I have a confession to make. Well, perhaps not a confession but more of an admission of a ‘blind spot’. Before I get too deep, please allow me to explain. I honestly feel that those of us in the fire service should consider ourselves professional athletes and thus should treat our bodies as such. But some of you might question, "Professional athletes, really?" I'll give you the definition and then let you be the judge:
Athlete: a person trained to compete in sports or exercises (i.e.- firefighting) involving physical strength, speed, or endurance.
I couldn’t have summed up our actions on the fire ground more succinctly. Some would argue that we don’t get paid enough money to qualify as professional (ok, maybe that was just me), but you see it’s a worthy comparison. So, with my case being laid out, I try to eat appropriately to keep my body always in the “go” mode so I can perform at my peak when it matters most. My diet reflects that.
All that being said, I have times when I say,” ____ it, I’m eating what I want, when I want it”. What I’m showing y’all here falls into the before mentioned ‘blind spot’ realm. Deep within this realm I find that I’m a sucker for homemade biscuits. As everyone who has had homemade biscuits knows, they’re the epitome of good Southern food, but often requiring kneading, folding, measuring, etc. Too much time for a rushed morning at the firehouse to pay it homage and give it its due respect, so I give you the abbreviated version, the drop biscuit.
This is a quicker alternative to the traditional rolled biscuits, with the same tenderness and buttery flavor. We’re still getting from point A to point B folks; it’s just a straight line, no curvy road for us. The addition of buttermilk ads acidic tang, ramping up the salt (not Kosher but regular table salt please) adds flavor and the cayenne pepper, the needed subtle smokiness. Remove the cayenne pepper if using in a sweet recipe. This recipe was adapted from America's Test Kitchen. Indulge!
A/P Flour (2 Cups)
Buttermilk (1 Cup whole)
Unsalted Butter (8 Tbs. plus 2 Tbs., melted but slightly cooled)
Baking Powder (2 tsp.)
Baking Soda (½ tsp.)
Sugar (1 tsp.)
Salt (1½ tsp.)
Cayenne Pepper (½ tsp.)
Spoons (2 large ones)
Parchment Paper or SiltPat
Pre-heat oven to 475°F with the rack set to the middle position. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cayenne pepper and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and melted butter until small clumps of butter are formed. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or the SiltPat.
Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir with the spatula until the dough just begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It will not be fully incorporated. Too sticky, add more buttermilk. Too wet, add more flour. Spray the spoons with cooking oil and in the style of making quenelles, form an approximately ¼ cup portion and drop it onto the prepared baking sheet. Space the biscuits 1½ apart. It should be enough for 12 biscuits. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Remove and top with the reserved melted butter. Let them cool for a few minutes then serve.