Homage to the South: Biscuits

We recently returned from a fabulous family trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina.

At the end of our lazy beach days, margaritas and shuffleboard games, we cleaned up and feasted on she-crab soup, fresh seafood, crab cakes (my favorite!) and other Southern specialties.

I grew up in North Carolina and although I never favored the Southern fast food establishment known as Bojangle’s or other traditional foods like grits — I bonded with biscuits.

When we returned to D.C. this past weekend, the south was still on my mind. I whipped up some whole wheat biscuits from Cooking Light magazine.

Since this was my first time baking biscuits, I chose a simple recipe. But when you read the list of biscuits from Cooking Light’s website, you’ll see that a plain biscuit is like a blank slate: there are so many opportunities for a variety of flavors and spices!

biscuits with blueberry jam
biscuits with blueberry jam

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup stone ground cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 T. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
7 T. chilled butter
2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 egg white
2 tsp. sesame seeds
(2 tsp. poppy seeds — I didn’t have poppy seeds…just sesame seeds worked great!)

Directions
Preheat oven to 450. Grease baking sheet.
1. In a large bowl, combine flours, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. Add cut-up butter and mix until it crumbly. Add buttermilk and stir until smooth and moist.
3. Remove dough from bowl and roll out on flat, floured surface. Roll dough to 3/4 inch thick.
4. Using the top of a water glass or biscuit/cookie cutter, cut out 12-20 biscuits.
5. Brush tops of biscuits with egg white and sprinkle with sesame and poppy seeds.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Voila! Homestyle southern cooking!

**

Post-baking thoughts: These could also double as dinner rolls since they’re slightly more dense than a fluffy buttermilk biscuit. Nonetheless, they pass in my book and I’m looking forward to trying new recipes for biscuits. Also, I didn’t have buttermilk around the house so I found a quick and easy way to mak your own: for everyone one cup of milk, add 1 T. of lemon juice!

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