Brown County fried biscuits
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Makes about 2 dozen fried biscuits
25 hours and 54 minutes
This recipe for Brown County fried biscuits is from Chef Paul Fehribach's cookbook Midwestern Food. In this book, you can find many more recipes and a lot of history of Midwestern food and culture.
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- 1 cup warm (100°F to 110°F) spring or filtered water
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the board
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄4 cup lard or butter, well chilled and cut into small bits
- 1⁄4 cup nonfat buttermilk
- the reserved biga (from above)
- 1 to 2 cups additional lard or vegetable oil, for frying
For the biga: mix ingredients in a small bowl with enough room for the biga to triple in volume overnight. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot for at least 24 hours, or up to 36 hours.
To make the biscuits: sift the flour together with the sugar and salt. Add the lard or butter and work into the flour with your fingers, rubbing between them to incorporate the fat until the mixture resembles a fine meal. Add the buttermilk and mix quickly with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then pause for 1 minute to allow the flour to hydrate. Add the reserved biga and mix gently until incorporated, 1 minute. Turn onto a floured board and knead for 6 or 7 turns, just until the dough is able to form a ball. Don't overknead; we're making biscuits, not bread. Turn the dough into a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap, then set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Turn the dough back out onto a floured board and roll out to 1/2-inch thickness, then cut biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter, setting the cut biscuits aside to rest on a floured surface while you rework the leftover dough from the first cutting, until you have used all the dough. Let cut biscuits rise for an additional 20 minutes.
Melt enough lard or vegetable oil to fill a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with 1/2 inch of fat. Heat to 350°F. Lay the biscuits in the fat, leaving at least 1/2 inch between biscuits to allow for expansion. Fry the biscuits for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, moving about to prevent sticking, until golden brown. Gently turn, and cook another 3 minutes on the second side, adding extra oil if needed to retain 1/4 inch in the skillet. Pry one of the biscuits open to check for doneness, and cook longer as needed. Place finished biscuits on a platter lined with paper towels to drain while you fry additional batches. Serve at once with apple butter or your favorite preserves.