Friday, July 3, 2009

Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits &
{How to Season & Care for Cast Iron Cookware}

Were right in the middle of Old Fashioned Favorites Week. For me cooking with Cast Iron is old fashioned so, I thought it would post about how to season and care for cast iron cookware. As well as the recipe for those lovely biscuits pictured above. 

Why you ask? Well, I noticed every time I post a cast iron recipe questions follow about care and cleaning. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to post a recipe for Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits and some cast iron tips thrown in as well.

Growing up I remember my mother cooking with cast iron skillets and I never understood her love for them. Well, I have come to find out it is definitely a Southern Thang! And all I can say is   I ♥ my Cast Iron Skillets!

I really do they're my all time favorite cookware, besides my Paula Dean Cookware LOL.
I don't know what I would do without them. The cooking possibilities are endless and every true southerner knows the only way to cook perfect cornbread is in a cast iron skillet.

If you follow proper cleaning and maintenance your cast iron cookware will last for generations Anytime I mention that I use a cast iron to cook, the first response I get from EVERYONE is the same thing.............. "I always heard how dirty they are" absolutely not true!

That's just someone who hasn't been properly taught how to care for and clean for cast iron. Well I'm here to tell you how to do so, that way you to can enjoy the love of Cast Iron Cooking.
 

First off after you purchase your cast iron cookware or skillet it will need to be seasoned. Follow these simple steps below to season your new best friend. Once you cook with a cast iron skillet and learn all the basics, you will wonder WHY you haven't cooked with cast iron sooner.


How to season {New} Cast Iron Cookware:
Coat your new cast iron cookware with vegetable shortening (inside and out). Place in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Remove, and wipe off any liquefied shortening. Your pan is now seasoned! To avoid a mess in the oven, place a piece of foil under the pan. Keep in mind with a new cast iron skillet or cookware a  true no-stick surface takes time to form.

Washing and Caring for Cast Iron Cookware: 
For best results, rinse the pan with hot water immediately after cooking. If you need to remove burned-on food, scrub with a mild abrasive, like coarse salt, and a nonmetal brush to preserve the nonstick surface; you can also use a few drops of a mild dish washing soap every once in a while. 

When I prepare meals such a baked spaghetti or any greasy saucy dishes those are the times I use a bit of (mild dish soap). There are many cast iron users who feel it’s best to stick to water only. It's really your preference.

Whichever route you choose, be sure not to scrub too vigorously, and take care not to submerge the pan in a sink full of water. This could cause damage to the seasoning on the pan. I have owned my cast iron skillets for 15 + years and have never run into a problems by washing them in mild soapy water.


Cast iron will rust if not dried immediately after washing. Start by lightly towel drying your cookware. Then, place it on the stove burner over low heat for a minute or two to pull out any remaining moisture. Turn off the heat and lightly coat the inside of the pan with cooking oil, and heat for a minute or two longer. This will help to restore any seasoning that might have been lost during washing. Let your pan cool completely and store.

Storing Cast Iron Cookware: 
I store my cast iron skillets in the oven, on the off setting of course. Always remember to never store foods in cast iron, as this can break down the seasoning. Never submerge cast iron in water and never put cold water in a hot pan; this can cause the pan to crack or warp. And lastly never wash your cast iron in the dishwasher. If you follow these simple steps your cast iron cookware will last a lifetime.


OK, now onto those pretty Buttermilk Biscuits pictured above.  As I mentioned in my previous Buttermilk Biscuit Tutorial. I could never ever make buttermilk biscuits from scratch. I don't know why I just couldn't do it. Well the recipe I used in that tutorial is the perfect recipe!!!! I got it from Southern Living.

I know I can count on those biscuits turning out perfect every time. Well, it's been bugging me that I cannot recreate the same results using shortening. So I set out on a quest to make the perfect biscuit again............

I was watching a episode of Diners Drive Ins and Dives on the Food network. (I love that show). That particular day they highlighted a little southern hole in the wall in Kentucky, well that lady made the best buttermilk biscuits. All she used was flour, shortening and buttermilk!

