Thursday, January 30, 2014

Angel Biscuits: The Magical Food of Home and Childhood

That Magical Food of Home and Childhood

There is something whimsical about Angel Biscuits.  The recipe came to us through Sam's mom.  It is one of her special dishes.  One of those dishes that evokes the feelings of childhood and comfort and home.  The dish that always gets gobbled down first at any gathering.  Always light and fluffy and melts right in your mouth.  It's an old recipe and the act of rolling out the dough, brushing on the butter, sprinkling on the cinnamon and sugar and rolling them up always makes me feel so smart and domestic in a good way.  Kind of like when you go out and cut herbs from your own plants for a dish you are making.  I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as ours does.  You will find the recipe and a print friendly version at the bottom of this post.  

I usually mix up the dough the night before and store it in the refrigerator.  Just a little note, a kitchen aid will not hold a double of this recipe.  Dough will fly, your husband will have to come in and save the day.  I can not divulge how I came to know this information.  

The next morning, I get up early and take it out, so it can come to room temperature.  You will never have a shortage of helpers with this recipe.  My kids love rolling out the dough and using the dental floss to cut it just right.

You can also make biscuits.  We were feeling extra fancy, so we had a two course breakfast.  Biscuits and gravy followed by cinnamon rolls.   FYI, If you are about to jump in your car and drive 6 hours on very curvy mountain roads, this is not a great thing to have in your stomach.  Just sayin'.  Lena cooked some of the dough with cinnamon and butter inside in the cake pop maker she and Haden got for Christmas and it worked great.  Fun! 

Angel Biscuits

5 cups flour (whole wheat or white both work great)
1/4 cup sugar (sometimes I use less, I sort of consider this optional)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shorting (I use butter and coconut oil sometimes and they work great)
1 package yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
2 cups buttermilk (room temperature) (don't have buttermilk, use milk with a splash of vinegar)

Cinnamon Roll option:
cinnamon and sugar
nuts of your choice, personally I love pecans

Preheat oven to 400F.  Mix together warm water and yeast, set aside.  Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt).  Cut in the shortening.  Mix in the wet ingredients (yeasty water and buttermilk).   The dough will be very sticky.  Let stand for about ten minutes and roll out thinly (1/4 inch) for cinnamon rolls or thickly (1/2 inch) for biscuits being very generous with flour dusting.  Did I mention it was sticky.  If making rolls, roll into a rectangle, slather with butter, then cinnamon and sugar, then nuts if you would like.  Roll up and cut into 1 inch rolls. Hint* We use dental floss to cut them perfectly every time.  If I am making biscuits, I roll them out and grab a glass the size I want the biscuits and cut away.  Kids love this job!  If I'm feeling extra adventurous I brush butter on top.  Both cinnamon rolls and biscuits should bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.  

Extra bonus:  My MIL, who gave me this recipe, has been known to show up places with rolls filled with ham and cheese or sausage instead of cinnamon.   

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