Just in time for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, Food Network Star winner Damaris Phillips, a lifelong southerner with a knack for baking and the host of Southern at Heart, is demystifying biscuit making so that you can skip the store-bought tubes of dough and make your own buttery beauties at home. This Kentucky native is known for enjoying her biscuits with gravy for breakfast, and just last month she took the stage with fellow Food Network Star alum Justin Warner at the New York City Wine & Food Festival to fuse her classic recipe with another morning favorite: bagels and lox. She walked fans through the step-by-step of creating this hybrid breakfast while chatting about basic biscuit-and-gravy how-tos, like simple tricks for cutting biscuits and the importance of cooking the flour in the gravy roux. Read on below to get Damaris’ top-six tips, then try her recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Pork Loin, Apple Mustard Butter and Salad.
1. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy biscuit cutter at home; a round glass will do the trick.
2. There are two kinds of biscuits: flaky and cakey. Damaris prefers the cakey variety, as they’re better suited for sopping up gravy, so consider this if you plan on serving your biscuits with gravy as well.
3. When making the roux for the gravy — the mixture of fat (here, butter) and flour — it’s important to let the flour cook for a bit so it loses its raw flavor. The more you cook it, the darker the roux will be.
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How many times have you clicked on the television to see a family grinning over store-bought biscuits coming fresh out of the oven? You can’t blame them; the biscuits are so hot you can pull them apart. The easy method is all well and good, but whipping up a batch from scratch is the most comforting route of all. For once, stray from your classic Southern Biscuits and tear into one of these many variations.
Consider Paula Deen the biscuit master. Her recipes for Cheese Biscuits, Sour Cream Butter Biscuits and Fried Biscuits go along with any hearty meal, and her Pineapple Upside-Down Biscuits and Sweet Potato Biscuits are made complete with a sweet edge.
Branch out with Food Network Magazine’s own biscuit concoctions. Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits (pictured above) and Bacon-Cheese Biscuits work wonders along a heaping bowl of chili, while Lemon-Thyme Biscuits and Dill Biscuits With Honey Butter embody the rejuvenating spirit of afternoon tea. The sweetness in Molasses Biscuits jives well with whole-wheat flour, wheat germ and fresh thyme. We bet you’ve never had Pumpkin-Parmesan Biscuits; they’re sweetened with sugar, spiced with nutmeg and spiked with finely grated cheese.
Get more biscuit recipes from friends and family:
The majority of restaurant chains keep their most-popular recipes under lock and key. The same goes for Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits. But that didn’t stop Food Network Kitchens from creating a perfect replica. If you’re craving these flaky, cheesy biscuits, try this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Food Network Magazine‘s Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits.
For more recipes to get your meal started, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Appetizers board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits
Biscuits hold a special, fluffy, buttery place in Alton Brown’s heart. His grandmother made the best biscuits every day for more than 50 years, and re-creating those legendary biscuits took him 10 years of science projects, oven temperature readings and failed attempts.
So it’s only fitting that he kicked off this weekend’s International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, Tenn., with a talk on all things biscuit, including how he finally cracked the recipe and what you should and shouldn’t (read: yogurt) mix into your biscuit dough.
“Biscuits aren’t food, they’re currency for the soul,” Alton says. That’s because they’re all about tradition. After trying literally everything — including mimicking the barometric pressure and humidity of his grandmother’s mountain home in his Atlanta-area residence — to re-create the family biscuits, Alton finally learned that a difference in technique was ruining batch after batch. His grandmother kneaded with her fingers straight, while he kneaded with bent hands. For this reason, he says, “You can only learn biscuits from a direct transfer of one to another.” (Watch Alton make biscuits with his grandmother.)
No biscuit-savvy grandmother in the family? Continue reading for some of Alton’s tips to baking better biscuits.
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Thanksgiving is inching ever closer, and if you haven’t already, you’re probably starting to give some serious thought about what to lay out on that table of yours. That’s why every day this week, we here at Food Network are featuring different Thanksgiving Side Dishes to help you celebrate this harvest festival in style.
Whether your Thanksgiving is going to be an intimate affair or a more boisterous gathering, it can be tricky to find dishes to suit the myriad tastes of friends and family. Trying to balance all of the likes and dislikes of your family and friends in one meal can send even the most accomplished of chefs into panic mode.
These airy Southern Biscuits from Alton Brown are sure to please even the pickiest eater, and are a perfect alternative to stuffing, dressing, and mashed potatoes. Light and golden, warm and tangy, these buttermilk biscuits pair perfectly with almost anything (and sop up all of that gravy like nothing else). Aside from being irresistibly delicious, this recipe is easy to double for crowds and virtually foolproof. To streamline your day-of preparations, make and freeze them a few days in advance; pop them in the oven for fluffy, homemade biscuits just in time for dinner.
For hundreds more ideas, recipes and menus for your feast, check out FoodNetwork.com/Thanksgiving.