I kept telling myself how do they do it? how do they get those biscuits to turn out perfect every time. Well, it came to me in a dream, I know crazy!!! I guess I do my best work while I sleep LOL. For some reason I was visualizing Christy’s Southern Hoe Cake and to me it taste like one big ole buttermilk biscuit.

Well, the next day I woke up and said that's it, so I set out to use Christy's Hoe Cake recipe to make the perfect biscuit. I immediately thought to use my trusty Iron Skillet, because I saw Paula Deen use hers to bake biscuits.
Well yesterday I made the most perfect skillet buttermilk biscuits using just 3 ingredients Yay Me!!!!!! 


I'm so super excited. I know a lot of you don't think this is a big deal, because you probably already know how to make biscuits, but I have always been biscuit challenged and envious of anyone who could produce a perfect biscuit.

Now I have Two Perfect Buttermilk Biscuit Recipes one using real butter and one using shortening. My quest is over. Thank you Christy Jordan for popping up in my dreams. 


These are the ingredients you will need: Self rising flour (not all purpose), Shortening or Lard and Buttermilk. If you can find White Lily Flour that's the best. 
Measure 2 1/2 cups of flour into a large bowl. I start with 2 cups but by the end you will use more when kneading the dough, so it ends up being about 2 1/2 to 3 cups. Add shortening and cut into flour, I find using my hands helps to distribute the shortening throughout the flour.
 

You can also use a pastry blender which works just as well. Add the buttermilk and lightly mix just until it starts to form together. If the dough looks really wet that's OK just add more flour. I like to start with a wet dough and then gently adding flour as I go.
turn the biscuit dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead. Make sure not to overwork the dough or it will result in tough biscuits. Pat into a circle (don't use a rolling pin) to about 1/2 thick. If you like higher biscuits then leave the dough a bit thicker.

I use a glass to shape my biscuits, I don't have a biscuit cutter and that's what my mother use to do so I just do the same thing. Gently press a floured glass or biscuit cutter into the biscuit dough and push straight down, (NEVER TWIST) the cutter or glass this will end up sealing the sides of the biscuits preventing them to rise.

Cut each biscuit just like this.


Place the biscuits into a lightly greased large cast iron skillet making sure the biscuits are lightly touching (kind of like they are just dating not married) LOL. Make a fist using your knuckles push down on each biscuit making an indention. Why do I do this you ask????? Because, that's what Paula Deen did on her biscuits and milk gravy episode. 


then brush the biscuits with melted BUTTER all over the tops. See all the butter puddling in the spots where we made the indention's! Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12- 15 minutes or until biscuits are lightly golden brown.

When done remove from oven and brush on more melted butter. Cool, split each biscuit with a fork and serve. Carson is my little helper, he wanted to butter the biscuits really badly. I think he did a great job, biscuits are his all time favorite.


 



Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:
2 1/2 - cups self rising flour (Prefer White Lily)
1 1/4 - cups buttermilk
1/2 - cup shortening or lard
real butter 
Cast Iron Skillet

Directions:
Measure 2 cups of flour into a large bowl, add shortening and cut into flour. I find using my hands is easier to thoroughly mix the shortening. You can also use a pasty blender. 

Add the buttermilk and lightly mix dough just until it starts to come together. If the dough looks really wet that's OK just add more flour. I like to start with a wet dough and then gently add flour as I go.  

Turn the biscuit dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead. Make sure not to overwork the dough or it will result in tough biscuits.
 

Pat into a circle about 1/2 thick (do not roll with a rolling pin). If you like higher biscuits then leave the dough a bit thicker. Use a glass or biscuit cutter to shape the biscuits.

Gently press the floured glass or biscuit cutter into the biscuit dough and push down.  NEVER TWIST the cutter or glass, because this will end up sealing the sides of the
biscuits preventing from rising.


Cut and shape all of the biscuits and place each biscuit into a large lightly greased cast iron skillet, touching each other. 

Make a fist and using your knuckles push down on each biscuit making an indention. Brush melted butter all over the biscuits. You can see where you pressed down all that melted butter just pools together. 

Most people don't agree with adding butter before baking, but this is how I make them with  my recipe.  Different strokes for different folks!
 
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12- 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. When biscuits are done remove from oven and brush with more melted butter.
 

