CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's been a few weeks since I wrote about the inaugural West Virginia Biscuit Bake-off in Marlinton, but readers still have biscuits on the brain.
"Read your article on the best biscuits and would love to have the recipe of the winning biscuit, down to what they top it with before baking and what kind of pan they use — all of this makes a big difference," writes Karen Eggleton. "I have been baking biscuits for years and would love to tweak my recipe if needed."
Although judges weren't privy to exact proportions, I did find out that winner Natasha Carr used a combination of Hudson Cream self-rising flour, butter and milk. Because her recipe is so simple, we suspect her secret is the ratio she uses to get the perfect consistency of dough, then her technique for kneading it.
Other readers piped in with their own favorites.
When the Daily Mail tweeted "Who has the best WV biscuits? @DMFoodGuy wants to know," reader David Francke replied, "Is this a serious question? @TudorsBiscuits."
Still others confided that they're too intimidated to try making their own biscuits so they'll just stick to ordering them at a restaurant or picking up a ready-made package at the store.
For those biscuit-fearing bakers, I offer this solution to help ease you into the idea of making your own. Drop biscuits. (So named because the dough is soft enough to drop from a spoon onto the baking sheet.)
Not convinced? Here are my top five reasons to love these babies:
1. They're easy to mix up. No kneading, rolling or cutting. Simply cut shortening into self-rising flour, add milk, drop on the pan and bake.
2. You don't have to worry about them looking perfectly round or browned when you're done. They're supposed to be unstructured blobs!
3. You save time and trouble, but don't have to skimp on taste.
4. Their unique shape gives them a nice crisp crust, but they maintain a classic soft texture inside.
5. And with a few additional ingredients, they're super simple to customize. Add fresh blueberries or maybe a little cinnamon and sugar for a sweeter treat. Want something savory? Add crisp bacon and cheddar cheese or crumbled blue cheese and garlic.
Start with this week's basic recipe courtesy of The J.M. Smucker Co. and then try giving it a sweet or savory spin.
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What are biscuits without gravy? Sad, I say.
Yet homemade gravy is another feat many folks are afraid to try at home. Can't say I blame them. The whole process of going from grease to flour to paste to creamy, silky heaven in a matter of minutes does seem a little intimidating.
Not to my neighbor Leah Bostic, though.