Bodacious Biscuits

Best. Biscuits. Ever!

When flipping through a new cookbook, you spy a recipe called “Ginormous Biscuits.” You’re going to stop in your tracks completely breathless, aren’t you?

I mean, who wouldn’t with that temptress of a name?

The folks behind the new cookbook, “Tupelo Honey Cafe” (Andrews McMeel), sure knew what they were doing when they coined that name for these bountiful butter behemoths.

The book, of which I recently received a review copy, was written by Southern writer, Elizabeth Sims, and Brian Sonoskus, executive chef of the Tupelo Honey Cafe, which opened in downtown Asheville, NC in 2000 and now has a second location on the south side of the city.

I actually had the pleasure of dining at that adorable downtown cafe years ago, while touring the South after attending a journalism conference. Asheville is a thoroughly charming city. Like so many college towns,  (it’s home to the University of North Carolina at Asheville), it is imbued with youthful energy, culture and artistic spirit. It’s also got one of the best self-guided walking tours around with iconic sculptures marking each significant landmark. One of the most famous ones is the restored boarding house that was run by the mother of American literary giant, Thomas Wolfe, where you can sidle up to his bronzed size 13 shoes at the entrance.

After working up an appetite from all that walking, head to the popular Tupelo Honey Cafe for down-home Southern fare made with seasonal ingredients from Sonoskus’ farm, Sunshot Farm.

The cookbook primes your taste buds for the comforting food served with flair there: Cheesy Grits Cakes with Sunshot Salsa, Chicken Apple Meat Loaf with Tarragon Tomato Gravy, and Peach Cobbler with Candied Almonds.

But, of course, it was the biscuits that I was after.

The dough is made with bread flour, leaveners, sour cream, buttermilk and butter that’s frozen, then grated into the dry ingredients.

You’ll have barely enough dough for six big biscuits. You will have to re-roll the dough after cutting, probably two times and possibly form the very last biscuit into a disk with just your fingers. But it can be done. Whatever you do, try not to work the dough too much or else you’ll end up with tough biscuits that won’t rise very high.

Just before the biscuits are done, pull them from the oven to brush them with melted butter. Then, return them to the oven for about 5 more minutes. The result is gorgeous deep brown biscuit tops that are crisp, then give way to tender, crumbly interiors for the best of all textures.

The biscuits are quite buttery all on their own. But feel free to smear cut halves with even more butter. Or just a drizzle of honey.

They’d even make great foundations for strawberry shortcakes.

However you enjoy them, do give them your undivided time. After all, these aren’t biscuits that you eat mindlessly. These are biscuits that command your full attention.

But when they’re called “Ginormous Biscuits,” you wouldn’t expect anything less, would you?

Tupelo Honey Ginormous Biscuits

(Make 6)

2 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, frozen

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sour cream, and salt in a large bowl. With a cheese grater, grate frozen butter using the largest holes; quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Do not overmix.

On a floured surface, turn out the dough and roll out to a 1-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut biscuits and place on a rimmed sheet pan. Cook on the top rack of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until light brown, and remove from the oven. Brush melted butter on top of each biscuit and return to the oven for about 5 minutes longer, or until the biscuits are golden brown.

From “Tupelo Honey Cafe” (Andrews McMeel) by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus


More: Bradley Ogden’s Overnight Soft Herb Rolls

And Biscuit Magic: Turning Pillsbury Biscuit Dough into Chinese Steamed Buns

Plus: Guilt-Free (Or Almost) Strawberry Shortcakes

And: Honey-Glazed Spago Corn Bread

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Date: Tuesday, 19. July 2011 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: General, Recipes (Savory), Recipes (Sweet), Restaurants

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22 comments

  1. 1

    I *love* biscuits, and those sound awesome! I’ll have to give them a try….they’d probably be the perfect addition to a cowboy meal of pan-fried steak and corn-on-the-cob.

  2. 2

    They look magnificent! Biscuits are so addictive. I love to eat them for breakfast with jam and cheese.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. 3

    These sound captivating indeed. What an unusual ingredient list for biscuits!

  4. 4

    Those biscuits look so scrumptious, just perfect with a drizzle of honey!

  5. 5

    Wow, I think one or two would be enough to make a meal of itself. It would be even better with a slather of butter and Tupelo honey! ;)

  6. 6

    I know what I’m having for dinner. Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  7. 7

    YUM! I learned about grating frozen butter for biscuits a while ago and it really is the best way to not overmix. I used to work the butter in with my fingertips but always ended up with a mess! I love adding cheese to mine too!

  8. 8

    Goodness me, this biscuit look superb. My husband will truly appreciate this.

  9. 9

    Mmm, I love love love biscuits. I feel like i haven’t found “my” recipe yet. Need to bookmark this one to see if it makes the cut!

  10. 10

    These are making me very hungry before breakfast this morning! I’d love to visit Ashville and the cafe some day.

  11. 11

    I ate at Tupelo Honey’s a few months ago when visiting Asheville. Their biscuits were great. You should try the sweet potato pancakes!

  12. 12

    Ohhh my! These look amazing! I wish I could have them for breakfast! Bookmarked!

  13. 13

    I made the biscuits and they are as awesome as you described. What a treat. Must have more!

  14. 14

    I love the title of this post. Seeing as how I usually associate bodacious with bod, I started picturing sexy biscuits. Well played.

  15. 15

    I love homemade biscuits, and these look like perfection!

  16. 16

    i’m not convinced that ginormous should be a real word, but i’ve always been a fan of the word bodacious. regardless, these biskies look great!

  17. 17

    I’m such a sucker for a good biscuit and I love that they’re easy to make. Looking forward to giving these a shot.

  18. 18

    Homemade biscuits, butter and honey – how can you go wrong! YUM!!!!

  19. 19

    Just a quick note….the buttermilk should be changed to 3/4 cup. I hope this helps everyone!

  20. 20

    Candice: I just double-checked the copy of the cookbook I have and it does indeed say 1/2 cup of buttermilk. I did a brief Google search and found that other posts out there also called for 1/2 cup buttermilk. But I found at least one other post of the recipe that used 3/4 cup buttermilk and noted it was “adapted.” The 1/2 cup buttermilk amount seemed to work just fine. If you find the dough too dry to work with, you could always add another tablespoon or so of the buttermilk. As I recall, the dough is on the drier side. It’s not all clumpy on your fingers like some other doughs. But that’s fine when it comes to a biscuit.

  21. 21

    So, I made these biscuits twice in the last week! I tried this recipe and they turned out EXACTLY like the ones at Tupelo Honey!! I was so excited! The first time I used 3/4 cup of butter & the 2nd time I used 1 cup of butter (on accident lol). Both times I grated using the wide slot slicer on the side of a cheese grater. I then froze the butter. I kept my flour in the fridge overnight as well. I used European Sour Cream, which had a higher fat content than regular sour cream, which I’m sure would be fine as well. I ended up using just about 3/4 C of buttermilk, which still yielded a fairly dry dough that came together when “pushed”. I then used the letter fold method when rolling out my dough…two turns. Instead of cutting out the biscuits, I took a knife and cut the rectangle of dough down the middle and then across, making 6 biscuits and placed them so they were not quite touching in a pan on parchment. Before baking, I let the dough rest in the freezer for 15 minutes. Even though I accidentally used an extra 1/4th cup of butter the 2nd time, those biscuits came out just as good, if not slightly better than the first time. Thank you for the recipe!! Fluffy, flaky , buttery biscuits!!!!

  22. 22

    Candice: So glad the biscuits came out to your liking. And hey, a little extra butter never hurt anything! ;)

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