a well or hole in the center of the flour. She added her Crisco shortening and buttermilk and worked the flour with her hands until she got the consistency that she wanted. She did not have a recipe, so she estimated the amounts of her ingredients and gave the estimates to me. I took her estimates and worked with them until I could make the "cat-head" biscuits that my husband loves.
The top picture is of the biscuits inverted on a plate. Our iron skillet is quite heavy, so Phillip usually inverts the biscuits for me. As you can see, the bottoms of the biscuits will be a light golden brown. In the second picture, you can see the top of the biscuit and it is a very light brown. You can also see a biscuit that I had cut in half and smothered with Pioneer Country Gravy Mix that I had made. These biscuits are very moist inside. What a treat this was for us this past Saturday morning!
4 cups of Martha White self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups of Crisco shortening
2 cups of buttermilk
Melt 2 Tbsp. of shortening in a large iron skillet. Sift flour in a large bowl. Make a well or hole in the center of the flour. Add shortening and buttermilk. Use your hands to mix all together. Pinch off a Tbsp. of dough. Place into floured hands. Roll the dough in your floured hands into the shape of a ball and continue to roll until the dough is smooth. Place biscuit in the iron skillet. After all of the biscuits have been added to the iron skillet, pat the biscuits down gently. Your iron skillet will be full of biscuits. Top each biscuit with a small amount of shortening.
Bake at 400 degrees for 23 min. Remove the iron skillet from the oven. Invert biscuits onto a plate for serving.
Pioneer Country Gravy Mix is delicious with the biscuits as well as butter and homemade blackberry jelly made with blackberries from our fruit orchard. In the winter, it was always a treat for Mrs. Herring's children and grandchildren to get an invite for a supper of Homemade Biscuits, tomato gravy, and ham. Precious family memory.
Iron skillets can be found at Cracker Barrel or locally at Porter's Hardware in downtown Dothan.