Smithfield Ham Angel Biscuits
Springtime, at least in my mind, is synonymous with brunch. Easter brunch, Mother’s Day brunch, we-stayed-up-too-late-working-on-a-new-DIY-project-and-missed-breakfast brunch. Okay, maybe that last one is just us, but you get my point. This time of year, I’ll take any excuse to eat outside. Winter is long and cold, so it’s no surprise people flock to any restaurant that has outdoor seating the moment it’s warm enough to do so. Really, brunch is hard to beat – there’s a combination of sweet and savory foods, plus fruity and bubbly drinks (I mean, we had a brunch party for Clara last year).
I first had these biscuits at a wedding shower I hosted last year. The bride’s mom made them, and I was pretty obsessed with them (so was everyone else at the shower, judging by how fast they disappeared). When I was planning the menu for Clara’s party, I knew for sure I wanted some type of biscuit. I remembered these from the shower and was so happy I added them to the menu because they were the first food to go.
Calling these biscuits is sort of a misnomer because they’re more like a cross between a biscuit and a dinner roll. They use shortening, which I was a little hesitant about since I typically use butter in everything, but the result is actually quite good. These also call for yeast, giving them a very light and airy texture. Smithfield ham is a salty, dry-cured ham, and a little goes a long way. I served the biscuits plain at the party, but I prefer them with a bit of Dijon mustard spread on. These are the perfect appetizer or addition to a brunch menu, and I’ll certainly be making them again the next time I have an occasion to have nearly 5 dozen of them in my house.
- COOK TIME:
- YIELD: about 55 biscuits
2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 envelope)
½ cup warm water (100-110°)
2 cups buttermilk
5½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup shortening
2 pounds thinly sliced cooked ham
Dijon mustard for serving, optional
Combine the yeast and water in a 4 cup liquid measuring cup and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the buttermilk.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and sugar. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir with a fork just until moistened.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead four to five times. Roll the dough to ½-inch thickness and cut into squares. Alternately, you can use a 2-inch round cutter. Place onto baking sheets lined with parchment or a nonstick baking mat.
Cover and allow to rise in warm place for about 1 hour. They will not double.
Bake at 425º for about 10 minutes, until golden. Cool slightly, then split each biscuit and stuff with ham. If desired, spread biscuit tops with Dijon mustard.