Loving the Lard, An Ode in Four Parts: Biscuits

lard_1

I’m pretty sure I’ve discussed my biscuit issues previously.  For years, I struggled with them, never finding a recipe I was happy with.  The cut biscuits were always too thin, or too hard.  The drop biscuits were powdery and lacked the lovely ability to separate and cradle all manner of tasty goodness: gravy, butter, jam, etc.  A year or so ago, I finally found a recipe and method I was happy with.  No rolling required, and the only cuts made are with a knife.  The biscuits are treated somewhat like scones, and so use each other to rise and gain height.  They split well, taste great, and have served me well.

Enter lard.  We’re fortunate enough to have access to an amazing pork farm that sell all-natural lard.  No preservatives, no additives, no extra ingredients.  It’s not shelf-stable, but right now, we don’t need it to be.  It is, however, a little hard to come by.  They don’t always have it, and when they do, it goes quickly.  My dad happened to pick up a fresh container a week or so, ago, and we’ve been scheming on uses ever since.  He’s cooked with a few times — scrambling eggs, frying potatoes — and the results have been amazing.  Perfect fry, no grease, and no “piggy” flavor.  The eggs are fluffy, the potatoes crisp… delightful.

My interests, however, lean towards baked goods.  I refuse to use shortening EVER, and this locks me out of some of the “easy” baking recipes that have come about in the last fifty or so years.  I’m generally fine with this, and have grown to love my all-butter pie crusts without feeling like I’m missing anything.  But, I’m no stranger to the tales of how wonderful lard is for baking.  The stuff at the grocery store leaves a lot to be desired, and I’ve never messed with it.  As soon as I got my hot little hands on this tub of lard, though?  Visions, people.  Visions.

The biscuit recipe follows, and I’ll be tackling scones, tortillas, and PIE CRUSTS as well.  Check back for more in the coming weeks!

 

Lovely Lard Biscuits

Ingredients

2 cups AP flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tbl. sugar

1/2 c. lard, cold

3/4 c. buttermilk (NOTE: I rarely have buttermilk.  I pour 3/4 c. milk into a measuring cup before I get started and add about 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar.  After resting for about ten minutes, I give it a quick stir and use it instead.)

 

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400°.

2) In a wide mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Spoon in lard and, using a hand blender, cut ingredients until it resembles small peas.  (What will it look like?  Click here.)

3) Drizzle buttermilk over flour and lard mixture, stirring with a spatula until just combined.

4) Knead dough for 2-3 minutes, in the bowl, with your hands.  The dough feels so good, you’ll want to keep going, but do not overwork it!

5) Dump dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Pat into a rough rectangle, about 8×6 inches in size.  Using a sharp knife, cut into 8-10 rectangles depending on your final biscuit size preference.  Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes, until golden.

6) Brush biscuits with salted butter, if desired.  Allow to cool briefly, but serve warm.

 

 

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Deb Johnson on July 1, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I am so excited about baking this week with lard…I will let you know how it works for me:)

    Reply

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