The North Carolina Biscuit is something that everyone in the state of North Carolina knows about, and if you listen to anyone who has ever visited this beautiful place they will tell you that it’s one of the best things on earth. The biscuit has been a staple in the diet of people across North Carolina for generations.
They are usually eaten with breakfast along with some type of gravy or sausage. You can also find them at lunch when they are served as a side dish to barbecue sandwiches or fried chicken. Dinner time brings us biscuits covered in meatloaf, smothered in macaroni and cheese, or topped with pulled pork shoulder…
Let’s recreate that North Carlina biscuit by giving you this simple and easy recipe. As we all know, mother’s recipes are never shared with anyone outside the family and this is no exception. However, I know how much you want to recreate that amazing North Carolina biscuit and I won’t let you down.
North Carolina Biscuits
First off, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Gather your ingredients:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup of buttermilk (if you don’t have any on hand just add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and let sit for 10 minutes)
- 6 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Egg wash: Beat one egg with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt.
Put all of these ingredients except for the butter into a large bowl. Mix with your hands until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Add in the cold butter pieces and incorporate thoroughly using your fingers, pinching the dough between your thumb and forefinger to create small pea-sized lumps of dough. The butter should be fully incorporated but you should still see small bits of it in there which will help give flakiness to your biscuit. Keep mixing until you don’t feel any more lumps.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 4 or 5 times until it comes together smoothly. Shape it into an even 1/2 inch thick round disk. Make sure there are no cracks so when you release your biscuit dough it doesn’t break apart.
Now cut out your biscuits using a 3 inch round biscuit cutter, or the top of a glass if you don’t have one on hand. Do not twist or turn the biscuit cutter while cutting your biscuits! That will only cause them to lose their flakiness. Instead use short strokes so that you can get as many cuts as possible without moving the dough around.
After cutting, transfer them directly onto an oven-safe pan with a nonstick surface, such as a cast-iron skillet. Gently push down on the center of each biscuit with your thumb until they look like they are going to double in size, but they won’t because we didn’t overwork our dough and let it get tough.
Now brush the tops of your biscuits with egg wash and place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get too brown, remember that you’re cooking at 450 degrees so it won’t take long for them to cook!
Remove from the oven and enjoy with whatever you want, or just by themselves! There’s something about these things that are just so addicting… maybe it’s because of all the butter? Although there are lots of great restaurants in North Carolina, it’s still great to create your own homemade biscuits.