ANGEL FOOD : Homemade Biscuits With a Southern Accent

Betsy Balsley is food editor of The Times.

One of the joys of growing up in a home where the cook had a light hand with pastry was the fluffy, golden-tinged biscuits--known throughout most of the South as Angel Biscuits--that would regularly grace the breakfast, lunch or dinner table. Served fresh from the oven, they begged one to slather on butter and spoon on honey or a favorite jam. But why settle for just the memory of those tantalizing whiffs of Angel Biscuits? This is a good time to treat the family to a delicious old-fashioned recipe. Don't be too surprised, however, to find that you've created not only a demand for more but also some delicious culinary memories for a new generation. The recipe for Angel Biscuits is on Page 40. ANGEL BISCUITS 5 cups flour (approximately) cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon soda 1 package dry yeast 2 cups buttermilk cup water 3/4 cup shortening

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, soda and undissolved yeast in large bowl of electric mixer. Combine buttermilk, water and shortening in saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are very warm, about 120 to 130 degrees (shortening does not need to melt). Gradually add liquid to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 3/4 cup flour or enough to make thick batter. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead about 20 to 25 times to form ball.

On floured board, roll dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Using 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut dough into circles and place on ungreased baking sheets. Cover and let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour. Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Serve hot. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.




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