Biscuit making is a lost art.
There have been many great advancements in civilization, but I have to say that canned biscuits isn’t one of them.
Pillsbury Grands, the flaky variety of course, are about as close to homemade biscuits as you can get, but they’re still nowhere near as good as biscuits made by the hands of an experienced biscuit maker.
This came to mind at Thanksgiving after eating my brother-in-law’s famous yeast rolls. It’s not his recipe (it came from one of the family grandmothers, I believe), but he at least has picked up the bread baton as it were, and carried it forward for new generations to enjoy.
As I slathered more and more butter on each roll and savored the deliciousness of each bite, I began to think about my mother’s homemade biscuits and how much I miss them. I also began to question why I never took the time to have her teach me how to make them.
Of all of the breads that are made, biscuits are the most versatile. Sure, rolls are good, bagels are great, and buns are amazing. But biscuits are the one bread that always bring me the most satisfaction.
That is, if they’re made right.
My mom, like most moms back then, didn’t measure anything. She knew exactly what to put on the counter and mix in the right quantities. She worked with the precision of a surgeon, using a rolling pin and her hands.
The results were nothing short of amazing.
As a child, some of my favorite memories are of sitting at the kitchen table, staring at the cast iron skillet full of gravy, and watching my mom put a basket full of hot biscuits in front of us. Covered by a kitchen towel, we would slowly open the corners of the towel to unveil a stack of the most perfect, piping hot biscuits.
But, what makes the biscuit versatile is that its uses aren’t just limited to cream gravy.
My mom used to, and still does on request, make chocolate gravy. I’ve mentioned chocolate gravy in a previous column, but if you’re unfamiliar with this dish, just think of a hot chocolate pudding.
We would tear open two hot biscuits, place them on a plate, put a pat of butter on each, and after the butter melted we’d smother both with chocolate gravy.
Another breakfast biscuit treat was to fill the bottom of the plate with warm cane syrup, or molasses, drop a pat of butter in the center, and let it melt. We’d then take a biscuit half and drag it through the syrup or molasses and enjoy.
Some restaurants, but not many, have kept good biscuit making alive. Cracker Barrel is one, but I’m sure there are others.
But, there’s no substitute for good, homemade biscuits. So, I’ve challenged myself to get my mom to teach me how to make hers. Hopefully, my kids will also want to learn. Maybe you will too.
If you have a good biscuit recipe, visit my website at johnmoore.net and share it, please. Because good biscuits should always be around.
©2015 John Moore
To read additional blogs, visit johnmoore.net/blog