Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grandmother Walters's Biscuits and Homemade Honey Butter

If you couldn't tell by the number of different posts I have already on biscuits, I'm a little biscuit obsessed.  I have found some pretty amazing biscuits over the years.  My personal favorite (at the moment) is Buttermilk Biscuits with Green Onions, Black Pepper and Sea Salt.  But sometimes you want plain biscuits.  And I have yet to find a really good plain biscuit recipe.  All of the biscuit recipes that we have made and loved have involved cheese or scallions or something else to just give them that something extra.  But for Easter dinner we wanted a plain biscuit to serve with the ham our friends made.  So I pulled this recipe out of my file of recipes that I want to make.  I have been a little skeptical for some time about this recipe since it called for whole milk instead of buttermilk, but sometimes you just have to make a leap of faith.

These biscuits were really tender and buttery.  Rolling the dough over kind of like puff pastry also gave them lots of fluffy layers, although I felt like they were a little too tender to be as flaky as I would like.  They were a perfect blank canvas for whatever you wanted to pair them with.  I thought they were delicious with the honey butter (so delicious that after eating a few last night with dinner I had two of the leftover biscuits this morning with more butter).  As for the honey butter itself, I would serve it with biscuits (duh) or with cornbread.  It was pretty yummy.

Recipes after the jump!

Grandmother Walter's Biscuits
My New Orleans: The Cookbook
By John Besh
Available on Epicurious

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, preferably European style, diced
1 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles cornmeal. Add the milk, stirring until the dough just comes together to form a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Gently pat the dough down with your hands and fold it over on itself. Pat the dough down and fold it over once or twice more. Loosely cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for a half hour or so.

Being careful not to overwork the dough, roll it out until it is 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Cut dough into biscuits using whatever cutter you like. Grandmother used an inverted juice glass, which was really an old preserves jar. For more biscuits, use a smaller glass.

Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until uniformly golden brown, 10–14 minutes.

Homemade Honey Butter

4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp honey
healthy pinch cinnamon
pinch kosher salt

Stir together butter, honey, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.  Season to taste with additional honey, cinnamon and/or salt.  Spoon butter onto a piece of sarran wrap.  Roll butter into a log and wrap tightly.  Stick it in the freezer for about 20-30 minutes (or refrigerate for 1-2 hours).

Remove from freezer or refrigerator 30 minutes before serving and allow to come back up to room temperature.


  1. Hi,

    The perfect biscuit recipe? Have I got a recipe for you!!! This is for Cream Biscuits that James Beard taught in one of his classes. He maintains that NO ONE can fail with this. They truly are amazing!

    James Beards Cream Biscuits

    •2 cups all-purpose flour
    •1 tablespoon baking powder
    •2 teaspoons sugar
    •1 teaspoon salt
    •1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    •1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Slowly add 1 cup of the cream, stirring with a rubber spatula, to form a smooth dough. Add up to 1/2 cup additional cream if mixture is too dry, being careful not to overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough.

    Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a square, about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 12 squares and dip into the melted butter to coat on all sides. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

    Yield: 12 biscuits

  2. Thanks for the recipe Debra! I can't wait to try them! I love biscuits.