Angel Biscuits


Angel biscuits are light, flaky, tender biscuits that are different from standard biscuits because they ride the fence between a quick bread and a yeast bread. They traditionally include not only baking powder but also baking soda….and YEAST. (If these biscuits don’t rise with all that, just throw your oven out the window.) My mother never made yeast biscuits. She always made the regular biscuits I make with my Quick Mix. For a long time, I wondered what were those biscuits people brought to church suppers or I had at someone’s house. I finally discovered that they were yeast biscuits, usually called angel biscuits, and I experimented. Angel biscuits are just a slight, but crucial, deviation from the ordinary biscuit, and I figured out how to make them with my own biscuit recipe.

I’ve included the recipe here to make them from scratch, or with Quick Mix (or another standard baking mix).

Angel biscuits are especially good when you want a “sandwich” biscuit, such as for sausage biscuits. They hold together better (less crumbly) because of the yeasty texture. They are also “fancier” dinner biscuits, or just fun any time you want a different type of biscuit.

For me, they’ll never replace the sentimental and delicious regular biscuit. But there are those times when riding the fence between a quick bread and a yeast bread is just right–and that’s when it’s time for angel biscuits!

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How to make Angel Biscuits:

1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, shortening, or lard
3/4 cup milk or buttermilk

Or replace the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar with 3 1/4 cups of Quick Mix. To vary the amount of dough and make more or less biscuits, per (full) cup of Quick Mix, use:

1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon warm water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter, shortening, or lard
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk

Add yeast to warm water. I put the yeast right in the measuring cup with the water.

Sugar helps yeast to activate, so put a pinch or so in there. I probably put in about 1/8 teaspoon. (It doesn’t really matter–just add a teeny bit.)

Stir it up a little since this is a very small container then let sit.

Your yeast should bubble in a few minutes.

If it doesn’t, I fear for your biscuits. And your bread loaves. And the very foundation of your world. Say, Get thee behind me, Satan, and throw that yeast out because something is wrong with it. Go buy some new yeast.

If your yeast is really good and you leave it sitting too long, it will try to take over the world. Is it just me, or does that look like a face? Two eyes, a nose, a mouth….. Okay, never mind.

Combine flour and other dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in butter, shortening, or lard with a pastry cutter. Add the water/yeast mixture. Go milk your cow then add the milk or buttermilk. (You can skip the milking part if you want.)

Stir to combine. It will seem a little dry–it’s not. Knead lightly, working in all the flour until you have a nice firm but pliable ball of dough. Roll out on a floured surface. Cut biscuits, rolling and re-rolling. Place cut biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and let sit for about 20 minutes.

They’ll rise a little, and more when you put them in the oven.

Bake at 450-degrees approximately 12-15 minutes (depending on size of biscuits).

I used a pretty generously-sized biscuit cutter here and made 11 big biscuits.

Get the butter!

See all my Quick Mix recipes here.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on August 30, 2010  

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22 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 8-30

    Can’t wait to try these!

  2. 8-30

    I want to try these for sure.

  3. 8-30

    Oh, these would be wonderful for sausage biscuits!

    I’ve never heard of a biscuit with yeast and baking powder and baking soda…sometimes I feel so out of the loop way up here in the north…thank goodness for the internet! :yes:

  4. 8-30

    I don’t like regular biscuits [they keep trying to take away my Southern card for it too] but these look yummy. The part about the yeast cracked me up. heehee

  5. 8-30

    These are one of my favorites! Funny thing is that I created a recipe like this — all proud of my creation I sent it to a friend. She said, oh, I already make those — they are angel biscuits……. :cry:

    If you cut the baking powder just a bit, these also make for a fast pizza crust!!

  6. 8-30

    This recipe is very similar, only that I don’t ever use cream of tartar, because that’s the recipe that my mother, her mother (grandma), AND yes, even her mother-in law (Nannie), and prolly their mothers and so on, which didn’t use cream of tartar, passed on down. Knowing what cream of tartar is, I think it’d make the angel biscuits a bit too hard and dry. And oh, my family’s recipe used more sugar than that. :hungry:

    However… your post just had me cracking up!!! :lol: You are just so funny!!!!!

  7. 8-30

    These look like they’re full of layers – like the biscuits you get out of a can. (Did I SAY THAT??) I bet these are the biscuits my Aunt Leona made, that my mother could never master. I should try, for that reason alone, shouldn’t I? :devil:

  8. 8-30

    I am so making these from now on!!! Thanks for the share.

  9. 8-30

    I have made angel biscuits for years, though my recipe varies a little from this one. My recipe calls for 5 cups flour so it makes a LOT of angel biscuits. I discovered that if your family isn’t large enough to eat all thos biscuits at once, you can save the dough up to two weeks (I’ve gone longer) in the refrigerator. They actually do better if you leave them ziplocked in the fridge at least over night. That’s very handy when you’re planning a family dinner. You can make them several days before the event.

  10. 8-31

    These freeze well too – at least the recipe I have does.
    Also, I don’t bother to roll the dough out. I make “cathead” biscuits by using a large serving spoon to break off a bit of dough. I dump the dough bit into the flour and shape it into a biscuit and place it on the pan. I’ve also patted out/rolled out the dough into a pan or jelly roll pan and used a knife/pizza cutter to cut squares of dough. For example, a 9×9 pan I would make 2 cuts each way to give me 9 biscuits. Again, no need to roll and re-roll the dough when you make them this way, just divide the pan into sections. It keeps the dough from toughening up from the re-rolling.

  11. 8-31

    I believe even I, maker of “hockey pucks” could make these!!

    Yep, I saw a face in there too! :yes:

  12. 9-21

    can someone help me please. i made the angel biscuits and mine came out terrible. when i mixed all ingredients my dough came out sticky. so i put dough on floured counter top and kneeded some more flour in. rolled them out and cut with flour drinking glass. baked and they crumbled and tasted terrible. i cried. im not a good cook but can someone tell me what i did wrong. thanks mellodee

  13. 9-21

    mellodee, it sounds to me as if you may have added too much more flour. That would cause the biscuits to crumble!

  14. 9-21

    thanks suzanne. i will try again

  15. 9-29

    I’ve been looking for this recipe for years! Thank you so much!
    I’m in the kitchen whipping up a batch.

  16. 2-14

    Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to give these a try. My husband will love them.

    I’m in West Virginia too!

  17. 6-7

    This is the first Biscuit my husband has ever liked! I loved how fast and easy it was to whip up. Great Recipe, thanks

  18. 12-4

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, and I definitely want to try it! If you had to guess….about how thick is the dough when you roll it out? i.e. roll out to 1/2″ thickness or?????

  19. 12-4

    Michelle, it depends how high you want your biscuits to be. I like to roll out biscuits at least an inch thick if not more.

  20. 12-4

    So, with this recipe, at 1″ thick, you are still getting 11 biscuits? Just trying to get a gauge of how much to make! I can’t wait to try them!! =)

  21. 12-4

    Yes, and I used a big biscuit cutter, but the number of biscuits will depend on your cutter.

  22. 12-4

    *THANK YOU* so much!! I’m on a mission now!! =)

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