A New Stove and Mastering Southern Biscuits

Thanksgiving seems to be the time of bad things happening around our house. Last year, one day before Thanksgiving, we discovered a major leak underneath the kitchen sink. Since the plumber could not come until Friday, we ended up using the downstairs sink to do the dishes. 

This year, one week before Thanksgiving, our stove went out. A few weeks prior to that, we had a problem with it taking a long time to preheat and had the igniter element replaced. It worked for another two weeks before failing completely. So, we purchased a new one. This one is much fancier (we were told by the delivery guy that the old one was a very simple standard one). This one has a convection option which I have never used before. We love it so far!

I've been wanting to learn how to make biscuits for a long time so I've been experimenting with recipes. I turned to Alton Brown's books (I have all 3 of his books based on his show "Good Eats") and first tried his faux buttermilk biscuit recipe since I didn't have buttermilk on hand (in that recipe you use milk and lemon juice). The biscuits turned out great and Michael, who loves biscuits and breakfast much more than I do, was singing my praises.

This morning, I had buttermilk, so I tried Alton's Southern Biscuit recipe which is pretty much the same as the faux one with a few minor changes. They turned out nicely too and were as good, if not better, than the first ones. I still need to work on getting them sized uniformly. Now, I want to find a good dinner roll recipe.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Those look delicious! How wonderful to have a brand new stove. I would love to have a new stove/oven. I'm surprised given how much you guys like to cook that you are not already masters of southern biscuits. I think of them as a staple of southern cooking. I used to watch Good Eats, I love Alton! A friend recommended a trick for biscuit-making, which was to freeze the butter and grate it into the flour, rather than cut it in with a pastry cutter or knives. An awful lot of work, and a bit messy. It did make very fluffy biscuits, though.

    1. Actually, Michael is good at making them but it is hard to juggle everything else going on when we are making a big breakfast (which only happens once or twice per week). This way I can help out. I've not heard that tip before but I will have to try that. This recipe calls for you to incorporate the butter and shortening into the flour mixture with your fingers.

  2. Same thing happened to my stove. Igniter went out. I liked stoves better when they didn't use electricity because when the power went out you could still use the oven. World would be a better place if we all ate fresh biscuits slathered in melting butter.

  3. Oh, for sizing use a can open at both ends, frozen orange juice concentrate, standard 15 or 16 oz, tuna can, whatever size you like


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