Once upon a time, I stumbled across a site with a particular article about “Real Southern Biscuits.” I thought “Hey, I like biscuits. I shall continue reading.” and found everyone talking about The Loveless Cafe secret biscuit recipe. The Loveless Cafe is located in Tennessee, and is known for their perfect biscuits. The recipe for these biscuits is said to have been made by the late Carol Fay. Fay appeared on a few shows such as Martha Stewart, Ellen, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, but never revealing her secret recipe.
This began my obsession. I NEEDED to know how to make these biscuits. They look like a cross between a regular crumbly biscuit, and a yeast roll. I switched on my Columbo-mode and started studying the clips of Fay on said talk shows, pausing to look at the consistencies and colors of the magical, unknown liquids in the bowls on the stage. I read through a good hundred or so yeast roll and biscuit recipes, trying to find some kind of connection. I even started brainstorming with people on message boards, tossing back and forth ideas and theories.
So I tried testing a few recipes.. and all failed. They were all without flavor, or too dense, or too… stupid.
Bah!! Almost to the breaking point, and having sour-grapes effect (“They probably aren’t even tasty anyway..”) I gave it one last shot. Below is the recipe I came up with, that turned out flavorful, light, fluffy, and delicious. I’ve never had Fay’s biscuits before, I’ve never even been to Tennessee.. but I wonder how close I’ve come.
A note on Southern Flour: Southern flour, (like Lily White brand,) is said to be incredibly light and delicate. I didn’t want to shell out the $20+ to get it shipped to me out here in California, so I blended regular AP with Cake flour. If you happen to be lucky and have southern flour on hand, go ahead and use that.
Another note about types of yeast: I used “Active Dry Yeast” which means it needs to bloom first. You need to wake ’em up and make them work! To do
this, put yeast in a bowl, and pour warm water over it (just enough to fully cover the yeast. You don’t want them drowning though.) and add about 1/2 tsp of sugar, and gently stir with your finger, just a little bit. Let sit for about 10 minutes. The mixture should get foamy. If it doesn’t, you water was either too hot, or too cold. Yeast are fickle little bastards, they demand perfection. So just empty the bowl out and try again (like I had to.).
If you use “Instant Yeast” you do NOT need to bloom it. You may just add it to the dry ingredients.
Onto the recipe!
I like my biscuits with Honey. Lots, and lots of honey.
Sweet, sweet victory. As said before, these biscuits came out moist, flaky, crumbly, and light. I cant believe I achieved success with these, which means you can too! No, seriously, if I can get these to work, ANYONE can. These are best eaten within a few hours. Biscuits turn to rocks and are not meant for long term storage… but you can make the dough the day before if you’re looking to cut down on time.