carla hall’s biscuits
Food52 posted a video last week of Carla Hall coaching Kristen Miglore on how to make biscuits, and I was riveted. Not only was it a master class in baking, but Carla uses brilliant similes and metaphors. She says to pat the dough “like a cat would with his paws,” gently moving it back and forth like a ball of yarn. She says to oil and flour your work surface so it feels like “velveteen” and the flour won’t fly around. She calls the last biscuit, hand-shaped from scraps, the “granny biscuit” because “that was the one that my grandmother touched the most and that was the one I always wanted.” As Food52 puts it, genius!
These were indeed the best biscuits I’ve ever made or eaten, and I learned a ton. The key is to grate frozen butter into the dough, which is a total workout. My weak arm muscle, which swings like a hammock these days (there’s a simile!) from lack of exercise, was shaking by the end. But it is so worth the effort. I wouldn’t change anything in this recipe (except that I did use lowfat buttermilk rather than the full-fat recommended and it was fine) so go to the source to make it, bake it, and print it out.
Baking has fed and entertained so many of us during shelter-in-place and this week we can put our baking money where our mouths are by supporting #bakersagainstracism. Founded by chefs Paola Velez, Willa Lou Pelini, and Rob Rubba , this is a worldwide bakesale to support the NAACP, the Innocence Project, and Critical Resistance, to name just a few. For those in San Francisco, pick up goodies from The Civic Kitchen or search #bakersagainstracism to find other sellers near you. It’s one delicious step we can take this week to support #blacklivesmatter.