Southern cooks — or, more accurately, Southern eaters — have a lot of opinions about a lot of foods. Even if you don’t make the grits, fish, or beans, you probably have thoughts about how they should be prepared. Biscuits are particularly good at generating debate — even something as simple as the shape can cause friction.
The circle is traditional, but champions of square biscuits argue that right angles are less wasteful, as cutting biscuits into circles generates scraps, and reshaping those scraps can make them tough. But there’s no need to be wasteful or endure tough, reworked dough. Just bake the scraps right alongside the rest of your biscuits.
This method of keeping the edges around the biscuits while they bake is popular on my IG. Is this a regional thing?(N.C) Growing up,Sunday biscuits were always baked like this Big Mama would say use the edges like a spoon to eat sausage gravy. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/8Ej9ZiTgGc
— Erika Council (@southernsouffle) July 10, 2020
This tip comes from food writer and Atlanta-based biscuit expert Erika Council, who tweeted a video of the no-waste biscuit baking method a couple of years ago. (I came across it while clicking around Garden & Gun’s website, a place I find quite soothing.) The method is simple: Punch out your biscuits like you usually would, but don’t toss the scraps. Leave the excess dough on the pan, and bake it all together. Once the biscuits have cooled a little, pull away the scraps and eat them.
Council’s grandmother and uncle both made biscuits this way. “The adults would get the actual biscuits and the kids would get the scraps, which was fine with us,” Council told Garden & Gun, who noted that the curved scrap pieces, “make sopping up the last of the sausage gravy that much easier.”
If you’re worried about rising, banish such fears from your mind. Not only has Council, “never seen this method prevent rising,” but keeping the scrap dough next to the cut biscuits can actually help your biscuits grow strong and tall. As Stella Parks of Serious Eats notes in her biscuit recipe, “Biscuits love to snuggle, so don’t worry if the pan seems a little crowded; they’ll support each other in the oven, spreading less and rising more, for biscuits that are thick and tall.”
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