South Yeast Biscuits

This is David Thornton’s Thanksgiving tradition. He says, “I make a starter with a 5-gallon (homebrew jug) pitch of SYL B3-Native Farmhouse strain of yeast, isolated from a blueberry. It provides a nice tartness to the dough.” The “5-gallon pitch” he’s referring to is a little 5-ounce yeast bottle used to make a 5 gallon beer batch—not 5 gallons of biscuit starter. If you can’t get one from South Yeast Labs, you can purchase any brand of Brettanomyces (Brett) liquid beer yeast, online or from Thomas Creek Brewery in Greenville.
August 28, 2015

Ingredients

Starter
  • 1 liquid yeast pack for a 5-gallon batch of beer
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • ⅛ cup warm water
Dough
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ stick of unsalted butter, plus more (very chilled or frozen) for grating over the biscuit dough
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3-4 cups flour, plus more for rolling dough

Instructions

For the starter, add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon flour to warm water and stir until dissolved. Mix well and let sit at room temperature about 1 hour, or until frothy.

Meanwhile, heat whole milk, unsalted butter, salt and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally. Once dissolved, let cool to about 86°.

Pour milk mix into a large mixing bowl and add yeast starter. Using a wooden spoon, mix in 1 cup flour slowly, mixing continuously until you have a firm, sticky lump. Usually it takes 3-4 cups of flour.

Cover with a damp cloth and put in a warm place. The rise usually takes 2-3 hours if it is 70° or warmer. Colder than this and the dough may not rise correctly.

After rise (dough should not push back when you poke it), flour the counter and coat the dough so it doesn’t stick. Let dough rest 5-10 minutes.

Roll the dough to about 1-inch thick, use a cheese grater to sprinkle butter over the top in a thin layer (to taste, but not so much that the dough is entirely covered), then fold in half. Roll it back out to about 2 inches thick.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly flour a cookie sheet, do not butter it. Use a small cup to cut out the biscuits and place on the cookie sheet. (The kind with a center layer of air works best.) Cook on the upper rack for about 8 minutes, then raise temperature to 375° for 2 more minutes (until golden brown on top and bottom). Makes about 1 dozen.

(1 cup of mashed sweet potatoes instead of 1 cup of flour makes excellent sweet potato biscuits.)

About this recipe

Go online for the Carolina Bauernhaus “Source Series” Ale Crème Brûlée Tart recipe at www.edibleupcountry.com.

Ingredients

Starter
  • 1 liquid yeast pack for a 5-gallon batch of beer
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • ⅛ cup warm water
Dough
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ stick of unsalted butter, plus more (very chilled or frozen) for grating over the biscuit dough
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3-4 cups flour, plus more for rolling dough
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