Drop Biscuits

Down South, we make biscuits with White Lily flour. It produces featherlight biscuits because it's ground finer and sifted more than all-purpose flour. It's milled from soft red winter wheat, which has a lower protein content than regular flour, meaning it produces less gluten, which is what makes bread denser and chewier. To get the effect of White Lily with regular all-purpose, I mix in some sorghum flour, another traditional Southern ingredient. Ground from sorghum, which is actually in the grass family, the flour has no gluten at all. And thanks to the popularity of the gluten-free diet, you can find sorghum flour in supermarkets now. It has hints of malt in taste and makes these drop biscuits delicate and tender. Sorghum syrup tastes like the love child of molasses and honey. I like to stir a little into butter to spread all over biscuits.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 16 servings
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Ingredients

Drop Biscuits:

8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, frozen, plus softened butter for the pan

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the dough

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons trans-fat-free vegetable shortening

1 cup cold buttermilk

Sorghum Butter:

4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft

1 teaspoon sorghum syrup

Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. For the sorghum drop biscuits: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Butter a large cast-iron skillet.
  2. Mix both flours, the baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl with an open hand, using your fingers as a whisk. Add the shortening and use your fingertips to pinch it completely into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Using a box grater, grate the frozen butter on the large holes into the flour. Toss until all of the pieces are coated. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture. Using your hand as a spatula, gently mix until the dough forms a shaggy mass. Scrape the dough off your hand.
  4. Using a large spoon or cookie scoop, drop 16 mounds of dough into the prepared skillet, spacing 1 inch apart.
  5. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  6. For the sorghum butter: Whisk the butter in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk in the sorghum and salt until fully incorporated. Use immediately.
  7. Serve the Drop Biscuits warm with the Sorghum Butter.

Cook’s Note

Make ahead: You can let the biscuits cool completely, then freeze them for up to 2 months. To serve, thaw them and then bake in a 350 degrees F oven until toasted and warm. You can find sorghum syrup online and in some markets, or substitute honey.

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