Angel biscuits have been the rage in Southern kitchens for decades. While most often we’re known for making classic Southern buttermilk biscuits, these angle biscuits are special. I can’t think of a single member of my family that doesn’t make these biscuits regularly. My Gramma’s, my Mom and as well as my Aunts each had their own version and technique for making angel biscuits using the same ingredients in varying amounts. There’s just never a bad biscuit in the batch. They’re delicious with a slice of ham, a drizzle of honey, a generous pat of butter or a slathering of homemade jam. They can be served at any meal. They practically are a meal.
A Bite of Nostalgia
My Aunt Beulah, insisted these biscuits be dipped in butter, then folded over and two biscuits placed side by side on the baking pan to form the look of angels wings. My Mom’s preference, is to make the dough one day in advance to allow the flavor of the dough to intensify. is isn’t an imperative step, the biscuits can certainly be made and baked immediately after the first rising as well. Angel biscuit dough can be divided, and baked fresh in smaller batches. Store the dough covered and refrigerated and it will last for as long as one week. In that case, remove the desired amount of dough from the batch, cut or roll into rounds, then allow to rise as directed in the recipe prior to baking.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
- 2 1/4 oz packets active dry yeast 2 1/4 tsp per packet
- 1/4 cup warm water [110°F]
- 5 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup chilled butter cubed
- 1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening prefer butter flavored
- 2 cups buttermilk lukewarm
- 2-4 Tbsp butter melted to brush the tops
- To make the dough: Sprinkle both packets of dry yeast over warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- In a medium size bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Using a pastry blender, food processor or hand mixer cubed butter and vegetable shortening into the dry ingredients until it resembles cornmeal.
- After the yeast has become creamy and "bloomed" add to the warm buttermilk and gently stir until combined.
- Make a well in the center of the dough and add the buttermilk-yeast mixture.
- Gradually work the liquid into the dry ingredients until combined. The dough won't be completely smooth.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured non-stick surface. Begin to work the dough, turning and gently kneading just until it comes together and appears smooth.
- At this stage, you may divide the dough, in half if desired. Place half into a buttered bowl, and lay a damp towel on top and refrigerate. [Tip: The dough may be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator]
- Using a floured rolling pin roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Use a 2 or 3 inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut into rounds, reshaping the dough as needed. Do not twist the biscuit cutter use an up and down motion.
- Place onto a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet, then cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a draft free place for 1 hour. [see cook's note]
- Melt reaining 2-4 Tbsp of butter, and brush the tops just before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for 13-15 minutes until golden and cooked through.
- Brush tops again with melted butter before serving.