Biscuits. Buttermilk vs. SunDrop SodaPosted: February 2, 2012
Did you have SunDrop biscuits as a child? No; I didn’t either. I never even heard of such a thing but after I was married Hubby insisted they existed. I ignored him and continued on my buying bread at the grocery store ways. Even though I did not make them I did know true southern biscuits were made with buttermilk. My assumption was that his mother or grandmother had made those, in his mind, infamous SunDrop biscuits.
The more I searched the more he dug in that they existed; just substitute the soft drink for the liquid. Finally, this week he admitted he had never had one but that Ralph Smith, years ago, on WBT-TV in Charlotte used to talk about them. He vividly recalls Ralph saying “for a pan full of biscuits, add 2 bottles of SunDrop.”
So to prove him wrong I began a biscuit baking marathon this morning. SunDrop vs. buttermilk. If I had any interest in science I would explain to you why it’s important to have the right flour and why the ingredients need to be chilled but basically I could care less about any of that. All I need to know is not “why” to use southern flour but that I must use it for the best biscuits. It’s written in stone somewhere below the Mason Dixon line that for the lightest biscuits you only use White Lily or Martha White. Butter or Crisco, whichever you prefer, needs to be cold. While staring at the Crisco can in the store I did discover that it’s trans-fat free. Who knew?
One new thing I learned while searching for a basic recipe was to not handle the dough too much. It’s not like kneading bread; with biscuits just fold over 4 or 5 times and then cut out those suckers. The most confusing part of the recipe search was the oven temperature. It seems everyone’s grandmother made the perfect biscuit and the recipes were similar but the temps varied from around 375/400 to 500 degrees. That’s quite a range and I considered going with an average but While Lily came through. As it turns out you just can’t beat the recipe they have on the back of their Self-rising flour. 500 degrees it was.
First batch, buttermilk. Perfect
Second batch, SunDrop; equally as light but a slightly sweeter taste. One family member suggested it might go great with an afternoon tea but not with eggs and bacon. Can you tell which is which?
It appears Santa’s taste buds aren’t as refined as other family members. He seemed to like both versions equally as well.
Third batch (why not, I still had flour and buttermilk). Anyway, third batch was cheddar cheese biscuits topped with melted butter and garlic. OMG! The recipe is on the White Lily bag too. These are drop biscuits, the size determined by your idea of how big a tablespoon is.
I was ready to keep on baking and try out the cookie and cake recipes I had seen and then someone suggested yet another alternative for the SunDrop. Who knew?