Angel biscuits are eaten at special Kentucky meals such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and Derby.
2 pkg. active dry yeast (don’t use quick-rise yeast)
1/2 tsp. sugar
8 Tbsp. warm water
5 cups all-purpose flour (I use White Lily)
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. baking powder
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup Crisco (solid) or other vegetable shortening or lard, well-chilled
2 cups cold buttermilk
Yield: 60 small cocktail size biscuits or about 2-dozen large.
NOTE: Angel biscuits can be made and baked immediately, but I like to make the them 12-24 hours in advance, so that the biscuits have time to rest and ferment a bit before baking — it adds a special quality to the flavor.
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water, and let it rest until mixture begins to foam.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift flour with remaining dry ingredients. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; add buttermilk and yeast mixture to the flour and stir with a large spoon until a soft fluffy dough just comes together.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead/fold a couple of times. Pat out dough to flatten.
- Using a rolling pin, roll dough out until it is at least 1/2-inch inch thickness.
- Using a biscuit cutter (small for cocktail sandwiches, or larger to accompany a meal), cut dough into individual biscuits and place on a greased cookie sheet.
- Brush lightly with melted butter, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- About an hour before baking: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove biscuits from the refrigerator and allow to proof at room temperature in a warm kitchen — the biscuits should start to rise and be soft/pillowy to the touch.
- Place biscuits on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
- When done, the biscuits will be 1 1/2 to 2 inches in height.
- Brush lightly with melted butter.
- They are perfect for brunch or filled with sliced Kentucky country ham with cocktails.