Biscuits. Buttermilk vs. SunDrop Soda

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.

Family battles seem to rise and fall with the wind.  I don’t know what started this battle, perhaps seeing TV commercials for SunDrop soda; whatever the cause the “family discussion” started to heat up. The search was on for a recipe; there was nothing on the internet except for SunDrop cookies and cake (they sounded wonderful).  Hubby suggested, rather smugly, I try a few real “southern” cookbooks including one devoted to white trash recipes.  Nada.  Zilch.  I was feeling vindicated in my lack of knowledge about this particular bread product.

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?


5 Comments on “Biscuits. Buttermilk vs. SunDrop Soda”

  1. Jennifer Bryon Owen says:

    I’m short and low to the ground–and I’m not part dachsund.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Reading these makes me laugh. What a great sense of humor. I especially loved the reference to the book full of white trash recipes. Enjoy your biscuits.

  3. Ruth Dunham says:

    I have that white trash cookbook. It’s got some tasty meal ideas. We had Sunday supper at your cousin Steve’s tonight. We had fried fish, grits, and cornbread. Yummy!

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