December 1907. The Welles Family has been blessed with another child. Part of the celebratory breakfast the family enjoys includes buttermilk biscuits. Collie Mercer, the midwife who helped deliver the baby, takes it upon herself to feed the family so Lyla, wife and mother, can rest. Also, a hot meal is part of Collie’s payment, and she plans to make the most of it. Her excellent cooking skills mean everyone eats well and eats hearty.
Like cornbread, everyone probably has their own version of biscuits that they enjoy the most. The following recipe is the one I had in mind when I wrote the scene above for my novel The Secrets of Dr. John Welles.
2 c flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
½ t baking soda
5 T cold butter (I used unsalted)
Mixture should look like coarse crumbs
1 C buttermilk
Toss with a fork and form a dough ball. If mixture looks dry and/or won’t form a ball, add more buttermilk one tablespoon at a time. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times until smooth. Pat and form a circle of dough ¾” thick. Cut with a 3” biscuit cutter.
Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 425 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden on top. Serve with butter, honey, molasses, apple butter, jam, jelly.