Whether slathered in butter or topped with homemade whipped cream and berries, biscuits are a true favorite of mine. Let's see who has the best in town:
5520 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 487-8949
Buttermilk is perhaps the closest we have to a modern Southern kitchen, with a simple menu that has everything you need. Order two biscuits with honey, because one just leaves you longing for more. Pay 85 cents more for some balsamic strawberry jam and enjoy your food in Buttermilk's farm-to-table coffee house setting.
8491 Cooper Creek Blvd., No. 107, University Park, (941) 358-5200, maplestreetbiscuits.com
If you are a fried chicken and biscuit lover, this one is for you. Order the Squawking Goat, a flaky biscuit with an all-natural fried chicken breast, a fried goat cheese medallion and house-made pepper jelly. If you really want to add on the calories get a side of biscuits with shiitake gravy and then book a three-hour nap.
6656 Cortez Road W., Bradenton, (941) 792-3970; 1401 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, (941) 405-4744; sagebiscuitbradenton.com
The Sage Biscuit has two locations. Both serve a classic, large biscuit, perfect to hold their "Sage Biscuit Skillet," which comes with onions, peppers, sausage and gravy. It's a hearty choice, but get an extra biscuit on the side to enjoy as dessert with jam and butter.
Find these frozen mini-biscuits at specialty grocery stores. They're a little pricy, but the cheddar and chive and cinnamon flavors are beyond amazing. I have stood in line for hours in Charleston to have an assortment right out of the oven. Some of the best biscuits in the South.
Make Your Own
If you are inclined to try your hand at biscuits, before the humidity reaches baker’s nightmare levels, try this recipe for a foolproof fluffy biscuit that just wants to be slathered in Irish butter and apricot jam.
• 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), frozen
• 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
• 1 cup chilled buttermilk
• Parchment paper
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Grate the frozen butter using the large holes of a box grater. Toss together grated butter and flour in a medium bowl. Chill 10 minutes.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture. Add the buttermilk and stir 15 times. The dough will be sticky.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly sprinkle flour over top of the dough. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 inches by 5 inches). Fold the dough in half so short ends meet. Repeat rolling and folding process 4 more times.
- Roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch floured round cutter, reshaping scraps and flouring as needed.
- Place the dough rounds on a pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter.
For sweet shortcakes: Add 2 Tbsp. sugar to the flour and replace the buttermilk with heavy cream. The sugar lends the biscuits a subtle sweetness, and the extra fat in the heavy cream gives them a crumbly texture like shortbread. They're the perfect base for shortcake desserts.