Once upon a time, my friend Patty told me that the best biscuits she’d ever had in her life were at Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Louisville, Kentucky. “They were huge,” I remember her saying, “and buttery and fluffy and AMAZING.”
When Patty told me this (back in 2009), I was working on a project that required me to research all different kinds of biscuit recipes. And so, after hearing this, I reached out to Lynn’s Paradise Cafe to see if they would share their biscuit recipe. I strongly suspected that they would say “no.” Instead, a very nice woman–also named Patty–sent along the recipe and said, “I hope that you enjoy them.”
And oh did we enjoy them.
When I first made these, back in 2009, they were so huge as to be intimidating. The recipe calls for four cups of flour, almost two sticks of butter, cream AND buttermilk, not to mention a pinch of salt; and, stupidly, that first time, I was home alone “recipe testing” so these mammoth biscuits sort of went to waste. It was a very David & Goliath kind of biscuit experience; Goliath won.
Fast forward to 2012: Patty (friend Patty; also, seven-months pregnant Patty!) was here this weekend visiting with her partner, Lauren. I offered to cook them breakfast before they departed on Sunday and I realized: I could make Patty her favorite biscuits.
I dug up the recipe. I put the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisked them together:
I added the butter, cubed:
I cut it in using two knives:
I added the cream and buttermilk:
Stirred it all together with a rubber spatula and then patted it into a square baking pan coated in cooking spray:
You probably can’t tell, but I scored the dough into 16 separate biscuits (four down, four across) and then poured two tablespoons of melted butter on top.
Into the hot oven they went, and 25 minutes later they came out looking like this:
What’s amazing about this recipe is how easy it is: typical biscuit recipes require rolling and folding and cutting, this one is more “whisk, cut, pour, stir, pat, bake.” And the resulting biscuits are exactly as Patty raved back in 2009: buttery, fluffy and AMAZING.
Here’s the happy customer, serving them up:
Normally I don’t post breakfast-oriented recipes on Mondays (elaborate breakfasts are for weekends), but what’s great about this biscuit recipe is you can make it ahead, pat it into the pan, cover in plastic and bake it up for a dinner party too. I’m thinking with fried chicken and collard greens; would you say no?
Biscuit purists may scoff and say, “that’s not a biscuit, that’s cake.” I say to that biscuit purist: “Fine… I’ll eat yours!”
Thanks Patty the Friend for telling me about these biscuits; and thanks Patty from Lynn’s Paradise for sending along this terrific recipe.
Recipe: Lynn’s Paradise Biscuits
Summary: Mammoth biscuits from Lynn’s Paradise Cafe in Lousville, Kentucky.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup (10 2/3 tablespoons) lightly salted butter, firm but slightly softened [that's what Patty's e-mail says: me? I used unsalted butter that was very cold and cut into cubes because that's what I normally do for biscuits]
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk, chilled well
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray a 9 x 9-inch pan with veggie spray.
- In a large bowl, place the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the butter by hand until it resembles coarse oatmeal (I used two steak knives, slicing across the bowl; you could also use a pastry cutter). Do not over work the dough or it will form a tough biscuit.
- Pour the heavy cream and buttermilk in, in a steady stream. Using your hand (a spatula if you prefer), gently mix all of the butterrmilk and cream in just until well blended. The dough will be slightly sticky. If it is too tight you can adjust it by adding just a little more cream.
- Scoop the dough into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Use a gentle patting. Do not press the dough down. When it is evenly pressed, including into the corners, you can pre-divide the dough. Using a sharp paring knife that is slightly wet you can proceed to mark the dough. Mark the dough by cutting 4 across and 4 down.
- Brush with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- The biscuits should be firm and lightly golden. [Note from Adam: the first time I made these, the biscuits in the center didn't get cooked all the way through; this time, I tested by stabbing a center biscuit with a knife to make sure it came out clean. I suggest you do the same.]
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
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