Food scientist and baker Shirley Corriher talks about White Lily flour, low protein flour and Southern baking. The White Lily flour plant in Knoxville, Tennessee recently closed and has been relocated to the Midwest.
Shirley Corriher's 'Touch of Grace Biscuits'
A low protein Southern flour like White Lily is best, but any self-rising flour will work. (The recipe also calls for a cup of plain flower for shaping the biscuits.) Serve the biscuits with butter or, if there's time, make Cherry-Chambord Butter.
2 cups self-rising flour, preferably White Lily
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tablespoons shortening
2/3 cup cream
1 cup buttermilk, or more
1 cup plain flour, for shaping
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and arrange a shelf slightly below the center of the oven. Spray an 8-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Work the shortening in with your fingers or a pastry blender until there are no large lumps.
- Gently stir in the cream. Stir in the buttermilk until the dough resembles cottage cheese. It should be a wet mess. If you are not using a low-protein Southern flour, this may require considerably more than a cup.
- Spread the plain flour (not self-rising) out on a plate or pie pan. With a medium(about 2-inches) ice cream scoop or spoon place 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, gently shape it into a round, shaking off the excess flour as you work. Place the biscuit in the prepared pan. Coat each dough ball in the same manner, and place the shaped biscuit "smuched" up against its neighbor. Continue scooping and shaping until the dough is used.
- Bake biscuits until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Invert biscuits out 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."