How are y'all doing on this National Southern Food Day?!! That's right, today we celebrate the foods that make the South great, but that's not all because it's also Friday, which around here means that it's time to celebrate a great foodie, so I thought that for this Famous Fridays, it would be particularly apt to combine the two and highlight one of the most amazing southern cooks of today, Dora Charles, and her wonderful cookbook, A Real Southern Cook: In Her Savannah Kitchen. Now to my mind you can't get more southern than homemade biscuits but I've never had the greatest success with them, so when Dora claimed these were foolproof, I jumped at the chance. And you know what, she was right! These are flaky, light, easy and short of burning them, virtually impossible to mess up. Definitely my go-to biscuit recipe from now on!
All of the food in Dora's cookbook looks flat-out fantastic and I can't wait to try more of her recipes but it's not just the dishes she writes about that make the book (and Dora) so appealing--it's also the stories she tells. This is ultimately a book about family and in it Dora recounts the painful loss of mother at a young age, the struggles her family was forced to face, the perseverance and tough love of the grandmother who first taught her how to cook as well as the many other cooking experiences (including a 20 year stint with Paula Dean) that have shaped Dora into the renowned Southern cook she is today. If reading cookbooks is your thing, you will love this book as equally for its anecdotes as for her recipes for fried chicken, shrimp and rice, overnight grits, sweet potato pie and other true southern classics. Dora's clear, concise and down to earth approach will make you feel like a good friend is teaching you how to make her favorite family foods. She's a true southern treasure herself!!
Incredibly, these biscuits have only 3 ingredients--self-rising flour, mayonnaise and milk.
And all you do is mix them together until a dough forms--
There's no chilling, rolling out or cutting necessary--Just scoop, bake and walk away--
Until about 20 minutes later when they emerge all steamy and golden brown.
Ready for a pat of butter
Or a little jam. Or both!
Light, delicate, tender, flaky--so easy to do, you could almost manage them on a busy weekday morning, but how wonderful would it be to laze around in pj's on a weekend enjoying a biscuit or two with a cup of coffee or tea?!! They say we're going to get our first real snow here in the Northeast this weekend, and a plateful of these very Southern biscuits will go a long way to bringing some of that southern warmth into your home. So have a good weekend everyone, take a look at A Real Southern Cook if you get the chance and let's hope there's not too much shoveling to do (although it does burn a lot of calories which offsets a biscuit or two, so maybe a little snow isn't too bad after all!) See you next week with some more great January food!
A Real Southern Cook's Mayonnaise Biscuits-Famous Fridays
Makes 12 biscuits
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time: 15-20 minutes
- 3 cups self-rising flour (if you don't have self-rising in the house, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for every cup of flour and whisk them into the flour really well before mixing the flour with the mayonnaise).
- 1 cup mayonnaise (don't use light or fat-free--I used Hellman's)
- 3/4 cup whole milk, more if dough is not loose enough
- Butter, jam, honey for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Place the flour and mayonnaise into a large bowl and slowly pour in the milk, stirring with a wooden spoon. Mix until the dough is loose enough to be dropped from an ice cream scooper. If you need to, add a bit more milk until the dough is the right consistency. Flour your hands and knead the dough right in the bowl, turning it less than 10 times, until it's the right consistency.
3. Flour an ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, fill it with dough and drop the dough onto the baking sheet, one ball right up against the other. Re-flour the scoop as needed.
4. Bake the biscuits for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve while still hot with butter, jam, honey or anything you like.
5. Biscuits are best on the same day they're made but can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days and reheated or toasted.
Note: Recipe adapted from A Real Southern Cook by Dora Charles.