I spent 6 lovely years living in Nashville, and sometimes I miss it so much it hurts! I love all things Southern: literature, steeplechase, traditions, and of course: the food. Mostly the biscuits. The Loveless Cafe is on the western edge of Nashville, and it’s the home of my very favorite biscuits in the world. Since I’m living back in my home state of Missouri, I had to try to figure out the secret recipe. I think I’ve come pretty darn close with this from a copycat recipe I found on Pinterest.
Loveless Cafe Style Biscuits
Yield: About one half-sheet pan of biscuits. Quantity depends on the size of your cutter. You can halve this recipe if you want. It makes a ton!
1 (¼-ounce) packet active dry yeast
2 tablespoons lukewarm water (105º to 115ºf )
5 cups Southern soft-wheat self-rising flour*
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
1/2 cup buttermilk powder (you can find this on Amazon)
2 cups water
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted
* If you can find Martha White, get that. If not, I just use regular self-rising flour and it’s fine.
Get all of your ingredients together. Get some hot water from your tap. Make sure it’s not TOO hot.
Dissolve the yeast in the water in a 4 cup measuring cup or similar sized bowl. After a few minutes it should be foamy. If it’s not, your yeast isn’t any good and you need to get some fresh yeast. Stir together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the Crisco. Using a pastry cutter or just your fingers, crumble up the shortening until it’s in small pea sized chunks and coated with the dry ingredients.
Stir the buttermilk powder and water into the dissolved yeast. Stir into the flour mixture using a fork, just until moistened.
Grease a baking sheet with a little butter. Knead the dough lightly, about six turns. Do not overwork! It will make the biscuits tough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a ½-inch thickness. Stamp out biscuits with a 1 1/2-inch cutter. (Don’t twist the cutter or the biscuits will rise taller on one side.) Gather, roll, and cut the scraps. Arrange the biscuits with sides touching on the prepared baking sheet - pack them in tightly. Cover with a damp lint-free towel. Let the biscuits rise in a warm place until they have doubled in bulk, at least 2 hours. You can refrigerate them at this point.
Preheat the oven to 425ºf. Bake until the biscuits are lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Brush the tops with the melted butter and serve hot.
Serve with additional butter, honey or jam.
:: Beth ::
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