Holidays

Got Biscuits? We've Got Recipes from Local Chefs Josh Farrell and Jonathon Erdeljac.

These biscuits from Josh Farrell's recipe require a lot of cold to rise properly, but look at those layers.
These biscuits from Josh Farrell's recipe require a lot of cold to rise properly, but look at those layers. Josh Farrell
We’ve been thinking about biscuits a lot lately. A good biscuit can push an ordinary home-cooked meal into superstar territory. Sopping up the remnants of a warm brown gravy and cranberry sauce with a fluffy buttery biscuit is the final stroke of a masterpiece that goes to live forever in the bottom of your belly.

We were initially inspired by (Paris Hilton roasting a turkey and … ) Trishia Yearwood’s Grandma’s Sky-High Biscuits, which she recently shared on Good Morning America. For you purists out there, be warned, this recipe includes yeast, and Yearwood does say that these are “the perfect combination of dinner roll and a biscuit all in one.” Her grandfather called them"cathead biscuits" because the biscuits are the size of a cat's head. They probably fit into your mouth much easier, though.

For a local recipe, we reached out to Josh Farrell at Will Call and Jonathon Erdeljac of Jonathon's Diner. We start with Farrell; he’d already been working on a recipe because they plan to launch a brunch soon.
click to enlarge Farrell at Will Call suggests you freeze your butter overnight. - ALISON MCLEAN
Farrell at Will Call suggests you freeze your butter overnight.
Alison McLean
“Biscuits can be a lot of work, so working smart and trying real hard not to eff them up and ruin your loved ones Thanksgiving is important,” Farrel explains. “Biscuits require a lot of love, so definitely be in a good mood and play some dope tunes. *side story* A couple of days ago, I played the sound of whales for one hour straight in the kitchen because I felt the prep was appropriate for that setting.”

The following is Farrell’s recipe in his own words:


"Biggest trick here is getting butter mixed into your dough without it melting and emulsifying. You want pockets of butter in your dough. Biscuits bake super high and wicked quick so the butter creates these happy little warm flaky layers as it melts and separates your dough.

"WHICH MEANS, The freezer is your best friend. You'll want to make sure your equipment is as cold as possible. We’ll be using a mixing bowl, a spatula, whatever mixing attachments you have, they'll all need a good chill on ‘em, so go ahead and throw 'em in the freezer.

"Freeze your butter overnight or at least a few hours. This will be grated on the large-holed side on a cheese grater. Then freeze again until ready to fold in.

Ingredients:
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cajun seasoning (Slap Ya Mama)
1 tbsp fresh cracked pepper
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup milk
3 large eggs
1.5 pounds of butter (frozen & grated on cheese grater)
2 cups shredded cheddar


Optional:
2 cups cooked breakfast sausage
*reserve fat for sausage gravy #duh

I serve these with a whipped garlic parsley butter. Or a nice spicy honey butter. It doesn't suck.

In a cold AF mixing bowl (I'm using a Kitchen Aid with the flat beater attachment):

1.) Sift flour and BP into bowl. Add Slap Ya Mama and whisk.
2.) Mix in frozen grated butter until it’s a sandy crumbly consistency. *this won't take long* remember you want everything to stay cold so this recipe is quite quick.
3.) Whisk eggs, cold buttermilk, and cold milk together. Then add to dough. Mix just until incorporated.
4.) Pull out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten dough into a rectangle. Add 1/3 of your cheese and sausage (if you chose to add). Then fold in half and flatten out into the original rectangle shape. Repeat 3 times.
5.) This next part is up to you. Cut dough into equal portions, use a dough cutter, or cheat and use a medium-sized ice cream scoop or even a dang spoon. Drop your biscuit portions onto a baking sheet. You'll want them to be close but not necessarily touching. This will make them crunchy on top yet soft on the sides. If you prefer more crunchies just bake them ladies farther apart from each other.
6.) Bake at 450F for 12-13 mins depending on size.
7.) Brush with butter? Eat hot? Eat cold? Alone or with fam, this biscuit will make ya bones happy :)"

Parmesan Black Pepper Biscuits from Jonathon's
click to enlarge A giant pepper biscuit on the chicken and biscuit plate at Jonathon's. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
A giant pepper biscuit on the chicken and biscuit plate at Jonathon's.
Lauren Drewes Daniels

The folks at Jonathon’s Diner know their way around a biscuit or two and shared with us the recipe they used on Food Court Wars a few years ago. These take 35 minutes from prep to out of the oven for 20 biscuits.

These are like drop biscuits; no folding on the counter, straight from bowl to baking sheet. Yes, the recipe really calls for ½ cups of baking soda and a ¼ cup of black pepper.

“This recipe is bulletproof as a base,” says chef Jonathon Erdeljac.”You can adjust cheese and seasoning to your liking. Pro-tip: cheddar cheese and Old  Bay seasoning or for Thanksgiving use smoked provolone and poultry spice.”

Parmesan Black Pepper Biscuits
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 t. baking powder
2 t. salt
½ cup baking soda
14 T unsalted butter
1½ cups buttermilk
2 cups Parmesan cheese
¼ cup black pepper

Directions:
1.) Preheat over to 425 degrees.
2.) Whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into mix until it crumbs. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk. Stir until combined.
3.) Scoop onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.