Cool, split each biscuit with a fork and serve.

Yields: 7 - 10 biscuits depending on the size. I like high biscuits, so I get about 7 -8

Cook's Note: If you don't have fresh buttermilk on hand you can always make your own. Just add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to every cup of whole milk. Stir and let sit for about 10 minutes. Now you have sour milk aka buttermilk.




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36 comments:

Tiffany@eatathomecooks.com said... #

I'll have to try baking my biscuits in a skillet sometime. That's a good idea.

Heidi said... #

What a clever girl! Those biscuits look delicious. My mouth is watering :) Hope you guys have a great holiday weekend!

sherri said... #

GREAT IDEA USING THE SKILLET. THEY LOOKS DELICIOUS.

Krystal said... #

I LOVE my cast iron skillet, and hate my teflon ones. Someday I'll have a whole collection of cast iron. Thanks for the cleaning tips! and those biscuits look great!

Nicole Feliciano said... #

yum! We’re planning on grilling up a storm this weekend. I just posted a recipe share link on my site. Hope you’ll stop by and add a favorite:

http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2009/07/friday-feasts.html

Ann in TN said... #

This is the first biscuit recipe that has actually worked out for me. THANK YOU!!! For me, it made 13 biscuits. One large skillet and a smaller skillet. This recipe is a keeper!!!! Oh by they way, my kitchen smelled just like my mamaw's kitchen used to smell when she baked biscuits. :)

Alwayzbakin said... #

Thanks for the tips. I was actually going to ask you, but you beat me to it! And the biscuits look great!! Happy 4th of July.

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Ann, I am so glad it worked for you to. The biscuits turned out cottony soft inside. I got 9 biscuits out of this recipe, but I like mine a lot higher and fluffier. I am so happy you loved them. Happy 4th Ü

Michelle, glad it helped. I had a lot of people that kept asking about cast iron care + they were afraid to use it becasue they heard so many bad things. I love my cast iron skillet so I wanted to clear it up a bit so posting the tips hopefully will help.

joan said... #

I enjoy your site,and wanted to make a comment on the biscuit tutorials. Making good biscuits is attainable with a little trial and error. I think one ingredient that makes a HUGE difference is White Lily Flour. I have no interest in the company, but that is the key ingredient since it is a soft winter wheat flour. I use it in cakes as well. If you can get it where you live you should give it a try. I promise it makes a difference.

Ingrid said... #

Happy 4th!

Thank you so much for the tips on caring for my cast iron pans!

Do you have one pan for savory food and one for sweets? Or can I use one pan for both? I've also heard that acidic (tomatoes) foods break down the pan as well. Have you found this to be true?
~ingrid

Mommy's Kitchen said... #

Joan, every true southern raves about white lily flour. I am sure it is the best, unfortunatly we cannot get white lily products in Texas. I heard all the hype about the flour and I wanted to try it myself, but i cannot locate a store that sells it. I even when to there website and nothing in Texas :( I only wish. If anyone knows of any stores in Texas that sell white lily please lmk.

Ingrid, I am not sure about the acid and the tomaotes. i did a search and something said the acid in tomatoes breaks down the iron. I mainly use my cast iron for biscuits, cornbread, bbq cheesy chicken, pizzas, apple crisp and a few other things really nothing saucey.

Colleen said... #

are the cast iron skillet that are "preseasoned" really seasoned? or do i need to season it again?

Anonymous said... #

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Anonymous said... #

Awesome Post. I add this Post to my bookmarks.

Anonymous said... #

I would like to see your other recipe using butter instead of shortening.

BTW ~ Great site..very informative. Definitely going to try some of your recipes ;0

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said... #

EVERYTHING tastes better cooked/baked in cast iron :)

Blessings!
Gail

Anonymous said... #

can you use a butter instead of shortening?

Tina at Mommy's Kitchen said... #

I am sure you could. The southern livings buttermilk biscuit recipe I have at my site: http://www.mommyskitchen.net/2009/05/homemade-buttermilk-biscuits-thank-you.html. It uses all butter.

