Shirley Corriher's "Touch-of-Grace" Southern Biscuits
From BakeWise by Shirley O. Corriher
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups spooned and leveled self-rising flour (low-protein Southern U.S. flour like White Lily or any self-rising flour)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk, or enough for dough to resemble cottage cheese (if you are not using low-protein flour, it will take more than 1 cup)
1 cup plain all-purpose flour, for shaping
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange a shelf slightly below the center of the oven. Spray an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the self-rising flour, sugar, and salt. Work the shortening in with your fingers until there are no large lumps. Gently stir in the cream, then some of the buttermilk. Continue stirring in buttermilk until the dough resembles cottage cheese. It should be a wet mess—not soup, but cottage-cheese texture. If you are not using a low-protein flour, this may require considerably more than 1 cup of buttermilk.
3. Spread the plain (not self-rising) flour out on a plate or pie pan. With a medium (about 2-inch) ice cream scoop or spoon, place 3 or 4 scoops of dough well apart in the flour. Sprinkle flour over each. Flour your hands. Turn a dough ball in the flour to coat, pick it up, and gently shape it into a round, shaking off the excess flour as you work. Place this biscuit in the prepared pan. Coat each dough ball in the same way and place each shaped biscuit scrunched up against its neighbor so that the biscuits rise up and don’t spread out. Continue scooping and shaping until all of the dough is used.
4. Place the pan on the arranged shelf in the oven. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Brush with the melted butter. Invert onto one plate, then back onto another. With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between biscuits to make them easy to remove. Serve immediately. Butter ’em while they’re hot.
Makes 12 to 14 medium biscuits.