I know everyone around here has their grandmother’s biscuit recipe, and to be sure, there are some fabulous biscuits to be had in these parts. But honestly, I don’t think any biscuit I’ve ever eaten is as good as this recipe from James Beard. And now that we have J. D. Schrock’s cream to make them with, they are truly the best ever. (I did win a blue ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair with these, BTW.) I’ve been making these for 30 years. They are the “special occasion” item in our house — I have to make them for Christmas breakfast and my husband’s birthday. After you try them, I have no doubt you’ll add them to your special occasions too. I don’t use biscuit cutters on these, but just cut them into squares with my chef knife. Feel free to cut them as you desire, but try not to overwork the dough to keep them as tender as can be.
By / Photography By E. S. Bruhmann | April 01, 2016

Preparation

• Preheat oven to 425°. Use an ungreased baking sheet. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar to blend and lighten. Put into a medium-to-large bowl. Slowly add 1 cup of the cream, stirring constantly. If there is still dry flour in the bowl, add remaining cream 1 tablespoon at a time. (Depending on the humidity level, I’ve made these with anywhere from 1 cup of cream to as much as 2 cups.) Gather the dough together; when it holds together and feels tender, it is ready to knead. If it still seems shaggy and bits are dry and falling away, add more cream.

• Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute, until smooth. Pat the dough into a square about ¾ inch thick. Cut with a sharp knife (dip into flour between cuts. Don’t “saw” the dough, as that keeps the biscuits from a good rise in the oven.

• Cut into 16 squares and dip each into the melted butter to coat the top and sides. Place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake about 15–20 minutes, until they are nicely browned. Serve hot with your favorite spreads.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I use Weisenberger’s. Sometimes I’ll sub in ½ cup of their whole wheat.)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 to 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup melted butter

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