Anonymous said... #

I have been looking for a good bicuit recipe. I come to your site often. I really love you blog, it's great! And I get lots of ideas from it. Thanks for you passion and sharing!

R
New Mexico

BrushedByAnAngel said... #

These biscuits look delicious!! I still use my mother's cast iron skillets and the one I purchased when I got married 44 years ago. We are true southerners and we press our biscuits with our knuckles because it helps them rise more evenly. We do the same with hamburgers - this way the center won't puff up but will be more flat across. Just found your site and I love it - hence, new follower. Please stop by and visit me.
Brenda

Carolyn said... #

Just found your site a few days ago. Love the recipes. The cast iron tips are great. I have used soap on my cast iron for 50 years and never had a problem. Cornbread and biscuits should always be baked in cast iron skillets.

Michele J. said... #

I just found your site and love it.

My grandmother used to use salt to "scour" her cast iron skillets if they needed scrubbing. It never hurt the conditioning but did take off the grime. And, I guess, since salt was used to preserve food and stop bacteria growth, it definitely doesn't hurt.

Thanks for the reminders of those past memories.

36duck said... #

Note on seasoning cast iron. to do it well and get the benefits your grandma got. Coat skillet with lard and well. Put in oven at 400, it has to be 400 for the metal to expand properly. do this for an hour. take out put aside in safe place and let cool. Then wipe it out. now your cast iron is properly seasoned. NEVER EVER USES SOAP OF any kind on your seasoned cast iron. you want to clean it well then use salt water. Salt is anit bacterial and a good scrubber. you use any soap and you will be getting rid of all the things that make the flavors and seasoning of the skillet. take care good eats.

Ricky Bryan said... #

This is the way my Gma used to make them but she used 1/4 cup lard and 1/4 cup Butter.the lard gives great texture whereas the butter gives great flavor.

cookinglady.bell5@gmail.com said... #

I have been watching your blog for a little bit now and really enjoy your recipes. Just graduated from culinary school. I was looking for a good bisquit recipe because I love bisquites and gravy. Keep doing what you do your very good and I know you help a lot of people. Also you can get the white lily flour on amazon.com probley late but for those who don't know. Always watching you, will bring my blog back up sometime this year. Check me out at www.harmsplace.com. Happy Cooking.

Italian request. said... #

How do you make self-rising flour out of regular flour and baking powder and soda?

Anne Cravillion said... #

Do you preheat the skillet too? I thought you couldn't put cold cast iron in a hot oven. Just got Mom's skillet and want to do it right!

Marriage Works Ohio said... #

I am wondering if you can use an iron skillet on glass top stoves. I haven't used one for a long time as I did not want to risk scratching the stove top. But I miss them! Any thoughts on iron skillets and glass top stoves?

David Snyder said... #

AH made biscuits with this recipe for quite a while they are a hit!!
The best flour comes from a small town in South Central Kansas with 125 residents but has a flour mill that mills Hudson Cream Flour. The one with a dairy cow on the front.

Anonymous said... #

I use my cast iron on my glass top electric range all the time. Have not noticed any deterioration of the glass top.

Martha Lane said... #

I read somewhere that food cooked in an iron cookware will boost the iron content of the food by 200%. I have always cooked in iron or stainless steel. I don't trust aluminum.

Paula Roper said... #

This is my mommas recipe! I am so thankful I ran across it with the measurements! WE just always did a little of this and that. I will print this off for my daughter. :) We always intend on measuring it out but never remember too. We also used melted lard on the tops of the dough instead of melted butter. WE always seemed to have a iron skillet with meat grease on the stove all the time. Thanks again :)

Wanda Likens said... #

I just rescently had a cast iron skillett givin to me and I seasoned it. I had one that I found and I tried to remove the rust and then reseasoned it. The spot where the rust is still there but not the rust. What can I do to remove the spot?

Anonymous said... #

Martha Lane...your cast iron cookware is made of steel not cast iron. There hasn't been any cast iron cookware made in a couple of hundred years. Iron will not leach from steel until the steel reaches its melting point.

amanda sharp said... #

Is there an alternative to cast iron...mexico hard to find...miss my grandma's cookin

Tina Butler said... #

You can use a baking sheet, baking pan or even a pie plate.