I've developed a bit of an obsession with cream biscuits. Truthfully, I didn't love eating them when I was kid the way the rest of my family did. Whenever we went to Tennessee to visit my grandparents, we would wake up to the smell of freshly baked biscuits at 4:30am. My grandpa's internal clock was a little off. By the time we were all awake and ready to eat, it was at least 8am (maybe later during those sleepy teenage years) and the biscuits were freezing cold. I can't recall a time when I actually got to eat one of my grandfather's biscuits just out of the oven.
While my experience with biscuits as a kid may not have been the greatest, mostly because I was too lazy and didn't know what I was missing, I still have this need to eat a good biscuit every now and then. I've really loved making cream biscuits the most because I usually have all the ingredients on hand and I don't have to mess with butter. For a self-proclaimed non-baker like myself that is a relief. After a lot of practice, I've gotten pretty good at making cream biscuits that rise like a charm and have a flaky, rich crumb.
And I get to eat them hot out of the oven.
My favorite way to enjoy a freshly baked biscuit is with a slather of my mom's homemade strawberry jam. Or, if I don't happen to have anything that good, I go with a good store bought strawberry or raspberry preserve. Simple, delicious comfort food at its best. I may not use bacon grease in my biscuits the way my grandpa did, but I think about him every time I cut the biscuits out. I'm relatively sure he's peaking over my shoulder trying to convince me to do it his way, which also means using an entire stick of room temperature butter mixed with jam as the main course.
True story. That was his favorite snack.
Food should remind us of people and places that make us happy. Biscuits take me to Cookeville, Tennessee with my sweet grandparents, my giggly little sister, and lazy days spent climbing trees and tying June bugs to a string and taking them for a walk.
Easy Cream Biscuits
Makes 6-8 biscuits
Total time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together.
- Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. (It will be ragged at first but will smooth out as the dough is kneaded.)
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough is mostly smooth. Pat into a 3/4-inch-thick round.
- Using a circular biscuit cutter cut out 3 or 4 rounds and place them on your prepared baking sheet. Bring the scraps together and pat out to 3/4 inches again. Repeat until all the dough is used. You should end up with 6-8 biscuits, depending on the size of your cutter.
- Bake the biscuits for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
I've noticed that here in Denver (high altitude) I have to adjust the amount of cream I use. Sometimes it inches nearer to 2 cups and sometimes 1 1/2 is plenty. Pay attention to what the dough is telling you. It should be ragged, which means it will be a bit wet and sticky but not so much that it sticks to your hands. And it shouldn't be so dry that you can't knead it into a smooth dough.