How does an angel get its wings? In the case of angel biscuits, it's through three different leavening agents: yeast, baking powder and baking soda.
Think of angel biscuits as a harmonious blend between a buttermilk biscuit and a yeast roll. Light, fluffy and incredibly tender, these biscuits are the perfect side accompaniment to any meal.
They're also very forgiving. If you're new to biscuit making, these might be the biscuits for you! The yeast helps to ensure a great rise and a fluffy interior. Sometimes all the folding with buttermilk biscuits equates to overworked dough. Overworked dough yields a tough biscuit. But you won't find that here!
Since these biscuits have to chill for a couple of hours, I recommend doing this on a relaxed weekend. However, you can also chill the dough for up to 5 days and bake them at a later time. It's up to you!
½ c. warm water
1 (¼-ounce) packet of active dry yeast
1 tsp. + 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
5 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 c.) cold unsalted butter, cubed
2 c. cold buttermilk + more for brushing biscuit tops
3-4 tbsp. salted butter, melted
The biscuits pictured were only brushed with melted butter, but I suggest brushing the tops with buttermilk for a more browned biscuit top.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 35 minutes
Yield: One dozen (3-inch biscuit cutter), Two dozen (2-inch biscuit cutter)
Special Equipment: Large bowl, pastry blender, biscuit cutter and 9"x13" sheet pan.
Whisk together warm water (100-110°F), yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Let it sit and bubble for approximately 5 minutes.
Then whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Add cubed butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly. You can also do this by hand or with a fork.
Make a well in the center of the flour mix and add the yeast mixture and buttermilk to the bowl. Stir together with a fork just until wet ingredients are incorporated.
Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The dough can last up to 5 days, if saving for later.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a 9"x 13" pan with parchment paper. You can also use a cast iron skillet brushed with melted butter on the bottom.
Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times. Press the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter going into an envelope. Press again into a 1-inch thick rectangle, and cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter.
Place biscuits on the prepared pan with the sides touching. Brush the tops with buttermilk or some of the melted butter.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Serve hot and enjoy with butter or jam!