Few can resist the fragrance of these light, pillowy biscuits that are indeed heavenly! Not quite a true biscuit and not quite a dinner roll, these biscuits are leavened with both yeast and baking powder. The origin of Angel Biscuits goes back to the South and there are many recipe versions. This recipe was passed down to me by my grandmother who was 'all things Southern' and a true belle when it came to a proper Sunday supper after church. A Sunday supper was not complete without a basket of warm biscuits on the table.
I like to serve Angel Biscuits instead of scones sometimes with just a dab of soft butter and a dollop of jam. However, these biscuits are also delightful split in half with a bit of ham and mustard for a savory afternoon tea.
1 package (.25 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°)
2 cups buttermilk
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup shortening
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes. Add buttermilk to yeast mixture and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in yeast mixture until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead 4 or 5 times.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut out biscuits with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Place biscuits on lightly greased (or parchment lined) baking sheets with sides barely touching each other. Brush generously with melted butter. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts for 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size. Preheat oven to 425°.
REDUCE HEAT to 400°. Place baking sheet on oven rack positioned in the lower third of the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Brush tops again with melted butter and serve warm.
YIELD: 18 biscuits