Big Bad Breakfast Biscuits
A friend has vowed to make nothing this Easter and just enjoy the day with her family. She’s smartly ordered bacon, jalapeño cheese grits, sausage gravy, a bowl of fruit, fresh orange juice, and she’s still hunting down a bunny cake.
She ordered biscuits as well, but she’s an Ole Miss girl and loves the biscuits they serve at Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford. They’re the perfect texture – light, soft inside, crispy on top – and taste just enough of buttermilk. John Currence, the chef and owner of BBB, is a five-times nominated winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef South; these are his take on his grandmother’s biscuits. The real thing.
My friend and I started talking about those biscuits, and we realized we didn’t know where to find anything like them in Houston. But then we remembered John Currence is generous, and he shared BBB’s famous biscuit recipe in his cookbook Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day. We gave it a shot. These are easy – took maybe 30 minutes, all told – smell divine, and taste even more divine.
I think my friend might make just one thing this Easter. The biscuits will be worth it.
Big Bad Breakfast Biscuits
Be sure to handle the dough lightly, leaving pea-sized pieces of butter scattered throughout.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen
3 tablespoons lard, frozen (I used Crisco)
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons mashed unsalted butter, for brushing
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt, and pepper and pulse several times to combine. Add the frozen butter and lard and pulse several times again, just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Turn out the flour mixture into a stainless steel bowl, add the buttermilk, and stir with a dinner fork until combined. (It will be crumbly, but still very wet in places.) Dust your hands generously with flour, gather the dough while it’s still in the bowl, and work it with your hands until it barely holds together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead, folding and turning the dough, until it becomes slightly smooth and homogenous, about 4 or 5 turns of the dough. Roll out the dough until it’s ¾ inch thick. Cut the biscuits with a 3-inch biscuit cutter (or whatever size you like). Gather the scraps, knead gently just until the dough comes back together, reroll, and cut. Discard the scraps. Place on the prepared baking sheet and brush with the melted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Serve warm.
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