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Rose's Alpha Bakers

Touch of Grace Biscuits - The Bread Bible

Patricia Reitz

Touch of Grace Biscuits - ButterYum

Touch of Grace Biscuits - ButterYum

Some of the Alpha Bakers have begun baking through The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  This month's selection is Touch of Grace Biscuits, a shortening based biscuit that can be made with either buttermilk or heavy cream.   

Although the recipe is shared by Rose in The Bread Bible, it was developed by Shirley O. Corriher and can be found in her book CookWise (for the record, CookWise also contains my family's all-time favorite "thin chocolate chip cookie" recipe).  If Shirley's name sounds familiar to you, you might recognize her from her many appearances on Alton Brown's tv show Good Eats.

Okay, let's make some biscuits.

For this recipe, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

For this recipe, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Add chilled shortening.  

Add chilled shortening.  

The directions say you should use your fingers to rub the shortening into the flour mixture until the shortening is the size of small peas.  In order to protect my camera, I opted to use a pastry cutter to do the job instead of my fingers. 

The directions say you should use your fingers to rub the shortening into the flour mixture until the shortening is the size of small peas.  In order to protect my camera, I opted to use a pastry cutter to do the job instead of my fingers. 

Time to add the buttermilk or cream, whichever you decide to use.  I was out of buttermilk, but I had exactly the right amount of cream.  I guess these were meant to be.

Time to add the buttermilk or cream, whichever you decide to use.  I was out of buttermilk, but I had exactly the right amount of cream.  I guess these were meant to be.

Stir the buttermilk or cream into the flour, just until all the flour is absorbed.

Stir the buttermilk or cream into the flour, just until all the flour is absorbed.

This is what the mixture will look like.  The dough is very wet so you need to let it rest for a few minutes to firm up a bit.

This is what the mixture will look like.  The dough is very wet so you need to let it rest for a few minutes to firm up a bit.

Now it's time to portion the dough.  I used a large #10 scoop, which made a total of 7 biscuits.

Now it's time to portion the dough.  I used a large #10 scoop, which made a total of 7 biscuits.

Plop each portion of biscuit dough in some flour to coat, then use your hands to shape them into a flat round.

Plop each portion of biscuit dough in some flour to coat, then use your hands to shape them into a flat round.

Place the biscuits in a 8-inch round cake pan.  Then bake in a preheated oven according to the directions. I didn't realize until afterward that I baked my biscuits in a 9-inch pan.  Oops.  My biscuits would have been a little taller had I used the right pan.

Place the biscuits in a 8-inch round cake pan.  Then bake in a preheated oven according to the directions.

I didn't realize until afterward that I baked my biscuits in a 9-inch pan.  Oops.  My biscuits would have been a little taller had I used the right pan.

Bake for the time indicated, or until the internal temperature reaches 160F.   I used this digital instant read thermometer to check the temperature.  Brush with melted butter and serve. 

Bake for the time indicated, or until the internal temperature reaches 160F.   I used this digital instant read thermometer to check the temperature.  Brush with melted butter and serve. 

These biscuits are extremely tender and they easily break apart if you handle them while they're still hot so let them cool for a few minutes before you take them out of the pan.

These biscuits are extremely tender and they easily break apart if you handle them while they're still hot so let them cool for a few minutes before you take them out of the pan.

My final thoughts on these biscuits:  They're pretty good - better tasting than I expected from a biscuit made with shortening, but they're a little on the sweet side.  Again, I made mine with heavy cream, which is sweet in and of itself.  They probably wouldn't have tasted quite as sweet to me if I had made them using buttermilk, which has a tangy quality.  

I think the cream version of these biscuits would be a great for strawberry shortcake.  Alternatively, the buttermilk version of these biscuits would be well suited for more savory applications.

Reminder:  The recipes baked by the Alpha Bakers are not shared on our blogs, but I've published a few other biscuit recipes.  Click on the links to below to see more. 

links for more Alpha Baker Photo Tutorials